At DIS we work with athletes who are on a journey to become world-class. Much of the training and support we give them about health and wellness is equally relevant to non-athletes.
High performance in any walk of life depends on the brain and body performing well. Tiredness, an inability to concentrate and low mood swings can make us less happy and less productive.
Here are some top tips to boost your health and wellness from three of our experts at DIS.
Nicky Gilbert, sports nutritionist.
“Staying hydrated is essential for health and optimal performance. Each day, adults need to drink at least six to eight large mugs or glasses of fluid – that’s up to two litres.
“Dehydration increases tiredness but also affects productivity. You’ll lack concentration, you’ll be less accurate and less skilled at what you do. Once you feel thirsty it’s too late. That means you’re dehydrated. Being dehydrated can negatively affect mood, anxiety and decision-making.
“Mood and resilience is also influenced by a steady supply of nutrients to the brain. Help yourself by keeping to a regular eating pattern. Many fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices contain polyphenols – nature’s own anti-depressants. You’ll find them in berries, grapes, plums, red and yellow onions, leafy vegetables,turmeric, mint, thyme, basil and ginger among others. Get cooking with brightly-coloured fruit and veg to boost your intake of mood-enhancing polyphenols.”
Dr Phil Clarke, sports psychology lead.
“One of the most powerful performance supplements that is available to all of us, which is underappreciated and neglected by many, is sleep. In business, sleep and physical and mental recovery is the first thing we tend to let slip when the pressure is on.
“Sleep is the foundation of human health and performance and key for our energy management. We are creatures of habits and therefore routine can have a massive impact on our sleep processes.
“Create a night-time routine, because this will help trigger your brain to think it’s sleep time. This routine should be least 60 minutes so that you can incorporate some ‘down time’ into your day to mentally switch off and relax.
“Gentle exercise, such as walking, stretching, or breathing exercises can help you relax and get to sleep more quickly. Allow at least two to three hours to digest a main meal before going to bed.
“When you start to think negatively, ask yourself: ‘Is there another way to look at this situation?’. Instead of just trying to be positive, recognise that there is always a different way to look at the situation. You always have a choice.”
Laura Wake, Head of Athlete Development.
“You can increase your wellbeing by boosting your daily activity levels. Making simple, positive choices at the right time can help you, however busy you are.
"Here are four easy new habits you can adopt from today to increase your daily activity level.