It can be a real challenge to find the motivation to stay fit during lockdown. Now that we’re all trapped indoors and unable to visit the gym to work on ourselves, loads of people are struggling to force themselves to maintain their fitness. If you’re one of these people, we’ve collected some tips to help you stop a growing lockdown tum, and stay fit until things get back to normal.
So let’s take a look at our guide to staying fit during lockdown!
This is undoubtedly the most important step when it comes to staying fit. You have to continue to exercise regularly, otherwise your fitness will fade. You don’t have to do a lot either, half an hour of exercise, or even 5-10 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) each day is enough to keep you fit and healthy.
If you’re struggling to find inspiration about the exercises you can do within your four walls, here are 12 exercises you can do at home.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Now that you’re spending a lot more time at home, it can be tempting to let your diet slip too. Why spend ages preparing a healthy meal, when you can simply pop a frozen meal in the oven?
Unfortunately, that frozen meal contains very few actual nutrients and isn’t likely to help your body stay healthy at all. If you want to build or even maintain your muscle mass and fitness level, you need to be just as careful with what you put in your body, as well as what you do with it.
Take Vitamin Supplements
Since most places are now closed, it can be difficult to find the same variation in food that you're used to. In that case, why not consider taking some supplemental vitamins to ensure that your body is continuing to perform at optimal efficiency.
It’s best to look for supplements that allow your body to absorb as much as possible, like Vita-C. It’s a liquid supplement that coats the vitamin molecules in lipids, to allow your body to absorb it more efficiently and in much higher quantities. This way you can be sure your body is getting enough, especially since most tablets only provide you with around 20% of the stated dosage.
Humans are social creatures. Therefore, it stands to reason that we don’t cope too well if we’re kept apart from others for prolonged periods. Unfortunately, when you’re trapped in the house and not allowed to see other people, this can be extremely difficult. That’s why speaking to your friends through video-calling on Skype, Zoom, or Facetime is vitally important.
It’s not the same as meeting up in real life, but it’s important to try and find alternatives in lockdown life. If you and a group of friends would meet up for a coffee on Friday afternoons, then keep doing it. Make yourselves some coffee, start a group call, and imagine that you’re all at your favourite cafe chatting about whatever.
It’s important to keep doing the little things, because if you don’t then the solitude of lockdown life is going to hit you harder. Should your mental health fall, your physical health will soon follow.
Get Regular, Consistent Sleep
Going to sleep at a similar time every night is one of the best things you can do for both your mind and body. You’ve surely heard that we need sleep to flush the toxins out of our brain, and to help our body recover. What you may not have heard, however, is that when we go to sleep at different times to usual, this sends a signal to our brain that something is wrong. Our body then subconsciously keeps us in lighter sleep than usual, so we can wake up to any potential threat.
That’s why most people feel really groggy in the mornings when they’ve had a sudden change to (or lack consistency in) their sleeping patterns.
The less you do, the less you’ll want to do. Don’t believe me? Imagine you’ve been on holiday, not thinking about work and instead just relaxing in the sun. Are you excited about going back to work, or do you wish you had another week in the sun?
It’s the same at home. If you don’t do anything except watch Netflix and eat junk food all day, then when tomorrow rolls around, more than likely you’re not going to want to do anything then either. That’s why keeping busy is incredibly important, and that leads us nicely into our next point.
Develop A Routine
Part of the reason normal living feels so regular is because it is. That may sound obvious, but think about it. On a typical day, you get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat and then go to work. With the majority of people unable to go to work, or now having to work from home, that standard routine has completely disappeared.
That’s why it’s important you develop a home routine for yourself. Set an alarm, just like you would if you needed to go to work, but instead, get yourself ready and go for a walk. If you need to write out a daily plan for yourself, that’s absolutely fine. It’s all about doing what you can to keep your mind and body both active and healthy.
Take Up A Hobby
There is no better way to keep yourself sane than by doing something you enjoy. This can be anything, but some excellent examples are knitting, crocheting, drawing, reading, or writing. The more creative it is, the better. It’ll keep your mind active, and you’ll continue to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Learning a new skill is impressive at any age, and if there’s something you’ve always wanted to try now is the perfect time. Don’t get disheartened if it turns out harder than you expected, take it one day at a time and eventually your skills will improve.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Miss A Day
This one is unbelievably important. The worst thing you can do when you miss a day is to beat yourself up about it. Your mental health is extremely important, especially when trying to remain motivated. If you begin criticising yourself, you’re more likely to spiral and it can be harder to continue. Sometimes we just need a day or so to rest up, so take the day, do something fun, and do something tomorrow.
Those are our top tips on staying fit and healthy during lockdown! It’s vitally important that you take care of both your physical and mental wellbeing, but remember you’re only human. You don’t need to be perfect every day, just focus on what is right for you.