Your health this winter. Part one: life in motion

Even during a pandemic, there are plenty of ways to stay in the habit of exercising regularly or to finally start an active lifestyle.

According to Margaret Carter, a fitness expert and personal trainer based in London, 150 minutes of physical activity per week significantly reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease, strokes, and type II diabetes. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, which is especially important during a pandemic as obesity is a risk factor.

Margarita Carter, fitness expert, personal trainer

Regular exercise gives you an excellent mood, good vitality, a toned and attractive body. How to get out of quarantine hibernation and motivate yourself to move?

1. Plan a walk. You don’t have to walk for hours. A quick 10-minute walk to the metro every day is very healthy and counts towards that very 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

Avoid using public transport if you can walk, and set your schedule accordingly. Every corner of London has a beautiful park where you can walk and be inspired by the beauty of the surrounding nature. Listening to audiobooks and podcasts will make your walk even more enjoyable.

The best walking routes in the capital

2. Make a plan and add fitness activities to your calendar. A two-kilometer morning run doesn’t take long, and the benefits are enormous. When cooking, such as while soup is cooking on the stove or chicken is roasting in the oven, turn on your favorite YouTube trainer and start training.

A detailed program to help you develop a habit of exercising within 12 weeks.

3. Exercise at home. It’s hard to switch to fitness classes at home when gyms are closed. But you need to get together … and sketch out a daily exercise plan for yourself. If you could not get dumbbells, take a bottle of water. If you have a ladder at home, this is also a great simulator; I recommend purchasing leg weights, dumbbells and resistance bands.

Exercises that are easy to do at home, including seated yoga and even couch workouts such as back push-ups, split splits, glute bridges, crunches.

4. Don’t forget about stretching. During the pandemic, many of us began to work from home and move even less, and stretching is very useful for maintaining a good back condition and correcting posture when working sedentary.

Short and simple 5-minute exercises that will strengthen your muscles and make your body more flexible.

5. Set realistic goals and track your progress. Losing 20 kg in a week is the wrong approach. Set goals that you can do and use technology to keep track of your progress. For example, you can download an application or purchase a fitness watch to know exactly what you did today, those 10 thousand steps.

6. Arrange a fitness day for the whole family. By serving as an example for our children, we can teach them to live a sporty lifestyle. Forcing them to train by force is not worth it, you just need to constantly do it yourself, leave the house more often, ride bicycles and roller skates, scooters. Make a tradition of going out into nature on the weekend, taking a ball, badminton rackets with you. This is all sports, not just entertainment.

7. Change to two-wheeled vehicles. Now that traffic has decreased and there are fewer people on the street, it’s time to cycle through the city. Cycling is a great physical activity to maintain social distance.


Are you eligible for free flu vaccination?

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Every year, the NHS offers free flu vaccinations to people at high risk of complications. This year is by no means an ordinary year, and influenza prevention is more important than ever. Recent andResearch has shown that with simultaneous infection with both viruses, a severe course of the disease is likely, with even more serious health consequences.

You can get a free flu shot if:

– you are 50 years old or more (this also applies to those who turn 50 by March 31, 2021);

– you have certain health problems *;

– You are pregnant;

– you live in a nursing home;

– you are receiving a care allowance or are providing basic care for an elderly or at-risk person;

– you live with a person who is at high risk during the coronavirus epidemic (included in the NHS protected patient list);

– you are a first-line physician or social worker.

* Complete list of diseases can be found at the link… You can also get more information from your General Practitioner (GP).


Why and how should you take vitamin D?

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From October to early March, we cannot get vitamin D from the sun. During this period, it is worth taking a vitamin D supplement every day to keep your bones and muscles healthy. This recommendation is especially important this year, as many of us spent more time indoors than usual during the spring and summer.

You can get vitamin D from most pharmacies, supermarkets, and retail stores. Enough 10 mcg per day – this dosage is suitable for adult family members.

Free apps for your health

In this difficult time, it is important to monitor all aspects of our well-being. Try to start with some useful apps

Easy meals

More than 150 simple recipes for balanced meals with an indication of calories. Search by food type or meal time. Ingredients can be added to the shopping list. NHS approved.

Couch to 5K

Even those who have hated running their whole life are thrilled with this 9-week exercise plan, designed for beginners looking to develop and improve their endurance while running. You can choose one of the star trainers as your mentor.

Active 10

Helpful information on how to increase your walking intensity. Set goals and track your progress. This handy app is an easy way to start moving more.

Drink free days

By reducing your alcohol intake, you will not only reduce the number of calories in your diet, but also improve your health and save money. This app helps you arrange alcohol-free days and supports you with helpful tips.

Smoke free

Quitting smoking is a serious challenge for many, but with this application the task no longer seems overwhelming. A 4 week step-by-step program with instructions, support and personalized advice to help you quit smoking and start a new life.

For more information on an active lifestyle, follow the links on the sites nhs.uk/better-health/get-active and nhs.uk/live-well/exercise.

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