Extra bank holidays, changing guidelines, dull weather days, mince pies and roast dinners would neatly summarise the last 2 weeks. If you’re anything like the Squash Wales team – and we know you are – you’ll be itching to get some routine back and start implementing fresh, sustainable habits for a healthy 2022.
Whether you’re already underway with your new year rhythm or looking for a guiding hand, we’ve pulled together our top 5 tips to get off to a happy and healthy start this year.
Nourish different with Veganuary
Have you heard of Veganuary? It’s a challenge to eat entirely plant-based for January. We promote people eating what they believe is right for their mind and body, and do not advocate restrictive diets. But if you fancy trying something new and exploring fresh ways of getting the nutrients your body needs – veganuary can be pretty fun!
It’s a common misconception that plant-based diets lack protein and variety however, lentils, beans, pulses, nuts, greens and many meat substitutes are packed with protein. There’s no need to worry about your performance on the court being negatively affected, you might even see an improvement!
You can visit the official campaign website for more information and recipe ideas here
Or why not try out our Squash & Lentil Soup recipe? Take a picture & tag us on social media if you do
Stay connected to your mind
It’s easy to put your foot on the gas in January in a bid to meet resolutions and prove to yourself you can do it all or undo what has been done. The fact is, we can’t do it all at once, it’s not sustainable. So to ensure your body doesn’t take over entirely and you’re burnt out by Spring, take time to check in with your energy levels and emotions every day.
This doesn’t have to take out extra time in your day either, you can integrate your check-in with everyday activities like brushing your teeth. Ask yourself the below questions internally every night whilst brushing your teeth – then if you need to, adjust your plans the next day or week to allow for it.
- Where is my energy at on a scale of 1-10
- How do I feel today in 3 words
- If low: What do I need to improve? Rest? Help?
- If high: How can I maximise the impact of this feeling?
Become a Goal-Digger
Have you set a new years resolution? They’ve got a pretty bad reputation for being short-lived and faddish. Which, in our opinion doesn’t make for a particularly positive start to the year for your wellbeing.
Why not set a series of goals instead? Avoid broad sweeping statements such as ‘get fitter’ or ‘be more organised’. Get very specific, and be realistic. Large goals can be broken down into smaller steps, this will stop the whole thing from becoming too overwhelming. Specific goals could look like:
- Run a 7-minute mile before September 2022 leagues begin
- Win my first nationals tournament
- Connect with 1 new person a month to improve my sense of community and belonging
Charge up your personal solar panels
Our bodies are much like solar panels in that we need daylight to hold energy and function as desired. Building in a daily dose of outdoors can improve your mood and health greatly.
We know the body gets 90% of its vitamin D from casual sunlight exposure. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, it prevents osteoporosis, and it reduces inflammation – so we’d say it’s pretty essential for any enthusiastic squash player!
So don’t be put off, there’s no need to book a trip to the Bahamas (although that would be nice) to get your required dose of vitamin D, simply take a walk each day, even when it’s cloudy, if the suns up, you’ll feel the benefits.
Play more Squash!
Any exercise or physical activity will help you feel your best, but Squash really is the full package when it comes you your overall health and happiness. Yes, we’re biased, but let us explain.
Squash is one of the healthiest sports, improving your strength, flexibility and stamina all at once. It’s highly social, so you get to make and maintain friendships, and it’s accessible for all ages and abilities, anyone can be included.
All of this makes Squash a complete mental health warrior. Energising, connecting and challenging you in a safe and supportive way.
Inspired? Become a member today and #MeetYourMatch
Overall, these seem like obvious tips, eat well, move your body, have an awareness of your feelings. But ask yourself honestly how consistent you are with doing these steps.
Don’t worry, we don’t get it right every day either, but we do know how much better we feel, not to mention perform on the courts, when we prioritise these basic needs.
We would love to hear about your goals and routines for a healthy and happy year. Let us know on socials & we can share with the Squash community, the more inspiration the better!