Health & Fitness after lockdown
September brings with it the start of a new term and this year more than ever many people will be craving the chance to get back into some type of routine despite things not quite being back to normal.
Children will be returning to school and the morning rush of getting them ready will start all over again with a few more things to remember – Have they washed their hands? Have they got their facemasks with them? The clock will be watched as we are governed again by time.
Many people will be returning to work after months of being on furlough which will feel strange after the extended pause on reality.
For those that have continued working throughout lockdown, September will become busier with more people around, more noise & busier roads.
Lockdown has been weird! For those that have loved the unexpected time to spend with family the thought of all the upcoming routines & schedules might feel like either a blessing or a curse.
It will be easy to overlook our own health and fitness at this time as the pace of life increases but if lockdown has taught us anything it is that life is precious and that we should look after both our physical and mental health.
Start a new routine
As you prepare for the months ahead make sure to build daily exercise into your new schedule and make it a priority rather than an after-thought. There surely cannot be a better time to change old habits. See September as the start of a new way of doing things with lockdown being the reset button.
The chances are unless you have been super determined and focussed over lockdown that your fitness levels will have dropped and your weight may well have increased. Don’t expect to run before you can walk. You will need to start slowly and build up your strength and stamina.
Avoid injury & Listen to your body
Don’t overdo it, warm up and down & allow yourself rest days to allow your muscles to recover and heal. Rest days don’t mean lying on the sofa or putting your feet up – keep active with gentle activities such as walking to work or walking your dog. The idea is to introduce exercise back into your routine without causing yourself an injury.
Your chance to unwind
It will be very easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted by all the new expectations on your time. Especially when even running general errands and picking up supplies requires you to wear a facemask, wash your hands, keep your distance and observe one way signs. All these little things can cause stress. Use your exercise time to unwind and clear your mind. From gentle yoga and breathing techniques to going for a run or a bike ride it will be important to allow yourself some time to just breathe and relax.
Give yourself a goal
Lockdown may have left you feeling de-motivated where exercise is concerned. You might have had months of make-up free days wearing comfy trousers and without any desire to dress up or make any effort. That in itself may not be a bad thing as there have been lessons to learn about how society sees us and what we deem as important, however everyone likes to look and feel good about themselves so being healthy is the way to start feeling great.
Setting goals is a way to keep you motivated. Knowing why you are prioritising fitness in your new schedule will help you stick to it.
Understand your reasons
Goals will be different for everyone but perhaps picture how you want to feel at New Year when we finally say goodbye to 2020. Perhaps you haven’t seen friends and family in what seems like forever and you would like to be the best version of you for when you reunite.
It might be that to protect yourself from Covid-19 that you want to keep out of the high risk categories and be the healthiest you can be. Whatever your reason to build a healthy lifestyle – it’s a good reason!
Find your reason and it will become easier to find time for.
Think of your exercise as a daily reset – a mini lockdown just for you where everything else stops.