How to stay fit and active during the COVID-19 outbreak
The World Health organisation recommends the average person gets 2.5hours of moderate or 1.5hrs of intense exercise each week. But with gyms closed, beaches on lock down and exercise in parks being limited how can we get our weekly exercise totals.
Firstly don’t forget that you don’t always have to be doing “exercise” for it to count, simple activities such as cleaning count in our daily exercise routines. Walking outdoors and getting some fresh air is also a great way to get those all important steps in but its get both physically and mentally as it helps you break up the home environment which for many of us is a new experience as we are used to being at our workplace.
We have some very simple advice for everyone at home.
- Create a routine the resembles your daily work schedule – This will allow you to stay focused and motivate during this time, week 1 everyone is hot of the press but as time goes on you want to make sure you are focused. So if you trained at 5:15 prior to isolation then you need to make sure you are still training at the same time.
- Don’t go at it like a bull at the gate – I’ve already had numerous online consults for clients who have started training twice a day. Just because you are in isolation and working from home does not mean that your body is ready for twice daily sessions. This is still a substantial load on your body and just because you’re not at work, doesn’t mean that you wont get injured. So respect the load and respect your body, if the Government is anything to go by this could be up to 6 months so slow down Nellie.
- Buy an online program – Everyone needs purpose with their training routine, so now more than ever with added distractions amid a COVID crisis you need something to keep you accountable. Whether it’s a personalised strength program, rehab program, Yoga, Pilates or mobility you need to commit to something otherwise you will end up wasting this precious free time we all have.
- Walk daily – Walking is a great way to clear your head mentally and its really important at this time. In Australia we are allowed to walk with one other citizen, so what a great way to get some social interaction while maintaining a good level of activity
- Have regular breaks – If you are working from home you will need to mix your day up. Working from home can be a privilege it assumes you have adequate room and a social environment that allows you a safe and productive workplace. So if you can every 20 minutes to half an hour get up walk around, do 10 free squats, 10 back band, roll your shoulders over for 30seconds then get back to work. If you can try and change up your working station utilising the kitchen, home office, dining room and outdoors with the weather and NBN are good enough.
- Take note of your nutrition – a change in lifestyle means a change in dietary and nutritional needs. For some people they may be less active now they are working from home as they are no longer walking or riding to work. So listen to your body and tune into what it needs throughout the day. Some people need to consider the reasons they are eating; whether it be out of hunger, stress, boredom or another reason they really need to pay attention to what they are eating throughout the day. Consultation a dietician during this time is highly recommended.
- Get adequate sleep – Sleep is incredibly important and even more important now that stress levels could be at an all time high. Sleeping is just as important as nutrition and exercise, we know that adequate sleep leads to better concentration and improved productivity while also being linked to improved athletic performance. Poor sleep has been linked to depression and also affects blood glucose levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. So with the COVID-19 outbreak sleep could be an effective weapon to help improve your immune function.
So enjoy this unique yet highly stressful time, try to see the positive in it all. For me its spending time with family and getting to focus on my own fitness which I sometimes neglected due to my busy work schedule. Isolation for me means keeping myself and my family safe while still maintaining social contact but respecting physical distancing, despite all the challenges this time is throwing at us from a business or lifestyle perspective, life will go on and we must all be grateful for this unique opportunity.
If you have any questions or need any advice please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Befit Physio, we are always here, to discuss any matters with you whether it be an online program, an injury or you just want someone to talk to, we are available for all of you.
Andrew Ilieff is a physiotherapy based in Double Bay, Sydney. Andrew has successfully treated lower back problems on the basis of a thorough assessment and diagnosis coupled with evidence-based rehabilitation programs tailored to the needs and goals of each individual. To book a consultation, click the link below.