Fitness in Lockdown

Lockdown 3 is tough. It is by far the toughest one for me. This lockdown is now about just surviving. Getting through each day and waking up trying to get through the next. Fitness has taken a back seat for many.

In today’s world, fitness goes hand in hand with weight loss. If you want to lose weight you have to start exercising. Many people associate fitness with losing weight and so it becomes difficult to remind people what fitness really is.

Health and fitness is what goes on inside the body. Your heart, lungs, muscles, organs, your brain. Are they healthy? Are you sleeping well at night and managing stress? Are your hips and knees moving pain free or do you have aches and pains all over your body every day? This is health and fitness. Not diets, painkillers and poor mental health.

This lockdown is forcing us to find a mental strength and resilience we didn’t think we had. This strength doesn’t just appear overnight. You have to work on it.  Many people have asked me over the last number of weeks how to “just get motivated again”. The honest answer? You can’t. There is no magic pill. No amazing inspirational words of advice I can say to you now that will just make this struggle go away. Motivation is something that comes and goes. It is habits and a routine that will keep you on track. Habits take time to build. Time is all we have now, so you might as well give it a try.

Walking is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The most underrated form of exercise there is. Start with walking. Pick one day a week and just go for a walk. Walk in the rain if you must. Don’t worry about your step count, don’t worry about how far your walking or how long it may be taking you. Just get out and walk.

Most gyms are teaching online classes at the moment. Ask a few questions, enquire about a class and see if the time suits. Always book in and pay for it beforehand. Once it is paid for you will be less likely to cancel.

Focus on just how you feel. Don’t worry about any of the external factors. Write down a list of how you feel. If you are always tired, your body is sore, can’t sleep at night, put them all down on a piece of paper to remind yourself why getting that little bit of exercise will make such a such difference. Leave weight loss out of it for the first few weeks and just exercise to feel better in yourself.

If you have a bubble or your living with other people ask them to join you. We are all missing the social connection at the moment. A huge reason why people exercise is to meet new people and to get out of the house for a while. Adapt the same thinking to your walks or online classes. Ask a friend or a family member to join you. Set a time and a day and do it. Bring your kids out for a walk or a cycle a few times a week. Some days you may have to force yourself, absolutely, but it will become a habit eventually.

This lockdown is not going anywhere anytime soon. The best thing to do now is just fully adapt your life to it. Try not to focus on what you could or should be doing, where you should be going, the parties you can’t have or the friends around the country and world you can’t see. Adapt your life to what we have now. Make small changes and include exercise when you can. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Health and fitness is about how you feel. Focus on helping yourself feel just a little bit better as we navigate through these times.

– Alison


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