While most of us are in lockdown, we firstly need to thank those of us that aren’t in lockdown as their work has been amazing so far.
But for those of us that are in lockdown, we have the opportunity to improve our fitness levels, but how do you workout whilst in lockdown? Where do you actually start?
The first thing to consider is where your fitness level is right now?
Did you exercise regularly before lockdown or is this exercise a new thing for you?
It’s an important thing to consider as not all programs are suitable for all levels of fitness and if you have a pre-existing medical condition you should be even more careful. A lot of athletes at Olympic level are sharing their workouts and while it can be inspirational to watch if you do not already have a good level of fitness it could be possible to injure yourself if you are trying to replicate their exercises. However the other side of the coin is if you are already very fit you might feel that you are wasting your time if you try a workout that is too easy.
Therefore the takeaway from this is do your research and be realistic on where you are right now. There is nothing wrong in watching the workout first before attempting it.
The second thing to think about is what equipment you have available to you?
Not everyone has a fully functioning home gym, in fact most people only have a few items available which is why pre-lockdown they were members of a gym. It is possible to workout with no equipment – The Insanity program proves that – however if you are looking to incorporate some strength exercises to your training programme some simple items can be purchased as follows;
- A set of Dumbells – if you find a set that you can curl 3 times only, then half that weight & buy them
- A couple of kettlebells – ideally one to press single handed and one to swing
- A skipping rope – get a decent one not a £1 ebay job
- A step – it’s a nice to have, but not really required
- A medicine ball – again a nice to have but not essential
But you also need to think laterally as well, you might have a park local to you can often use objects found there to help with strength, plus a lot of local parks now have trim tracks to follow with equipment for public use. A word of caution about using these during lockdown – obviously if others are using them too be safe and consider the spread of the virus.
So you know your fitness level and you have some equipment – so what’s next?
Ok for me the starting point is thinking about what your goals are and what you want to achieve from your training? You have too have a measure of some kind or you will find your focus will just dwindle away.
If you are looking at weight loss, I always advocate losing the scales as the number becomes the focus and not everything else. What is often more helpful is a before picture, so a shirt / blouse that is just too tight – take a photo to track progress.
A question I always ask all my lady clients is
‘if I could help you lose a stone or drop a couple of dress sizes but you could only choose one what would it be?’
Most would initially answer both – but over time they realise that the scales and numbers are not important but size is and that is what they actually want to achieve. Plus if you are strength training over the longer term you might reduce size but add weight as you have become stronger – ladies don’t worry you won’t develop muscles like Arnie, it doesn’t work that way.
If you are a runner take your most recent race time or look at completing a time trial to see a starting point, from there you can look at progress in a measurable way. Runners are especially good at this and often track the same route multiple times to see how they are doing. Strava now have given us the ability to create segments on routes so we can track progress via GPS as well as having fun whilst doing it – but your training has to be relevant and linked back to your initial goal.
If you are just starting out and don’t really know what you want to achieve that’s fine too, what is important is that you find something you enjoy. If you are just starting out just begin by taking a walk and slowly extending the time you are out for, maybe see how long you can plank for or how many push ups you can complete in a minute.
But once you have a goal, write it down so it becomes really and begin to work towards it. You may not achieve it during lockdown, but by working out whilst in lockdown you will have either maintained or begun your fitness journey towards a written goal.
We would love you to share your fitness journey with us or help to support you workout whilst in lockdown, how can we help?