I can’t quite believe we are well into the second year of this pandemic but do see that many of us have found ourselves in one or other of two camps. Those that have taken advantage of the opportunity to partake in more exercise and those that like me have taken the opportunity to raid the cookie jar and pile on the pounds.
So regular exercise and a balanced diet may well see you come out of the pandemic with a ‘new normal’ – slimmer and fitter!!
It is recommended that we should all aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Easier said than done in normal circumstances, but how about now when social distancing, self-isolating or even in lock-down. It should be easier but with the anxiety and distractions of life as it is now it may seem more difficult. That’s why getting into a routine for exercise as well as making a plan for each day may help both body and mind.
Ideas to help you stay fit and healthy
Most of the planet will have shut their gyms by the time you read this, or if you are Chinese you may have these opening soon. Many of you will be social distancing or self-isolating – some will be in full lock-down and this situation is unlikely to change anytime soon, and by soon I mean many, many months.
I suggest that key to us getting through this Coronavirus Pandemic without going stir-crazy is to get into some positive routines. Here I aim to give some ideas for keeping fit, or even getting fitter at home.
1: WAKE UP AND SHAKE UP.
Get going in the morning – Greenberg and Spotify’s data team found that a song you’re playing to help you wake up should have the following three elements:
- It should build: It has to nudge you out of bed gently and then gradually get your energy levels up.
- It should be positive: A song about heartbreak is not going to encourage you to get out from under the covers.
- It should have a strong beat: If a song makes you feel like dancing—especially if it emphasises “beats 2 and 4 of each measure—usually with the bass and drums—with a BPM of approximately 100 to 130,” you’re not going to want to say in bed.
Whatever your situation it’s likely you will be sitting a great deal more than usual so after a nights sleep you may find that without your usual constitutional walk to the shop etc. you’ll be a lot stiffer and this will only get worse with inactivity.
3: GET OUTDOORS
Now this may not be possible or wise. If you do go outside – and PLEASE follow government advice here – keep away from humans – preferably 2M+. If you do have a garden then most of us will admit that most of us haven’t got this anything close to award winning standards so even tidying up and pulling weeds will improve matters as well as being good exercise!
Strut Your Stuff! Connecting with nature is PROVEN to make you happier too!
Mowing, raking, lifting and digging are excellent all-round exercises. But some gardening tasks are great for tackling particular “problem” parts of the body:
Gluteals/bottoms: Weeding while squatting.
Abdominals/ stomach and torso: Weeding on hands and knees, hoeing, strimming, picking, turning compost and starting a mower.
Thighs: Pushing a wheelbarrow, weeding while squatting.
Back: Weeding on hands and knees, hoeing, carrying water cans, picking, and starting a lawnmower.
Arms and shoulders: Weeding on hands and knees, hoeing, pushing a wheelbarrow, pruning and turning compost.
OK – You may be in lockdown but even in a small apartment there will be room to create a course around the furniture etc. Why not time this and see if you can do more circuits each day? If you have stairs then this will make things even easier – If you are anything like me then walking into a room or getting to the top of the stairs is often followed by an ever increasing thought bubble “…now what did I come here for?” – lets make it a positive and use it to get fit – 10,000 steps and never leaving the house – now that’s a challenge!
Put on some music and turn up the volume! For runners songs that are 120 to 125 Beats per Minute (BPM) for a jog and 140 to 145 BPM for all-out effort 180 beats per minute is recommended – but take it easy and don’t fall over the furniture!
5: GET OFF YOUR BACKSIDE
Don’t become a couch potato, survive Corona and get fat increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Deep Vein Thrombosis – Blood Clots in the legs etc. are more common when we are inactive – flying ‘cattle class’, in a hospital bed etc. So get up and shake up – walk away from the fridge – we all eat more when we are bored!
Follow these five top tips to help keep you moving throughout the day.
- Try to take regular breaks from looking at a screen. If watching television, get up in every ad break.
- Stand instead of sitting when you can.
- Stand up at work. …
- Plan in some active time when you are usually sedentary. …
- Set time limits on sedentary behaviour.
6: ONLINE CLASSES
Yoga and other forms of ‘studio’ exercise classes are likely unavailable currently. However there are a lot of pre-recorded videos available free on-line. But do think about the teachers most of whom would have been freelance and self employed and are now stuck at home like you and unable to earn. Some will be doing classes on-line and I’m sure they would welcome some help too – maybe a barter system will come out of all of this – you get the Yoga, they get a Music or Spanish lesson!?!?
Yoga – Dog Pose.
There’s much more – even lifting furniture or the heavy items in the store cupboard will help – If you have any ideas to share please contact me.