What did we learn from the first lockdown to power us through the next?

Ok so firstly, let's hope there isn’t the need for any further lockdowns but if were were to find our selves confined to our 4 walls again what could we learn from the previous lockdown that will help us if the worst happens. Lockdown was a unique experience for most of us and when it came to eating, keeping active and exercising we all approached it differently. Here’s a few findings that we didn’t quite see coming.

Food ordering and weekly food planning

Due to limited delivery slots and avoiding queues at the supermarkets it has been important to become more efficient with your ordering and this means planning. The phrase ‘Food planning’ makes some peoples skin crawl. So many of us want freedom and don’t want to have our eating pleasure and choices taken away from us by a piece of paper or spreadsheet.

Ok, so for starters, we still make the choices on the foods we buy and can learn to turn good ingredients into good meals even if we change our mind last minute. Secondly people have found that being forced to plan has lead to some fantastic results. We have a 1 year old and planning her meals became the focus point for us. Fortunately that lead to us all having great nutritional choices, whole foods, low in salt and sugar and with the added freedom to cook more nutritious meals. This lead to less need for snacking and obviously, less desire to buy them.

Sometimes seeing our choices in writing can easily identify where we could tweak them slightly. Have a look at your classic food swaps and write them down. Instead of just rice, write down brown wholegrain rice etc. We also have the advantage of ordering when we aren’t hungry. The worst place to be while hungry…. the weekly shop! So aim to plan your week when you're in the best frame of mind to make good choice, then order away.

Environmental architecture

Well thats a fancy phrase for ‘if you see something you're more likely to do it’ This can work in both directions however. If you have snacks and sweets and chocolates in the house then you are more likely to partake, so remove the temptation. If however you fill 3 big water bottle and leave them lying around (knowing that you need to be drinking more water) you’re likely to swig more often. If your foam roller is on the floor by the sofa you’re more likely to climb down during Netflix and do some stretches. You get my drift.

Some of us like structure some of us don’t!

Days merge into weeks into months, ask most people during lockdown what day it is and they won’t even know (like the period between Christmas and new year!) so our weekly structure as we knew it may have gone out the window. For some people this would have freed up more time, removed the commute and allowed us to train what ever time of the day we can! That’s great but for others the structure and metronomic way that we live, it may have thrown your training and eating habits into disarray.

It’s important therefore that we have a good old think and identity which of the 2 types of habitual creatures we are and look to form strategies that will help us when life starts to return to normal.We have been spoilt by the weather.

This is pretty self explanatory, the weather this year has been fantastic and we have had the opportunity to train outside, run around in mild/hot weather and generally be outside a lot. We have also been more than comfortable with our salads, summer foods (and cooking with the window open and our shirts off apparently!). December and January might have a twist though when the takeaway option on a cold night seems good and we find ourselves moving our coffee tables and opening window to make space for our home workouts.

So what now?... we need to look at some focused movements and structure our workouts a little smarter rather than the go too burpee and running on the spot. Start looking into some personalised plans that will expand your training past just energy consumption and look at posture correction and targeted strength training. Theres plenty you can do at home without the windows steaming up (no comments please!)

Body weight training is harder than you thought right.

Some of you may have established that body weight training is hard! It’s deemed to be the starting level for fitness but in reality it is often quite advanced. If you can’t lift or press your own body weight it can often be demotivating as you struggle through half rep kneeling press ups and attempting a pull up. Therefore we often default to the high interval training (HIIT) this can lead to some danger zones as we jump around using less optimal movement patterns.

What’s the advice here? Patience, take your time, build your foundations. Just because you aren’t sweating into buckets doing a Joe Wicks jump-a-thon doesn’t mean you’re not progressing!

Hopefully we don’t see another lockdown but if we do, please learn from these lessons and drop me a line if you need a hand.

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