Lockdown recovery:

Life in lockdown has certainly been a trying one for many both physically and mentally. With restrictions beginning to lift more, and outdoor group activities on the horizon, its time to begin our 2021 resolutions, much later than usual. I will be commencing classes soon and look forward to meeting those of you who can attend my classes. I have compiled my top 10 tips to becoming summer strong.

Lorna’s Top tips:

 

  1. Commit to a class or classes, ideally you should take on 2 classes per week and the other days incorporate other forms of exercise like walking, running, cycling or swimming into your daily routine. By signing up you’ve committed yourself to be at a venue at a particular time. All you have to do then is turn up. The first class is always a bit daunting as you might be thinking, are you fit enough, will you know anyone, will you like it… these thoughts are natural but you are going there for YOU! If you have concerns or worries, say it in advance to the fitness instructor/PT. They will put you at ease and will modify exercises to suit your ability. This is an opportunity to meet new people and if you are uncomfortable going to a new class, encourage a friend to go along with you so ye can tick 2 boxes, social connection and exercise.
  2. Set a reminder on your phone and make sure that you don’t clash your exercise classes with something else. Make your health a priority!
  3. Be accountable. Write down your reasons in a diary of why you are doing this. This will help when you are having a bad day and by looking at your reasons it can motivate you again. Having goals no matter how big or small will give you a focus and help keep you on track, but be realistic with your goals so you’re not setting yourself up for failure.
  4. Change things up. If you tend to always do the same thing eg daily walking, try and go for a gentle jog or cycle 1 of the days. Take up a new activity. Lockdown has certainly made swimming a very attractive sport for those living near the sea and this is such a great all over body workout not to mention an extremely therapeutic form of exercise.
  5. Get outdoors. Whilst lockdown has been difficult in some respects, it definitely has forced us to embrace the elements and get outside. If you are working from home and in front of a screen for hours be sure to take regular breaks, even if its only 5 minutes. Get outside and do some jumping jacks and hip circles to loosen out. If you can afford longer breaks use this time to incorporate a walk, run, swim , cycle or even roll out a mat on your garden/patio and do some stretches/yoga
  6. Get to bed early. Sleep is so important for feeling good . You should wake in the morning feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. Try for even 1 night in the week to make a conscious effort to go to bed 1-2 hrs earlier than you normally do. Don’t set an alarm and see how you feel the next day, wake naturally. Don’t bring your phone to bed with you!!
  7. Using time effectively. The common reason why most people don’t exercise is Time. However if you take notice of the time that is wasted flicking through pages or stories on social media, time wasted waiting in you car for school collections etc, you will realise by reshuffling your day you can actually find time. Check your phone to see how much time you have spent on the various apps and social media accounts. Take 20-30 minutes off that and use that instead to exercise. This will require discipline and effort to leave the phone alone and not look at it for x amount of time. Regarding school collections or other aspects of your life where you are waiting for someone and just sitting in the car, simply get out of the car, regardless of the weather and exercise.  Even if it is only 10 minutes you get to walk, its 10 more minutes than you did yesterday! If you cant get 30 minutes grab all the small pockets of opportunity available to you and get moving.  You will feel so much better for it, and happier in yourself.
  8. Hydrate- be conscious of your daily water intake. Aim for 2-2.5 litres per day. Buy a water bottle so you can monitor your consumption. This will urge you to drink more throughout the day.  If you don’t drink enough water each day, you risk becoming dehydrated. Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, or urine that’s dark in colour.
  9. Limit your caffeine consumption to max 4 cups coffee/tea per day. Caffeine will dehydrate you and whilst it has a great stimulant it can make you jittery, cause headaches, irritability and interfere with your sleep.
  10. Eat real food. Go as fresh as possible, and ideally make your own food so you have control of what you are eating. Limit processed foods as much as possible. With the weather improving and the bbqs being taken out and that holiday feeling kicking in, try new ways of summer eating. Make your own dips like hummus, pesto and guacamole which have a great nutrient value. Be organised with your food by making things in advance or in bulk and freezing. Marinate chicken and have it in the fridge and bbq later. This could be served on its own or in a bun as a healthier chicken burger option. Prepare salads in advance so you can grab and go when you want to get to the beach or another family outing.  . Fish is fabulous for the summer and so quick to cook on the bbq. I’m not saying ditch the burgers but definitely reduce your consumption. Fruit and vegetables are so easy to pack when you are going anywhere so always be sure to pack them so you are reaching your vitamin and mineral requirements. Nuts ( cashews, hazelnuts, pecan, walnuts etc. not salted peanuts!!! :)) are also something that are very easy to carry in your bag and are so nutritious.

 

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