I understand that beginning a fitness journey during lockdown can be intimidating and that motivation can be lacking, especially as gyms are currently closed. But we are here to help. Try not to let the current situation deter you from your fitness goals.
During this time, it is important to set realistic goals for your fitness. If you make workout plans that are too difficult for you to complete, it will only leave you more frustrated and de-motivated. Start slowly with your fitness routine and then increase in small steps. You will begin to feel the difference not only physically, but also find it a great relief for stress and anxiety issues. This fitness routine will also help you to create the correct mindset for post lockdown, where you will be ready to get back into work or face the world.
By doing regular fitness routines, from running to cycling, walking the dog, or simply walking outdoors, you can tone up your body and increase your energy levels. Here are my top ways to keep fit and active during lockdown:
The best way to start your exercise regime at the very simplest of levels is to take a walk around your park or garden. Increasing these to a long, brisk walk is an excellent way to keep active. Including hills within your walk are great for increasing you heart rate and mobilising your joints. Walks are a great way to benefit physically, mentally, and spiritually, and can be particularly restorative and meditative, helping to take us away from our worries and anxiety.
Aerobic Exercise at Home
With gyms being closed and exercise classes unavailable, it is a great opportunity to try an aerobic exercise routine at home. It is time for the exercise DVD to come to the rescue. Or visit YouTube, where you can find an extensive range of free exercise videos. At home exercises, such as aerobics, dance or Zumba sessions are not only fun, releasing dopamine and serotonin, but they also have the added advantage of enhancing cognitive function. Try to avoid too much high intensity routines though, as this can aggravate the stress hormones.
The most common form of outdoor exercise is running, using the space in a park or your garden. Jogging helps boost cardiovascular fitness, which makes our heart and lungs stronger and healthier, as well as being a great form of exercise for weight loss. It can also build our bones and muscles and boost our metabolism. Plus, it helps to lift the spirit, lower stress levels and provides a real energy boost. If you are running, you should aim to stabilise your breathing pattern, to help to clear your head and release tension.
Breathing & Stretching
One of the best ways to prevent injuries is by stretching out. Try yoga or Pilates, which are also a great way to increase your flexibility. When stretching you need to aim for extra-long inhales and exhales to help you to relax and lengthen muscle tissue, connecting your mind and your body. Diaphragm breathing during your stretching exercises can help relieve feelings of anxiety or stress.
We have all probably felt the effects of too much alcohol in lockdown, which seemingly at the time, offered comfort when struggling with the changes we are currently going through. However, the mood elevation is only temporary and can often be followed by a crash. Although tempting, try reducing your intake and make sure you are keeping hydrated with water.
It is also advisable to try and not run on coffee alone, especially when doing physical activity. The ups and downs that caffeine can cause, can be detrimental to your hormonal balance and your adrenal system.
When increasing your activities and workouts, make sure you drink a lot of water to replace the fluids lost, as this may lead to cramps and fatigue. Getting eight glasses of water a day not only replenishes fluids but can also help maintain your skin’s moisture.
Lockdown is easing in peak summer heat so remember to exercise at the coolest time of the day, preferably in the morning when you can burnt more fat and calories and lessen the risk of over heating your body.
The relationship between exercise and the mind, the physical and the mental, is essential. Following these simple ways to keep fit during lockdown will enable you to face your physical and mental needs as lockdown restrictions are being lifted.
If you have any further enquires about this or wish to improve your health in general, click to see my wellness services, contact me or call +44 (0)20 7240 0773.
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