Amara Mcguire

Staying active is extremely important and now more than ever as it will have a positive impact on your mental health as well. With the closure of gyms and parks during this pandemic, we now have an opportunity to try a new way of exercising and keeping active at home during lockdown or social distancing.

Keep realistic Goals

Since 10,000 steps is probably not a realistic goal if you are practicing physical distancing or working from home, what is your new normal? To begin with, make it a point to move for two minutes every hour. This is perhaps a more realistic every day goal to help ensure you are not sitting for hours at a time at your system or on the couch. For instance, my FitBit has a ‘reminder to move’ option to remind me to get on my feet and get moving. Try something similar or set an alarm to stay on track.

With limited to no equipment at hand, the next step is to assess the resources you have to work with. Be it stairs, a backyard, an old fitness kit stowed away in the attic or garage, you can use any resource available to help you stay active.  Adapting is the key to achieving your fitness goals during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Maximize movement, not the intensity  

Keep in mind that physios and massages are not going to be available to you for the short term so it might not be advisable to try and aim for breaking world records at this time.

For starters, indulge in some housework which is a great way to keep fit. Go up and down a flight of stairs several times a day which is a great form of cardio and if you have backyard (aka green gym) make full use of it and take out a couple of hours each day to get some workout done.

If you are a regular tea drinker, you probably get up every hour to make yourself a cup of tea. Make the two minutes it takes to boil water in the kettle active minutes. Do some lunges or squats. It will be helpful to note that lunges help with walking well (without a shuffle) and squats help with getting up and down from chairs easily.

Monitor calorie intake

Remember, moving less means lower calorie intake is required. Your body will naturally self-regulate. If you are prone to comfort or boredom eating you may need to find other ways to keep yourself occupied.

Always keep fruits at hand or a jar of dried fruits for snacks. Replace your unhealthy habits with clean meals and treat yourself with a triple decker sandwich only when you have met your fitness goals for the day.

Regular movement is an important part of wellbeing so try to stay as active as possible at home. Build your immunity and remain healthy, it’s all in your own hands.

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