So, unfortunately, we are back in Level 5 Lockdown Restrictions. I think its fair to say that any novelty that came with lockdown in the beginning (if any), has well and truly worn off. I feel as though this lockdown has taken more of a mental strain on people. I know that personally this lockdown has gotten to me more. So how do we help ourselves physically and mentally be ok through lockdown?
Well exercise is a proven way to not only keep yourself physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. Exercise will help you relax, relieve stress, which in turn will help you sleep better. This in turn will help increase your energy levels, which can be naturally lower when your when you are not feeling great or feeling down.
So how long should we exercise for and what type of exercise is the best type of exercise? Well according to the WHO, we should partake in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and 75 minutes of intense exercise per week, doing more can be beneficial also. And what is the best exercise to partake in? Well, believe it or not, it is the one that you enjoy doing most. Enjoying your exercise will help you to keep doing it. Examples of moderate exercise include very brisk walking, cycling with a light effort, swimming, dancing etc. Examples of intense exercise include jogging, swimming fast, HIIT work, cycling fast lifting heavy weights (make sure you know what you are doing for weightlifting). Now for some of us, some of these types of exercise may not be possible, due to facilities or equipment at home or our location. But with some imagination we can work around these barriers. There are many other forms of exercise also.
So how do we fit daily exercise into our routine (or at least most days)? Well chose a time of the day, when you are generally free, or feel that you are more motivated to do something. For some people this may be first thing in the morning, mid-morning, at lunchtime, mid afternoon or in the evening. We can also decide on the time we exercise, depending on who we can do it with. Maybe we find it hard to do some form of exercise on our own. Maybe your partner works all day but is free in the evening. Or maybe you find that your kids get tired midday, and you find getting out at lunch helps them stay focus for schoolwork for the rest of the day. Or maybe someone in your bubble is free first thing in the morning.
A great way to keep yourselves motivated is by setting ourselves goals. One way of doing this is by setting yourself a distance to reach by a certain date or an event to partake in. Now unfortunately, there is no events happening this year, at the moment. But there are numerous virtual events occurring this year. One being the Gorey Night Run or the alternative name, Gorey Night Run. This event is happening between the 18th and 21st of February. This is an event that the whole family can participate in, at a time that suits you all together or individually.
One thing you should try avoiding, is turning exercise into a punishment. For years people have used exercise to “burn those extra few calories”. This can be a way of punishing ourselves for overindulging. Unintentionally we have a negative association with exercise. But exercise has so many more benefits than helping people manage their weight. It can help us lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels, stress levels etc. it can help boost your mood, reduce anxiety and so much more. Try your best to make sure to have a positive association with exercise and not make it a negative activity to partake in.
Now also there are so many online exercise resources. From exercise plans, exercise classes, yoga etc and many of the local businesses here in North Wexford have brought their classes online like The Stables and Yoga Gorey and it is amazing to see how these local businesses have adapted during this pandemic and can continue their service while allowing their clients continue their fitness regime with a trusted instructor!
If you are looking for a way to get the whole family involved, PE with Joe (Wicks, The Body Coach) is back on Monday the 11th and he will be doing 20 minutes of live PE on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am. This can be a great way of exercising with your kids.
If for some reason you may get injured or be in pain during this time. Online consultations are available with Lorraine at Gorey Physical Therapy. Face to face appointments can also be available for people who cannot manage their problems themselves. For more info call Lorraine @ 0872101281.