Staying active in lockdown.
Maybe not the case for everyone, but it seems like, as a nation, through our imposed lockdown, we’ve fallen a little bit in love with, dare I say it – exercise and staying active in lockdown.
Yes. I said a little bit in love.
I’ve seen many a comment and post which surprisingly when referring to those things which they miss from our pre-covid19 life, the gym and consistent use of exercise was mentioned. And I totally get that.
Covid-19 and lockdown have changed us all, in so many ways, and will continue to. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying, which I’ve mentioned before, that I struggled initially with the impact of COVID-19 and then lockdown. Though a creature of habit and routine, it wasn’t necessarily the changes, more a fear of the potential of the virus itself.
However, after that first week and beyond, I’ve made a conscious effort to make exercise, however little, a staple part of mine and my family’s new life.
Staying Active In Lockdown Benefits.
There really are so many benefits to exercise, here’s three;
- Control Weight – I’m sure we’ve all been comfort eating through these weeks/months and why the hell not. The only downside being to this indulging is that with potentially less time working and moving our bodies, a few extra lbs may be gained. So get up and make a change.
- Mental Stability – We’re in unprecedented uncertain times at the moment. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and just want to curl up until the storm passes. I know. I’ve been there. Speaking from a better place, fresh air and quality time to yourself can make a world of a difference and give some clarity to fog of thoughts in your brain.
- Helps With Relaxation And Sleep – This goes beyond the fact that exercise can be bloody knackering, so of course, you’ll sleep well afterward. But yeah. It’s also basically that. Physical activity can add to the amount of length of ‘deep sleep’ that you have. This type of sleep is important as it is during this time that your body ‘restores’. Thus helping/improving the immune system, cardiac state as well as lowering stress levels. I’ve found a new geeky enjoyment from viewing the sleep tracker on my fitness watch over the last year of having it.
There are plenty of other benefits, such as; social interaction, brain health, and increased energy levels.
What You Can Do.
It’s easy to jump straight on the negative mindset as soon as exercise is mentioned. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that a ten-mile run, hike or being pushed to your limits at the gym for an hour springs to mind, along with a good dose of dread. However, it really doesn’t have to be that way. We all have to start somewhere and ultimately, exercise should be fun and done within a person’s individual means and ability.
So some simple pointers that I personally work to are;
- 30 minutes of exercise a day, minimum – thirty minutes isn’t all that long. Let’s be honest. Half a lunch break. And I hear you mums out there – if you had thirty minutes ‘free’ a day, you’d really have to weigh up the pros and cons of a warm brew, going to the toilet in peace, finally putting the washing away or thirty minutes of exercise. I get it. it’s thinking outside of the box. I try and use nap time to go for a run if my husband is home. Walking to school is currently out, which used to equate to forty-five minutes a day, so I try and get out twice a day – morning and afternoon with the boys on their bikes, dragging the dog along too. This adds up to an hour a day and leads to the next point.
- doing minimum 10,000 steps a day – It may seem like a lot, but honestly, you’d be surprised how many steps you do in a day. Working? Think about how often you get up for a brew, to go to the toilet, your lunch break, walking to the car/bus stop. As a parent at home, I know I’m on my feet a lot and taking the above pointer of thirty minutes exercise a day, 10,000 steps isn’t hard.
I’ve also personally found and have benefited a lot from having a smart fitness watch. It’s a great way to be held accountable for your daily life and choices. Logging goals, weight, daily food intake, and daily exercise allows you to see and ultimately change some potentially poor choices. I’d suggest research women’s sports watches to find one that best suits your needs. I recently upgraded to one with a heart rate feature. this could really be beneficial to those who are looking to exercise within a certain bpm but also for those who may suffer with heart issues.
How have you been staying active in lockdown? Have you struggled? Or have you jumped on the fitness bandwagon?