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UoW Staff Wellness - Activate Don't Hibernate!

1 Jul 2014

We all know it’s easier to stay indoors at this time of year. Whilst sitting at my desk the rain is pelting down and I’m not looking forward to the mad dash to my car sans-umbrella at the end of day… However, with a few tips from Luka Karalus at Get It Fitness – the Personal Training service at UniRec, I’m fairly convinced I’ll stay lean and mean this winter. If you missed it, check out my top tips wrap up or chat to the team at Get It Fitness - /


1. Avoid getting SADD, especially from May to August. Keep moving by getting out into the sun. Lunch time is a great time to get outdoors and refresh. And in case you were wondering… no, you don’t get the D hit through the windows, so get out into the green.

2. Immunity Rules. It’s easy to succumb to a bug or virus this time of year especially when friends or colleagues turn up sneezing. Get ultimate strength or top up nutrition by making sure you include vitamins and minerals in your diet (Vit C, Zinc); do 30 mins of physical in each day, get 8 hours sleep and keep warm.

3. Keep strong with good nutrition! Don’t weaken your immunity by lapsing into a poor nutrition regime (planning is key), moderate alcohol intake and stress levels, don’t over-exercise, make sure you keep up your hygiene standards (wash your hands to avoid germs).

4. Invest in nutrition. Eat a variety of natural foods which have a high anti-oxidant value:

  • Wholegrain options
  • Natural: fruit, veges, nuts, cereals, seeds, legumes
  • Antioxidants: broccoli, green leafy veges, tomatoes, carrots, green team mushroom, berries
  • Zinc: lean beef, oysters

5. Avoid comfort eating. Although this harks back to our evolutionary past (store food for fat for warmth and protection to survive), we can still keep serotonin levels up with a few key tips:

  • Go for foods that include carbs
  • Have healthy alternatives on hand
  • Control portions
  • And, the old fave – chew slowly

6. Stay hydrated. Did you know water is 60% of our bodyweight? Water is a natural toxin flusher, not only aiding digestion, it assists with brain function, regulates body temp and assists with joint lubrication. If you’re thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. At the end of the day, sparkling or still, nourish your body by getting it into your system.

  • Recommends: 3L for men, 2.2 for women (more if exercising a lot)
  • Reduce caffeine / alcohol intake
  • Take a bottle to work / class

7. Sleep – target 7-9 hours. If there’s not enough shut-eye we’re likely to experience increased appetite (esp for high carb and fatty food); impaired immune response, altered glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function. We’re susceptible to high-blood pressure; weight gain, decreased immunity, Type 2 diabetes and moodiness. With a bit of planning and time set aside to ‘wind down’, scheduled sleep can easily be maintained. Another tip - avoid the blue light of tech devices (turn off 2 hours beforehand) and tuck yourself into bed.

8. Stress – the fight or flight response. Learn how to manage stress, when to say no and, how to relax. Try yoga, light stretching, a bath or alone time to make you disconnect from the busy world surrounding us. Know your triggers and learn how to manage them so that you can step away from the pressure and stop the cortisol ’stress’ hormone releasing.

If this is always ‘on’ long term, the consequences can be quite negative and include; high blood pressure, increased abdominal fat, decreased muscle tissue and bone density, blood sugar imbalances, lowered immunity

9. Get moving! Physical activity is your friend! Yes we’re up against short days in winter, but there are ways around it and Luka has plenty of ideas… training for an event, playing a winter sport, finding a buddy and utilising lunch breaks to get outdoors. At the end of the day, nothing changes, nothing changes. So, by changing up your routine you’re giving yourself a shot at feeling better. Luka passed on a great circuit that can be done at home in just 20 minutes using bodyweight as resistance!

10. Have fun – Don’t take yourself so seriously. Moderation is the key and small changes are much more likely to last in the long term. Good luck and let us know how you’re getting on here at UniRec! 

For more information about UoW Staff Wellness, visit the website.

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