How you can stay fit and motivated through self-isolation and beyond!
We might all be confined to our homes right now, but there are a whole host of reasons why you should carry on being as fit and mobile as you were before the outbreak happened. And even if you weren’t a regular gym-goer or exercise fanatic, now can be a great time to pick up a new hobby or join a new fitness class – yes! I said, class!
So, first of all, here are some reasons why you should be trying to maintain the exercise regime even if you’re in self-isolation or confined to the house.
Weight maintenance and maintaining muscle mass and bone density, ok so boring one first – if you were a regular gym attendee (3-5 times a week) then you’ll need to maintain a similar home training regime, this is especially important for women as resistance training (with weights) is significant in the fight against osteoporosis – so if you were lifting weights in the gym, you need to try and find a way of keeping this going – water bottles and tin cans from the cupboard are excellent replacements for weights. Also, if you are male or female and training with weights, you’ve probably got about two weeks with no training before you’re going to notice a drop in lean muscle mass unless you keep the resistance training up. What does this mean for bodyweight – well, lots of people go to the gym for weight loss and weight management, and if you keep eating the same amount now as you were when you were going to the gym, guess what? On goes the weight, just be aware guys and gals that’s all I’m saying….
Maintaining positive mental health through a health crisis! – Eeeeek! There I said it—Health crisis. Now, more than ever it will be super important to maintain a positive outlook, especially when some of us will be in self-isolation, maybe with family members and probably there will be many people without family to help them, and this could be a very lonely time. Many people also use the gym and fitness classes to control mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and this can be a particularly difficult time if you are one of these people. When you physically work out, you release endorphins, which will make you feel good, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. In essence, I think we can agree this is much needed right now, and working out through the pandemic will also give you the mental strength to deal with things as and when they crop up.
Help to increase your immunity! Again, reaaaaally crucial right now, research shows that exercise and physical activity can help to improve your body’s resistance to colds, flus and many other illnesses. Working out causes a change in your white blood cells and antibodies – these are the cells that fight disease- so could definitely give you the edge if you’re trying to fight off a cold or virus.
Exercise can be a fun pastime and create a family bond. Now we’re essentially confined to our houses, what better way to break up the day than by trying out a new exercise routine? I think we’re all going to run out of ideas on keeping ourselves, children and family occupied, and what better way to strengthen relationship and family bonds than taking exercise together or trying something new! Exercise can work out our minds as well as bodies and can be a fun thing for the whole family to take part in, and maybe you will also love it so much you will keep the activity as part of your normal routine post-isolation.
Here are some of the things you could try to keep yourself fit, active and in a positive mindset over the next few weeks :
- Go for a walk or run outside – this doesn’t have to be a massive 5k, start off small and build.
- If you have a bike, go for a ride. Again, start off small.
- Online Workouts – Youtube has loads of great online fitness content, and you don’t need any equipment at all for many of them. Pick something you enjoy (like dancing or yoga) and put it on the TV for everyone to have a go.
- Bodyweight exercises outdoors – things like press-ups, sit-ups and tricep dips can all be done outside and with no equipment.
- Online classes – there are some great online classes you can join in live, and participate in the class where the instructor can see you, and you can see them. There’s never been a better time to join in something like this!
Stay safe everyone, and I’ll see you on the other side!
For more fitness tips and motivational support visit Cath online on Instagram @zen.fit.adventures and Facebook facebook.com/zenfitnesswales
Cath is a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy. She is based in Wales and also holds additional qualifications in Counselling, Yoga and Meditation.