With lockdowns, restrictions and gym closures becoming the new normal, most of us are spending more time indoors with limited exercise. Looking after our health and fitness is important, as a sedentary lifestyle causes a range of issues.
Studies show exercise boasts countless benefits for physical and mental health, including:
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Reduced risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease
- Releases ‘happy hormones’ (endorphins)
- Lower stress hormones (cortisol)
How can we look after ourselves during lockdown and make our fitness a priority?
1. Create a routine
When normality goes out of the window, establish a routine that works for you. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day, and if possible, eat your meals and snacks at similar times too. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine so that it becomes a habit.
2. Get outside
If you can, exercise outdoors. Go for a walk, cycle or run, or if you’re short on time, go for a brisk walk. Nature and fresh air are great for your mood and overall mental health, so make time to get outdoors at least once a day. There are also endless fitness apps out there offering virtual challenges to keep you inspired, like FitBit, Strava and Couch to 5k.
3. Make daily tasks more active
Sitting for long periods of time does us no favours and if we’re at home all the time, it can damage our health. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, so make sure you get moving!
Get up at least once an hour to stretch or walk around, stand or walk during phone calls and try to do bits of housework each day. Jobs like vacuuming and cleaning the windows can help you burn a few calories!
4. Be resourceful
Don’t have any workout equipment at home? You don’t need it. Bodyweight exercises are effective and you can do basic exercises like squats, push ups and lunges with limited space. You can use the stairs to do step ups and dining chairs to do tricep dips. Why not buy a skipping rope for a cheap cardio workout?
5. Work with an online PT
Need more help with motivation and looking for that extra kick up the backside? Online fitness programmes are ideal for people who need support, structure to their workouts and accountability. Here at Triple X, we have a team of expert coaches to design bespoke training programmes tailored to your ability level, goals, available time and equipment you have access to.