Keeping fit during the Covid-19 lockdown!01st May * 3 min read
It’s almost too easy to go off the rails during this lockdown. We’ve seen so many of our gym members change their behaviours to now include over eating, a reduction in physical activity and no exercise. In our opinion, this will not help us from a health, wellness or wellbeing point of view in the long term.
We’ve now been in lockdown for over 6 weeks. It’s crucially important that we remain as active as possible. Even though gyms and leisure clubs are closed, there are plenty of other options available to you. These may include but are not limited to:
- Body weight training in the house or garden. If done correctly, body weight training can be challenging. There are several ways you can increase the intensity of body weight training and these include: tempo training (increasing the duration of each rep at its different stages to increase the muscles time under tension), include 1 & 1/4 reps, include isometric training and increase frequency or volume.
- Purchase cheap and easy to store equipment such as resistance bands. The SW7 Academy has released a full training programme structured around the use of resistance bands to increase intensity and to replace gym equipment where possible – we recommend following them or someone similar. Other cheap and easy to store equipment include gymnastic rings and suspension training straps.
- Steps. Now that the majority of us are working from home, the overall number of steps we walk every day has, in most cases, reduced significantly. Remember – a reduction in energy expenditure and no comparative reduction in the calories consumed on a daily basis will over time in result in weight and fat gain. Also, in our opinion, going for walks and runs whilst obviously complying with the government guideline sin terms of social distancing, will not only help retain levels of health and fitness but will also help improve mental health.
- If you have children, playing games with them in the garden can also contribute to your activity levels. Anything that elevates your heart rate, promotes movement and burns energy will help you maintain fitness and health during the lockdown.
Many of our students and recently qualified Personal Trainers are using virtual groups and online platforms to deliver remote training sessions to clients but to also keep in contact. In a lot of cases it is reported by clients that the lack of accountability is the primary reason why they stop adhering to plans and often go off the rails. The lockdown is not ideal for continuing to lead an active lifestyle but, there are ways to achieve it as outlined above. And, if you are not currently working with a personal trainer, then why not set up a group of friends to keep each other accountable and motivated to stay and remain active. It can be as simple as tracking each others steps every day via a WhatsApp group or a bi-daily Zoom call. Not only will this help keep you accountable but it might stop people feeling lonely and isolated in such difficult times.
Other side effects from not remaining active and not exercising regularly during the lockdown include low levels of confidence, poor sleep patterns, over eating and feelings of anxiety and stress. The psychological side effects are equally as important as the physical consequences from not exercising during this lockdown. The Covid-19 restrictions organically cause feelings of stress and uncertainty so, exercise becomes even more important in our opinion to help mitigate its effects.
For more information on mental health and how exercise can support positive psychological effects, please checkout other recent articles here:
We hope you found this short article helpful and insightful. From everyone at Skills College UK and Fitness HQ, we wish you the best of health and please stay safe.