Written by Victoria
MSc Nutrition & Behavious
This lockdown feels different to our first one back in March. Not only has the weather taken a colder, wetter and darker turn but for most of us, our motivation to get outside for our daily exercise has dwindled.
However, keeping fit doesn’t have to feel like a chore and there are plenty of activities you can take part in to help keep yourself (and others) motivated, fit and healthy which is more important now than ever before. I like getting my workouts done earlier in the day, or as a way of breaking up study; it makes me feel accomplished and energised for the rest of the day, so find a time that works with your schedule.
Here are some tips I would love to share with you:
- Get outside – I know the weather isn’t always perfect for it but when it is, try a walk, jog or even hiring a Beryl Bike to explore the local area.Bournemouth is beautiful and getting some fresh air is also great for mental health. You are permitted to exercise with one other person, provided you can maintain social distancing so why not use the opportunity to check in with a friend too?
- Try a home workout – You don’t need to have a home gym to facilitate a workout. You could try a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout or a simple circuit. You also don’t have to jump around to get a good workout – body weight squats, lunges, planks, modified burpees, press up are just a few of the exercises you can build in to any workout. HIIT is great because you can build up a real sweat in just 15-20 minutes.
- Video call a friend – Try a partner workout. For example, take it in turns to do 15 squats (virtually tagging each other in), then each do 10 crunches, then five burpees each. Set a timer for however long you want (10, 15, 20 minutes) and try to complete as many rounds as possible before finishing up with a virtual chat and cuppa!
- Take some time out for stretching – Especially when many of us are sat at a desk all day. Choose a couple of stretches and set yourself a five minute timer. I also like to build in some box breathing: slowly breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, slowly breath out through your nose for four seconds and hold your breath for four seconds, repeat. This type of breathing is extremely calming and leaves you feeling much more focussed.
- Choose activities you enjoy – You are far more likely to stick with a routine if you enjoy it, so have a think about what you enjoy doing, where you are going to do it, how long for and how many times per week. Setting goals that are too ambitious could end in feelings of resentment and guilt, so be kind to yourself.
The government guidelines for physical activity are 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week; this can be broken up into small chunks such as five 30 minute brisk walks per week or a 30 minute run on a Monday with a 45 minute hard bike ride on the Thursday.
I hope this blog has helped to give you some ideas on how you can stay motivated and active throughout lockdown 2.0.