6 MUST DO's during lockdown
Obviously I’ve scrambled this newsletter together not expecting this current lockdown to arrive so soon but let’s look at some fitness foundations that will stand you in great stead both physically and mentally during this new lockdown.
I don’t want this to be another ‘be the best you can be’ or ‘we will get through this together’ kind of pep talk but we do need to be realistic and acknowledge that this lockdown may be slightly more difficult than the first one. For obvious reason we won’t be out in the garden, parks and running around the roads as often as the mid May heatwave allowed. The nights and mornings are creeping in and our whole demeanour can start to take a pounding. Plus zoom fatigue and people being fed up with lockdown is a real thing. So let’s be pragmatic about this. I have come up with some steps to help re focus your motivation, nutrition, training and wellness for the foreseeable future.
Pause for a second and think. Grab a pen and pad, write down what you felt you could have done differently from the last lockdown. This can open up in to other areas of your life of course. Did I drink too much wine? did I start training too hard and burnt out, hurt myself or got bored? Did I order too many take aways? Was I too inactive? Did I watch too many covid updates from BoJo “USE public transport… DON’T use public transport…. Go to work, DONT go to work..” Get these things down on paper. This may not be the last lockdown we ever have so if we improve each time then we become more resilient every time we are faced with a familiar situation.
Plan: For some this means spreadsheets, meal plans, training programs but for others it can simply mean lying there for 2mins before you actually climb out of bed, and just thinking through your day. Set the scene and having in mind what you’re going to eat, drink and what opportunity you have to train or be active throughout your day! Planning can also extend beyond that and feed into days and weeks ahead. Eg. Monday night, I open the fridge and we don’t have any blueberries for tomorrow’s breakfast ok let me pop round NOW and grab some bits for the next few days. Or the weather looks ok(ish) this week maybe I get the bulk of my outdoor training/ running etc done this week as the following week could see me stuck indoors.... planning, see it doesn’t have to be a scary word! Causal forward thinking can often be enough but blindly attacking the day can lead to less than optimal habits forming.
Get out side! You are allowed, the virus isn’t lurking around every corner. So get out side. It maybe for 3 bouts of 10mins during the day or a dedicated hour at some stage but it’s very important. Double bubble here, sunlight (ish) and movement as well as fresh air and natural temperature control! Old wisdom at play here, we have a 1 year old and the common advice is to get kids out of the house in the elements as much as possible so they get a good nights sleep. We are all be kids and the same applies! (above picture is quite clearly London in November!)
Dedicated exercise: Well the obvious answer is to sign up with Ben Scott fitness but if your not ready to handle my terrible banter and stories about when I used to play professional cricket (as exciting as they are!) then by all mean tackle this one yourself. Find a specific goal. Scrap the generic ‘lose body fat’ or ‘maintain muscle mass’ as they are, and should be a given. Focus on what you would really like to achieve. ‘I want be be able to do 3 good form pull ups by December 2nd’ or 'I want to get my 5k under 25mins’ or “I want to improve my shoulder retraction by 2cm’s and improve my neck posture”
Curate you nutrition: Lockdown is an opportunity to have better control over what you eat, there is no question about that. Learn the basics of your own needs and discover how to eat specifically for your lifestyle and what you are trying to achieve. I am offering a Nutrition Adjustment system at the moment that unpacks your current diet and eating habits with the nudge mentally rather than the ‘do this’ quick fix, check at the bottom for more details. Sales pitch over.. Some practical ideas would be to: overhaul your kitchen? Get rid of old crap you’re never going to eat? Invest in some nice cooking equipment? Plan your weekly meals? Order the same ingredients each week but challenge yourself to cook different things with them? Buy some very simple easy to use food scales?
Keep drinking (water of-course!!!) too easy to forget. The argument here is that it does keep your system firing on all cylinders and helps maintain energy. Energy is not just about exercising but vital in combating mood! How many people full of energy are in a bad mood? Plus you're at home so can go to the loo as often as you need. Even those that are on back to back zoom calls, mute or video off and go for a wee. Drinking water is also an easy focus that actually helps us pay attention to the other good habits we should be consistent with and trigger good behaviours.
Unplug: We all need to be online, yes, I get that, but we don’t need to be online all the time and we need to be especially carful that our time is equally spent in the real world. With the exception of my emails of course, try and avoid click bait, and going down rabbit holes with the doom and gloom in the media (thats where they want you to go, at stay!). Don’t find yourself comparing to social media’s manicured perfection. Maybe even try having a few days unplugged, you may find your sanity hinges on it! Another advantage of unplugging is especially just before you go to bed. Blue light and stimulus wreak havoc on your sleep patterns.
These are some of the things I will be doing during this lockdown and I hope you will join me with some them. I would also love your feed back so if there are any more health tips you feel are of value and would like to run them past me then please feel free to send them through. Right, back onto Virtual PT and Online Nutrition coaching for me, good luck guys and stay in touch.