How to survive another lockdown?
How to survive another lockdown?
It’s that time of year again where the gluttony of Christmas food and alcohol indulgence creates guilt and causes anxiety from enjoying the festive season with our loved ones. Traditionally this is when the gyms get packed for the first three weeks and the detox diets get abused.
But things are different this time around. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last year; it’s January 2021 and we are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and the UK is in lockdown part 3.0. Let’s be honest, the vast majority of us have let go of our fitness and nutrition regimes since the first lockdown for a multitude of reasons ranging from being unable to leave your own home, gyms and leisure centres being closed, eating and drinking for comfort or purely from boredom. Followed by being stationary and the mathematics of calories in versus calories out; comes the result of weight gain and even injuries from a lack of ligament movement, circulation and the pressures of carrying extra weight.
That’s the physical side of things. Many have experienced poor mental health during the lockdowns and those who already experience poor mental have had their wellbeing decline even further. The decline of a healthy mindset can impede our motivation or drive because the feeling of the unknown and lack of freedom halters the means to set a routine or goal.
The familiarity and the lifestyle we once knew are denied to us but any situation can be adapted to. Workouts are now at home or outside, granted not many of us have access to weight and equipment, but we are not limited to other means of exercise to burn calories and build endurance. Eating in has become the new eating out (even though we still have takeaways), we are cooking more and are more nutritionally aware because we have control over the home menu.
2020 may have been a year of the unknown and 2021 is no different, but the difference this time around is the awareness of your options and it is your choice upon which to take in your grasp. You can either sit back and let the time pass by, or you can use the time that passes anyway and make use of it to take back control of your physical and mental health.
It is a cliché but you really do need to become your own motivation. You need to think about your why; why have you decided to make a change? Why do you need to make a change? And then there is your what; what is driving you to make a change? What will keep you going towards your goal? And then there is your how; how will you reach your goal? How will this change your life? The when is now. There is no need to delay pressing the start button. There is no perfect time to make improvements to your physical and mental health. The only one stopping you is yourself.
The problem with the new years resolutions or any turnover is that they often do not last. For them to stick and to be achievable you need to do something you’re going to enjoy doing. If you do not thrive in your journey then you will not see it to the end and create a new lifestyle to stick to beyond January.
Use these principles and apply them to your goal setting:
- Talk about your goal. By speaking about it out loud makes it more real for you. It also makes you accountable because others will know what you’ve set out to do and will check in with you about your progress.
- Be specific about your goals. It’s easy to say you want to lose weight, tone up, eat healthier etc. Be specific and realistic about your goals, for example; how much weight you want to lose and in what time frame, what foods do you need to cut out, set your own specific calories and macros target to hit each day, how much water will you drink everyday etc.
- Write it down. You’ve spoke about it and now you’ve set your specific target. Write down your target and why and stick it somewhere you’ll see every day so you can’t deviate or forget about it. Examples are a mirror, kitchen or office board so it’s unavoidable and always reminding you.
- Track your progress. These are great for before and after transformations but they’re also useful to remain accountable to yourself and your trainer if you have one. This can range from photos to body measurements. It’s useful to do both because the scale can fluctuate but photos provide a visual aid and help to keep you going.
- Record your progress. Whether it’s a gratitude journal, a training log, a blog of your journey, a food diary or app; record your journey so you can look back at how far you’ve come and where you want to go from there. Whether you decide to make it public or private, it’ll work as a great motivational aid.
- Make sure you plan and prepare. Ever heard the saying “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”? If you do not prepare then you are setting yourself up for failure. Working from home can actually make it more difficult to stick to a routine because we become complacent. Set yourself certain times to eat and workout. Prepare your meals so you don’t get tempted to deviate and your mindset is focused.
I could go deeper about ways to stay motivated, energetic and focused but it essentially comes down to how much do you want it. You are accountable to yourself and the journey you’ve set will only be completed if you want it badly enough. So surround yourself with the right people, education and self belief, and realise that achievements can be reached and exceeded no matter the circumstances.
If you need any tips or direct guidance, send any of the athletes who are certified personal trainers a message Or come into the store pending any restrictions.