Under pressure: whole new you

The start of spring is often a time when people's thoughts turn to dieting.

But for many, comfort eating has been a major coping mechanism for getting through the COVID-19 crisis over the last few months.

Should we join everyone else by getting "beach body ready"? And what’s the alternative if gyms around the country are closed?

Despite doing a very active job every day, global research reveals a lot of people in the industry are putting the job before their health. Studies of industry workers in Australia and the Far East found high blood pressure and being over-weight were common issues, despite people doing intensive work every day.

The good news

The NHS has a health check programme if you’re aged over 40 – just visit www.nhs.uk to find out more. Your GP can also organise a simple and quick check-up. There are also some really easy ways to improve your health without having to beat yourself up with resolutions you might not be able to commit to, or taking out a gym membership you’ll barely use – even if you could.

General & Medical, which provides the CIPHE’s health insurance, has some great advice for the winter months.

Their experts say an early walk will help: “Motivation can often be what you lack when it comes to working up a sweat. Early morning exercise can be great and can help you keep on top of your health throughout the day, it also allows you to spend time in the evening unwinding and relaxing.”

Diet tomorrow?

Changing what you eat can make a big difference. The team at General & Medical says: “Ensure that you’re eating your five a day. Foods such as spinach and kale are rich in vitamin C and can help improve the immune system’s defence against illnesses. Meanwhile, white foods such as parsnips, radishes, onions and cauliflowers are high in allicin which has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties supporting the lungs and intestines.”

And if it all gets too much: “Be kind to yourself – don’t put too much pressure on yourself, especially if you’re already feeling low. If you’re tired and cold, don’t suffer through it, just take a break, put the kettle on and relax.”

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