It’s fair to say that there have been a few mixed messages around the world over recent months. But one area in which advice in every nation has been consistent has been the need for everyone to look after their health and wellbeing during lockdown.
The problem is plain to see – those who follow a regular fitness regime are likely to let it slide with gyms closed, events postponed and so on. Meanwhile those who don’t exercise well or watch their diets will find their habits get even worse if they are never leaving the house.
Of course, for exactly those reasons, staying fit, healthy and active during periods of lockdown can be easier said than done. Here are some practical tips that anyone can follow to help you maintain your resolve and your fitness levels during these difficult times.
Don’t go it alone
That might sound counter-intuitive when the current efforts are all about staying away from other people, but this is where social media is your friend. If you’re into hashtags, then #HomeFitness will lead you to hundreds of different diets and workout plans.
There’s literally something for everyone, whether you’re preparing for your next ultra marathon, you’re someone who hasn’t properly exercised for years, or you fall somewhere in the middle.
Research over in the US found that the first lockdown led to five times more weight gain than the nation typically sees during the Christmas holidays. Survey participants who admitted to more snacking gained an average 7lb (3.15 Kg).
Now, there’s nothing wrong with snacking per se – it is more a case of being selective and exercising self-discipline over what and when. Our wholegrain flapjacks have no added salt but are packed full of healthy nutrients. They offer a delicious and guilt-free way to keep you satiated and alert during that mid-afternoon slump.
Be ready to improvise
Not all of us have home gyms or a pile of spare cash with which to remodel and convert the spare room. That doesn’t mean you are restricted to push-ups and stretches, though, only that you might have to improvise a little.
Again, social media can be your best friend here, especially platforms like Pinterest. Use a search term like “homemade workout equipment” and you’ll see everything from carefully crafted benches that use amazing woodwork skills to weights created in no time flat from water bottles and tins of beans.
Be like Jenny Logan
If you were watching TV in the early 80s, you will know Jenny as the “shake n vac lady.” Now dancing around in high heels while trying to avoid tripping over the vacuum cleaner might not be the best idea, but “active housework” really does burn calories.
In fact, half an hour of gardening uses about 200 calories, while thoroughly cleaning an average-sized flat can equate to going for a five-mile run if you set about it with enthusiasm. So why not turn up your favourite tunes and kill two birds with one stone?