How to stay fit and active during lock down?
So we are in lock down, and suddenly our life as we know it is thrown upside down.The home environment offers abundant opportunity to be sedentary (sitting or reclining) which can easily turn in to feeling lethargic and lazy.
While self-isolation measures are necessary, our bodies and minds still need exercise to function well, prevent weight gain and keep your moods up especially during these challenging times. The latest science tells us that exercise and movement boosts our immune systems, and that a single workout can amplify and improve our ability to fight off disease.
We need to consider ways to limit the effects of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as its wider impact of contributing to the long-term chronic disease crisis. Physical inactivity is a global public health problem, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), physical inactivity cost approximately 3.2 million lives a year globally and this is before restrictive conditions were in place.
Any activity is better than none – the more activity – the more physical and mental benefits!
How much physical Activity should you do?
Global recommendations are for all adults to accumulate at least (bare minimum) of 150minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. As well as strength training with weights or body weight activity on at least 2 or more days per week.
If you haven’t been compliant to these recommendations even before lockdown, don’t stress, it’s been said that it takes 21 days to adjust to a new habit and 21 days to break a bad habit. Perfect timing.
The key question is how can we meet these guidelines when restricted to our home environment?
- Make your body move every day. Set aside some time to move. Diarize it if you must. No more excuses. By moving your body at least 30 min per day you can improve your body’s ability to fight illness and disease.
- Working from home? Take regular breaks from continuous sitting in front of your computer, tablet, or smartphone every 20 to 30 minutes. For example, you could take a few minutes break to walk around the house, take some fresh air on the balcony, in the garden or yard.
- Set up a workout corner. Set up a mat, and whatever equipment you may have. When you are taking your breaks between working bouts (or TV bouts) take a moment to stretch or do some squats, anything, just move. If you have a set place it will make this easier for you to instil a habit.
- Have stairs at home? Make them your best friend – Using the stairs is an extremely time-efficient way to maintain fitness. As little as three 20-second fast stair climbs a day can improve fitness in only six weeks.
- Have Kids? Give them the play time they have always wanted. Lock down has created a good opportunity to bond more with our families through active play. Be silly and have some fun.
- Don’t have equipment? You don’t need any fancy equipment. You can use water bottles or wine bottles to do basic movements to keep your muscles toned and tight.
- House chores. Doing chores at home counts as cardio, in my books anyway.
- Be creative. Be creative and have some fun. Most of us aren’t as adaptive or creative. But we all need to exercise. There are copious amounts of ways to keep moving, it doesn’t always have to be structured exercise. Dancing around is a great form of physical activity.
- Join a virtual class. This is perfect for those missing your exercise community. Join a virtual session to stay connected as well as giving your muscles some strengthening.
- Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to getting stronger and fitter.
Follow some online workouts, I have some great home workouts available. If you need more accountability – I have a 21-day active living plan on an app, which keeps you accountable and motivated during this time, its available and live!
- Do not stand in your own way. Explore the options. Set a goal, commit yourself and make a change.
The end goal during self-isolation is to prevent long term physical and mental health damage by sitting less, moving as often as possible, and aiming to maintain our fitness by following some of these simple tips.
If you have any questions or need some health and exercise ideas, I welcome you to get in touch!
Use this time wisely, and become a better, healthier and more resilient version of yourself!