By Dionne Smith, Coach & Co -Founder of Peach Smith
Many of us can be accused of being creatures of habit, especially when it comes to our exercise regimes, so it was no surprise that panic and confusion set in last week as we all found ourselves entering unchartered waters.
To be proactive, I founded a Facebook group Home Workouts For Lockdown*. On this forum, I have been calling on fellow trainers, my children’s favourite holiday camps and activities, perinatal psychologists, physiotherapists and nutritionists.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of keeping moving. It is an essential both physically and psychologically. Here are my top tips to keep you and your family fit and well during the COVID-19 outbreak – whilst respecting social distancing.
1. Set time for exercise for you and your kids
Adults need about 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day. Children need 60 minutes of this same level of physical activity every day. Find a target you can manage, put it on a daily planner and stick to it each week.
2. Set active family time
There are tons of activities to follow online from yoga, to PE with Jo Wicks to football challenges and more. Teach your child to skip, or have a skipping competition/ or put on some music on and have a dance party.
3. Now may be a good time to invest in some home gym equipment
If you will use it… a few dumbbells, skipping ropes or anything that works within the space you have at home. You will find lots of workouts on YouTube to follow but you can follow along the active adults section of our Facebook group for bodyweight only workouts.
4. Find something fun – exercise isn’t just about health – it’s often a social activity, too
I am doing virtual sessions with my clients, as much to keep up their training as that they want regular social contact. Work out with friends on FaceTime or Zoom or join a virtual zumba class – whatever you find – make it something you can stick to.
5. In times of high stress, try to avoid comfort eating
Try to eat the rainbow – an array of different colour fruit and veg. Try to eat fresh and unprocessed proteins, fat and veg. You don’t need to find perfection, just watch how much you are turning to chocolate and alcohol and instead think about a good balanced diet with what you find available.
6. Prioritise sleep
If you’re tired, your immune system won’t work. Now is a great time to catch up on some rest. Limit screen time and allow your body to rest and repair.
7. Lastly, just a note on stress
It can really damage the immune system, because a hormone called cortisol represses some of your immune cells. So if you are feeling very anxious try to find calmer sources of physical activity – some gentle yoga or walking in the fresh air, or a light jog may be a better outlet for you to manage your stress than jump squats in your living room.
Whilst we all get used to our new normal, let’s try to use this as an opportunity to develop a positive relationship with physical activity for ourselves and our families, something that may well flourish long past this virus.
Good luck and look after yourselves.
Coach, Dionne Smith – www.facebook.com/groups/141368677202953/