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Covid-19 A Health and Fitness Perspective
In the blink of an eye everyone's worlds have been turned upside down.
2 weeks into lock down and most of us are only now managing to establish some form of daily routine, whether it's juggling full time jobs and childcare or being faced with the reality of being placed on furlough.
Unless you are a key worker, one thing remains certain.
We are all housebound for now and the immediate future.
I'm sure some of you will be highly stressed with the huge disruption to your usual life and my first piece of advice is ridiculously simple
...take a step back and breathe.
It's important now that the goal posts have changed to take stock of your overall situation, get organised and create some positive and productive habits to make the best of a bad situation.
What our members have said they are struggling with the most
1. A loss and lack of daily structure
2. Mindless snacking out of boredom and convenience
3. Settling for low quality meals as shops have reduced stock of fresh healthy items
4. A lack of knowledge with how to exercise without access to a gym or equipment
5. An overall drop in motivation to exercise in general
The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it is the main things that are members are saying again and again when we are checking in to see how they are.
Our advice to overcome these obstacles
1. No longer having to be up at a set time, no commute or set breaks will make it harder to remain in sync with your usual daily routines.
With that being said, to overcome this hurdle you must get organised and plan your day, regardless of how silly that may sound when you are sat at home. Begin by establishing a time you want to wake up that will mean you are productive and feel your most energised. Next, plan in the essentials such as washing, mealtimes and any other non-negotiable commitments such as childcare. Then plan a window of time in your daily calendar which you will dedicate to yourself with exercise. I want you to make this a set time in your day when you won't be distracted or easily put off due to the "traffic" from the other parts of your day. Be firm and make this appointment for yourself. You can do this on a day-by-day basis, but we find Sunday evening is usually a great time to sit down for 5 minutes and map out your week.
2. You might find that you are starting to build a gradual tan from the internal light in your fridge as it's open so much! Working from home and snacking are usually a recipe for disaster for many of us and our diets.
We are now only able to go and get food when it is necessary. So, when you do go shopping, avoid buying lots of snacky foods. Put the importance on the main meals for the day. With this in mind, we advise that you fill your trolley with 90% high quality, wholesome foods and the other 10% for snacks, treats or whatever else floats your boat. If you are someone that likes a snack, then look at getting some fruit or veg to pick at when you feel you want something. Remember that the most important part is to put the emphasis on eating good wholesome meals throughout the day so that you don't mindlessly rack up calories on low quality snacks through boredom.
3. Buying food at the moment isn't quite as easy as we are used to. With the shelves being a lot emptier for certain items, getting all the foods we want can be a real challenge.
We are encouraging our members to focus on high quality, nutritious foods that are going to make them feel great right now. As with everything, having a plan in place makes a big difference so why not plan what you will have for breakfasts, lunch and dinners and make a shopping list from these items. Why not put in an order at your local butcher or go to a farm shop (Tulleys Farm) and get some fresh fruits and vegetables. This does take a little more time, but a lot of us have plenty of that at the moment. Being able to eat fresh foods and make good wholesome meals, will play a big part in keeping your mental and physical health on track right now. It would be very easy to press the "Self-destruct" button and cave into copious amounts of alcohol and takeaways but try to think to yourself "will this help me in the long run?"
4. Gyms and fitness facilities are closed for the foreseeable future but that doesn't mean that you need or should stop exercising- far from it!
So, what should you do now? The honest answer is "whatever you can."
If you have no gym equipment but have a pair of running trainers and a bike, then get outside and go for a run or cycle each day.
If you don't have either, then getting out for a walk each day is going to make you feel great and help clear your head.
If you want something a little more intense, then maybe try out some HIIT routines you can find online. Alternatively, if you are super stressed then how about some stretch or yoga sessions through YouTube?
Our advice is to try to be as active as you can. Structure your week and have set days to do set things, that way you can keep it a part of your day and week and when this all blows over, we hope that you will have built some positive lifestyle habits that you can take forwards with you into the future.
5. Motivation is something that we all struggle with in normal day to day life, and this of course isn't reserved for the current situation we find ourselves in.
Our advice is simply to focus on what you enjoy doing. You will not only do it more often if you enjoy it, but it will make you feel good too. Adherence and enjoyment are two key fundamentals for any health and fitness regime and these factors are even more important now than ever.
With all that being said, the most important things are to do what you can and don't start adding additional stress into what is already a very stressful time for us all.
Our take home message...
If all you can do is walk, then that's great. Just try and keep active and look after yourself.
Enjoy a beer or a glass of wine if you like.
Have some chocolate and a pizza on a Friday night if that's what you enjoy.
But with everything taken into account do try and find balance and structure your days with a healthy diet and with a form of exercise you enjoy and can stick to.
If you would like to hear more from us or join our FREE online health and fitness page on Facebook follow the link HERE
If you'd like to know more about working with us, then please visit www.sp-pt.com
Stay strong, keep safe.
Owner and Coach at SPPT (Royce Road, Manor Royal)