It is a strange time with many aspects of our lives impacted. Gyms and social sport are non-existent or limited, for both kids and adults, lockdown means less structure to our days and extra time near the fridge and Netflix has released a whole heap of programs to keep us glued to the couch. 

We need to find a way to keep ourselves motivated and moving in isolation. Our minds and our bodies need nutritious food and activity to keep us healthy and well and better able to cope with the challenges that come with the Coronavirus era.

Exercise your values

Goal setting can feel irrelevant at a time like this, so let's forget that word. For the average person coping with the fallout of Coronavirus and not prepping for the next Olympics, associating health and fitness with values is way more meaningful. There's nothing like a pandemic to make us think in terms of what is important to us. 

Let's look at how exercise could align with an important value and support you or your family during Covid-19. 

"I'm going to exercise because it helps me cope better with working from home and financial security is important to me".

"I'm going to play ball with my kids in the backyard because I know they are missing their school and Saturday sport and I want to be a great parent".

"I'm going to do some yoga at home because while I was working I never took the time to look after myself and if I create the habit now I'm more likely to keep it going once I return to work". 

Nutrition beats treats

Jokes abound on social media about how many kilos everyone will have gained by the end of lockdown – will we even be recognisable?! Whilst we do not want to put extra pressure on ourselves at this time, it's worth remembering food affects mood and energy levels. Juggling working from home and home schooling or being without a job when you are used to a busy, people filled day is challenge enough. Malnutrition or a food hangover will only make you feel worse and sugar and additive overload will have the kids bouncing off the walls.

Let's fill the fridge and pantry with nutrient dense food as well as your favourite treats. Reach for the healthy food first to ensure everyone's bodies and brains get the fuel they need and keep your treats to enjoy… after.

It all adds up

"I don't have the time or the motivation and unless I do my hour at the gym 3 times per week there is no point, right?" 

Think again. Research shows that short periods of activity throughout the day, such as walking up the stairs, add up to a positive effect. HIIT training where you perform short bursts of intense exercise may even be more effective than longer exercise bouts in increasing fitness and controlling sugars and insulin. Daily yoga of 10 minutes is viewed as far more beneficial than a whole class once in a while. Even standing as opposed to sitting has a positive effect on lots of health markers. And don't forget the kids have energy to burn if they are going to sleep tonight.

Let's chase the kids around the house or backyard, dance during your virtual catch up with friends and family, take advantage of all the free fitness stuff being offered online and don't skip the 15-20 minute home workout thinking it's not long enough, or has to be in the gym, to be worth it.

Who's in your ISO team? 

Look at your current lifestyle, opportunities on offer and the people in your household or immediate circle. Who could you team up with to get active? 

Let's meet a friend for a socially distanced walk or weekly game of tennis. Tag team with your partner 30 minutes each for an online workout whilst the other looks after the kids. If nothing else, grab the kids and walk around the neighbourhood spotting the teddies in the windows, or doing the pavement chalk obstacle courses. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you move. Getting active with the people close to you enables you to look after each other, whilst also helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. 



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Tuesday, 07 December 2021