Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Is anyone else starting to see the benefits of COVID-19 yet? Whilst you cannot understate the global devastation this virus has caused, it does not bode well to dwell on it. Name another time in our lives when we have had this much time to sit and reflect, to work on unfinished projects, or to start new ones! These are unprecedented times. If we are clever, we may come to look back on this time and see it for what it could be: the cornerstone. The turning point. The ignition of that spark, which bursts into a flame. Let’s not wait for retrospect to appreciate this time for what it could be.
As a physiotherapist, I welcome change with open arms. Now is a crucial time where exercise and movement are more important ever for mental and physical health.
There is more than one way to look at this
One perspective: We are currently isolated to our homes, allowed out for only one session of exercise per day. Anyone else sometimes feel like a prisoner, begging for extra yard time?! For those of us who use fitness trackers, you will be horrified by the stats…. Our daily steps plummeting, a sedentary lifestyle is creeping in. Let’s do something about it, together. We are being forced to adapt, we are being tested, will you sink, or will you swim?
A new perspective: Whilst we are acclimatising to this ‘new normal’ we must focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot. There is an abundance of resources out there just bursting at the seams, waiting for you! For those who are able to see this as a golden opportunity to fix niggling injuries, stretch tight hamstrings, or to work on that lagging core you will rise out of lockdown with new habits, a new mindset, a new take on life.
Repeat after me, I am grateful for:
The time to work on myself
The time to think about how I can help others
The opportunity to sleep well
The opportunity to eat well
The chance to integrate new habits into my daily routine
With this in mind try these top tips to unlock your to own gratitude
Set your alarm for your normal working time - use your normal morning commute time to either stretch, go for a run, or some home-based strengthening exercise.
Set up your work station properly - Do not slump on the sofa, curl up on the couch or work from bed. Get a decent chair, a table and set up your work-space to meet your ergonomic needs.
Move throughout the day - For those of us who are used to walking 10-15k steps per day, this plummeting down to below 5 is quite a shock to the system. I recommend 2-3x 15-30minute bouts of exercises per day just to try to create an energy equilibrium.
Plan out your meals - yep. You read it right. Take care of your insides, your outsides will benefit too. Better skin, better hair, a better quality of sleep. By having a well balanced diet you can stave off cravings and keep blood sugar levels constant so you can stay productive and focused. Obviously don’t deny yourself the joys in life...
Communicate with your friends and family - get yourself on Face Time, to your mates, to your family - and don’t forget Granny! Human beings are social creatures, and this is about the most anti-social it can get. Who can you think of might appreciate a quick call? There are some amazing apps out there. Use them!
Wind down sensibly after work - A beer, a glass of wine or a good book are all great options. But low-intensity exercise like yin yoga or pilates is also a good shout seeing as the rest of our days are so sedentary.
Go to bed at a sensible time - Try and stick to a normal working week. Use this time to get some good quality sleep, and to recovery! There are no social events keeping up until the wee hours of the morning so take advantage of it now and you’ll appreciate them even more once this is over!
There you have it. It is not big mystery, it is not exclusive to quarantine. This is how I am maximising my Quarantraining, now you can too! The biggest changes in your life will come from the smallest improvements. This ripple effect continues and the gratitude will last you a lifetime.