It can be difficult to stay motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle when you can’t leave the house. This is a particularly stressful time of year for students, with deadlines and exams approaching, and with so much uncertainty in the news.
But staying healthy is far from impossible, with more ways than ever to keep mentally and physically fit whilst remaining inside your house.
We will be revealing some of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy during this time, as well as hearing what several students have to stay about how they’re staying healthy.
The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay fit in the safety of your own home.
Home workout videos are definitely on the rise, with many fitness brands, such as Gymshark and Les Mills offering free home workouts on their apps.
Here are just a few home workouts that you can try for free today:
Joe Wicks is uploading free weekly HIIT workouts on YouTube to help users get stronger, healthier and stay active.
With 15 years of experience of making online workout videos, Davina McCall is now offering a 30-day free trial, with a variety of workouts available to try, including HIIT, boxing, yoga, cardio, strength training, core training, dance and Pilates.
Les Mills on Demand are temporarily offering free at home workouts with access to over 100 of their most well-known workouts, including BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, LES MILLS GRIT and BODYATTACK.
Gymshark’s conditioning home workout app
Gymshark have made their conditioning home workout app free for users. The app offers five, three- and one-day workout plans, with HIIT training and full body workouts for beginners and experts alike.
Reduce eye strain from screens
With many universities now making the switch to online learning following government lockdown measures, students are using screens to complete their university work.
We spoke to Dhruvin Patel, a leading optometrist and founder of Ocushield, who explains how students can reduce the strain on their eyes whilst using screens: “Ensure the height and level of the screen is five to six inches below the watching level,” he says.
Patel also recommends limiting exposure to harmful blue light through the screen; “Make sure to look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes.”
Another good way to reduce this glare is to “keep the display away from overhead lighting or windows, using window blinds, low wattage light bulbs or anti-glare filters”, he says.
Patel says by doing these things, students will reduce the chance of contracting ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’ which may cause dry eyes, fatigue, irritation, burning, itching, headaches, eye spasms, as well as lowering your mood, lessening productivity and leading to chronic sleep disturbance.
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Practice yoga and mindfulness
Yoga is a great way to relax your mind as well as getting in a great workout. To get some tips, we spoke to yoga teacher and enthusiast, Hester Jones, who is studying a masters in creative writing and publishing at Bournemouth University.
Jones says she recommends trying some online yoga classes, particularly Yoga with Adrienne’s 30-day yoga challenge. “She has a very gentle and engaging approach and is one of the leading YouTube teachers out there.”
For those looking to start yoga, Jones recommends purchasing a yoga mat, although this is not essential, “you could start on a rug or a blanket”. She says to wear something comfy and stretchy, such as yoga pants or leggings and a t-shirt.
She recommends doing yoga in the morning before breakfast “It can really set you up for the day and help calm the mind, focus and concentrate” as well as reducing anxiety.
So how often should you do yoga? Jones recommends every day. “Even 10 to 15 minutes every day is better than one hour once a week,” she says. “Start with a short class and build up to a longer class if it suits you.”
Do whatever makes you feel relaxed
Grace Williams, a multimedia journalism student at Solent University, says that she tries to keep mentally healthy by keeping herself preoccupied, by cleaning and doing puzzles.
She says “Mostly I’m doing what I feel comfortable with, whether that’s eating what I want or lounging on the sofa watching a TV series. All victories for me are worthy at the minute.”
Grace says limiting her exposure to the news helps her to stay calm, but she makes sure she doesn’t miss anything important “I am notified by the BBC News app with important breaking news on my phone.”