Updated: May 31
Taking Care Of Your Health & Fitness During The Coronavirus 'Isolation'
Preserving a sense of normalcy is super important for people’s physical and mental well-being during this time of unrest and uncertainty.
There are many changes and disruptions to our normal lives right now, and we absolutely MUST obey and follow our government's instructions with regard to social distancing, isolation and changes - it is critical we fight this battle together and in sync. This in-turn means we will be spending weeks and months limited to just our homes and gardens - either alone or with our families - and this can seem overwhelming and a little scary for many. This is particularly a frightening scenario if you’re someone who gets the buzz provided by keeping fit and active.
However, if you know me, you'll know I push the concept of focusing on solutions rather than excuses, positives rather than negatives, the good rather than the bad! I know that by focusing on what we can control, and taking these things to the best possible position is key to how we progress and flourish going forward. So, instead of letting this time of isolation scare us, how about instead we embrace it as an opportunity to put in place a new routine which works for us, our families and those around us!?
What is available to us right now means we have so many opportunities to make this work, even if that means temporarily switching to new activities - mix things up a touch...
· football fan? why not try Pilates or yoga
· gym fanatic? become a home workout star
· runner or walker? start the day with meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises
Very often we stick to what we know or like, but new beneficial habits can be formed if you're willing to approach new things with an open and willing mind. In this article I'm going to provide my top tips for making this isolation period work for you. Take from them what you will, some of these easy-to-follow real-life tips may not be applicable to you - but many will.
1) Create An Active & Scheduled Daily Routine:
Just because your NORMAL routine may no longer be possible, it doesn't mean you can't create a NEW NORMAL routine that benefits you and those around you. It may be tempting to stay in bed, watch hours of TV and lounge in your bed clothes, but this will not serve you well mentally or physically. Short-term it is the easy thing to do, but long term it will have an extremely detrimental affect on your health and wellbeing - and doing the simple tasks will become harder and harder should you go down this route.
Rising at the same time every day, doing some exercise first thing to get the body moving, getting showered/dressed and making a nutritious breakfast will set you in a better frame of mind to approach the day. From there you will build by having set work times, set breaks and a regular bed-time - we often don't like the thought of routine, but it is an absolute keystone of human success!
2) Bodyweight Workouts:
We may not have the squat rack, the resistance machines, the dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells that we have available at the gym, but our bodies are a more than able replacement!
And that's not even taking into account the household items which could be used as makeshift weights! There are multiple variations of squats, lunges, press-ups, sit-ups, crunches, plank and mountain climbers which can be used to get you into amazing shape.
You may need to do some extra reps/sets to get the same burn when working out from home rather than at the gym with weights, but you can do it.
3) Eating The Right Way:
Despite the panic buying and empty shelves in many supermarkets, we must eat as healthy as possible. A healthy diet will not just keep you feeling great, it will help your mood and strengthen your immune system - which is super important, especially at this time. Despite the panic buying, there is no shortage of overall food. Whilst certain foods may become unavailable the key is that we maintain a healthy balanced diet that limits 'junk / processed foods' and contains the macros, micros and vitamins and minerals we need.
This is a great opportunity to 'try new things', switch your diet around and go for the foods that aren't so popular and hence left on the shelves! I never was a fan of loo roll spaghetti anyway! This is also a great time to support small local businesses such as farm-shops, milkmen and local grocers who source their produce locally or grow it their-selves.
4) The Art Of Meditation:
During times of stress and anxiety it is super beneficial to meditate (or complete breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques). Meditation is the practice of training the mind into a state of mental clarity. There are lots of apps available, such as 'Headspace' and '1 Giant Mind', which have lots of methods to direct and teach you how to successfully meditate.
It takes time and practice to master the art of meditation, but once you have it you'll have a 'go to' super power to focus and calm the mind.
5) Resistance Bands:
If utilised correctly, resistance band exercises can provide much of the benefits traditional weight training brings in regards to effective fat burning and muscle growth, all from the comfort of your living room! They can also be effective when used in warm up / cool down stretches or added to weight based exercises to add a more constant tensioning. From a safety perspective they also tick all the boxes (just don’t let go when fully stretched!)
Read more about resistance band training here
Health and fitness of the mind is as important, if not more so, than that of the body.
Therefore, in these times of social distancing and isolation it is extremely important we don't lose touch with our close friends and family. I call my parents a minimum of every two nights at the moment, and am regularly in contact with friends via messenger services such as WhatsApp, Facebook and LinkedIn - as well as phone calls. I am also creating and sharing health, fitness and motivational content and distributing them across my various online platforms - and engaging/interacting with the people who read and watch them. The latest is my Facebook Everyday Fitness Accountability Group where I am posting workouts, challenges, fitness articles, motivation, competitions and much more daily - click here to join
7) Eliminate Bad Habits:
This is the PERFECT time to quit those bad habits which have been holding you back for so long! It may be excessive drinking of alcohol, it may be smoking, it may be gambling, eat may be scoffing down junk food or it may be the use of drugs. Whilst things are changing, why not use this time to replace bad habits with habits which benefit you and see you in a much better place once we come out the other side of this coronavirus crisis? You'll most certainly thank yourself for it later!
8) Take Care Of Your Mental Health:
Self-isolating gives us a lot of time to think, and its commonplace for many to experience massive life dissatisfaction as a result, particularly in the dark early hours of morning.
A helpful way to view this is as a different period of time in our lives, and not necessarily a bad one, even if we can't control it. See this as a chance to be in touch with ourselves and others in different ways than usual - see it as a challenge rather than a disaster, and aim to come through it in the best position you possibly can.
I'd also advise you:
· limit the amount of news and coronavirus related items you watch and read
· celebrate the things important to you - the birthdays, the anniversaries, the dates - even if you have to do it in a unique way
· focus on the things you can control, and not the things you can't.
Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Wash Your Hands and Do The Right Things Daily!
Any questions just get in touch
Ian David Worthington | GymWolfPT.com
➡️ Email email@example.com