My Week at Uni – Final Year Baby!

Before lectures began, I felt all the feels about this coming year at uni. I felt excited to be nearly at the end, impatient to be at the end, anxious about how it will be without in person lectures and pretty much every other emotion in between. Semester 1 I only have 1 module (Nutrition and Performance) and my research project. All my option modules are in semester 2 so I’ll be busy in 2021!

As expected our first lectures were introductory and mainly full of tech issues and people asking the same questions they ask for every assessment. Not the most productive week but at least we got that out of the way! Our first lecture was delayed due to the intro section going on so long that we had a recording of last year’s lecture instead. Our first tutorial was a little slow going and we spent a lot of time just working through a worksheet (reminded me of primary school!) We ended the week with an introductory session for our undergrad research project which is our big project over the year and is worth a lot of our grade. The session itself was not particularly useful but I’ve spent some time this week scheduling in time to all my different assessments and make sure I keep on track with work this semester and don’t cause myself more work next year!

I’ve got an assessment this year which involves working with a client to provide them with a nutritional plan to help them improve a performance area. If you might be interested in getting some free nutritional advice surrounding physical performance follow me on Instagram. I’ll be putting out a message next week to recruit someone.

So it wasn’t the most exciting week but the enjoyable thing about studying online was that I was able to study from home and this week from home wasn’t in London but out in the countryside. I was lucky enough to be able to cat sit for family this week which made the transition from holiday back to uni and work a little bit easier! I’m going to miss having a cat around next week, back to the craziness of London. Next week will be back to more of a normal routine and schedule, it’ll be interesting to see how I feel at the end of the week!

Personal learning this week: Be more cat – make relaxation and stillness a priority, not an afterthought.

Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:

  • Low carb diet is the main limit to physical performance – in all my lectures the one thing we keep coming back to is how much limiting our carbohydrate intake limits our body’s physical performance. It also limits our mental performance being our brain’s preferred fuel. If you’re trying to improve your fitness/physical performance in a sport maybe take a look at your carbohydrate intake.
  • Promising new study to regrow knee cartilage – A new study has looked into using a molecule called ‘agrin’ to help activate dormant stem cells to help repair knee cartilage injuries. This is not something the body does itself and it can lead to a lot of problems including osteoarthritis. Finding a molecule which may be able to help without invasive surgery or creating new cartilage where its not wanted is amazing.
  • COVID-19 and the pandemic has altered our brains – COVID-19 can have some really adverse impacts on the brain, it impacts our olfactory bulb (responsible for our sense of smell) and can impact areas associated with it, such as, or amygdala and hippocampus. It can have a huge impact on our mood and pleasure levels. Even if we haven’t had COVID-19, the pandemic itself can similarly impact our brain chemistry through stress, worry and isolation. A recent study has shown that mindfulness and exercise can really help improve the density of our grey matter, particularly around our hippocampus, helping to relieve some of the impact and problems we may be facing with our cognitive and mental functioning.

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