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‘The route to calm isn’t to imagine the worst won’t come to pass...

it is to teach ourselves that the worst can be endured.’- The School of Life

The focus of this week’s post is on exercise, nutrition and wellbeing.

During this period of isolation, staying healthy and active has never been more important. The temptation to let nutritious regular meals, as well as your weekly exercise routines, fall by the wayside, is only too easy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle benefits not only your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing. Physical exercise: Physical exercise is not simply a means of keeping your body fit and healthy, it is also an effective means of managing stress and supporting your mental health. Making the most of the government’s daily, authorised exercise – through cycling, running or walking – is incredibly important. However, if these activities aren’t accessible to you, the lockdown has also resulted in a wealth of home workout programmes, which provide fitness routines that are suitable for all abilities and environments. The Body Coach workouts by Joe Wicks are a great start. Nutrition: Being at home all day in lockdown, it is easy to find yourself snacking constantly. While in some cases this can purely be a means of maintaining hunger levels, it is more likely to be a by-product of boredom and self-comfort. Where possible, try to make set meal times a staple of your daily routine to ensure you are eating regularly and healthily. Of course it is not bad to snack if you are hungry, but prepare snacks such as nuts, fruit and salads in advance to stop you reaching for crisps and chocolate Sleep: Many of us no longer have to be up early for work, which means it is tempting to stay up later than you usually would. However, a regular bedtime is an important part of your daily routine and is imperative for stabilising your inbuilt body clock, providing rest and quality sleep. Repeating the same bedtime routine every night gives your brain the cue it needs to know when it is time to unwind and go to sleep. If a balance between these three elements is achieved, it will allow you to effectively manage the pressures of exterior stress. For those that have been following these blog posts, you will know that the next stage in our PLAN survival strategy is Acquisition. In a true survival scenario, acquiring water and food is the top priority. However, in our current situation one of the toughest challenges is managing our mental health and an effective means of doing this is by acquiring a new skill. With the amazing weather we’ve had, the countryside and open spaces are bursting into life, which provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about foraging and edible plants. Start with the simple ones – nettles, dandelions, wild garlic – for example and then move onto the more difficult. It is a skill you have to maintain as it can be learnt but just as easily forgotten. For more information and some important safety tips, go to our website or the Country File website:

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