Lockdown is dragging on and it should be expected that your exercise routine has been a little bit derailed. Sometimes the best laid plans get interrupted by life. Maybe you get the flu or food poisoning, maybe there’s a family emergency, maybe you pick up an injury or maybe your city goes into lockdown because of a global pandemic!

Events like the current lockdown are completely out of our control, it’s just something thrown at us that we need to somehow navigate through. One of the downsides of lockdown is the interruption it can cause to our exercise routine. The work being put into achieving health and wellbeing goals can easily get upset.

As big as this hurdle might be it doesn’t mean we have to stop and give up completely. It just means we may need to reassess our goals and work out a way of getting through a difficult patch of time.



Lets Take a step back to assess the bigger picture


If you were someone who was in a really great routine pre-lockdown, well done!

Or you might be someone who at the start of lockdown transitioned really well and continued with a great exercise routine but the length of lockdown has started to affect your healthy habits, it may be time to take a step back and reassess.

It can be hard at the best of times to have a good exercise schedule, to smash your gym sessions, have positive eating habits and be on point with your sleep. Even if you were someone who was just getting going with a good routine and getting things into order, this lockdown has been a great disruptor.

This pandemic has given us a curveball, throwing all those well laid plans into disarray.

Take a moment to breathe, think and reassess about how you’re going to go about the next phase of your training cycle, or just the next week or so of life in lockdown!

Look back and see what was and wasn’t working for you.

What was it that has negatively impacted your routine?

What things have stayed consistent and continue to have a positive impact?

It is important to have an understanding that there are things that are outside of your control, and equally there are things that you can control.

These include things like diet and exercise!



Now Lets Reassess goals


Hitting hurdles like lockdown (or injury etc) can really hurt our progress if we’re working toward really specific goals. But that’s ok!

Take the time to sit down and reassess your goals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a change to the ultimate goal but it might mean changing the time frame.

If you need to, slow things down.

For example, if you were working towards lifting a particular amount or running a certain distance for time, might it be more sensible to push back the end date for achieving those goals? Instead of pushing for big numbers on a particular day, go for a walk or work on some mobility or yoga.

Your goals are exactly that, they’re yours, no-one else’s.



Understanding Lockdown fatigue


Lockdown fatigue is real!

The term can help us put our finger on why we might be feeling exhaustion, apathy, lethargy, irritability, inability to make small decisions!

“This might be a good time to remind ourselves about why we feel so fatigued when some of the normal obligations we have, especially social ones, aren’t in operation. When we experience stress, our bodies have a physiological response to keep us safe and surviving – that old fight or flight response. When we remain stressed for long periods with little reprieve (such as over the past 18 months), our sympathetic nervous system is working overtime, and our bodies become exhausted. This impacts our ability to think flexibly, achieve emotional balance, and bounce back as we might have done before. Especially when some of our favoured energy-rejuvenating activities aren’t readily available to us.”


This might ring true for some, I know it does for me.

So taking the time to take this into consideration when planning or reassessing how we reach our exercise goals is absolutely vital.

Our bodies aren’t working at an optimal level if they are experiencing ‘lockdown fatigue’.



Let your body feel what it feels, but know that movement is medicine


Trying to stay upbeat and positive all the time is exhausting, especially during the pandemic.

Try not to beat yourself up if you have an emotional or physical downturn. Often these downturns can come completely out of the blue, no seemingly meaningful rhyme or reason. Allow it to happen, let it wash over you and talk to someone about it.

Even if you really don’t feel like it, really try to get in some movement in your day, even if it’s something as little as a breathing exercise.

Movement will stimulate a host of positive physiological outcomes which in turn will have a positive impact on our emotional well-being as well as our physical health.



Movement comes before motivation


If you’re struggling to get moving at the moment, don’t wait until you ‘feel’ motivated.

Waiting for motivation to come and sweep you off your feet isn’t going to help you create movement or routine that helps make you feel good. Instead, actively initiate small amounts of momentum by taking baby steps in the direction of movement that feels good (even when you don’t feel like it). It’s the ‘momentum’ that is motivating, not the other way around.

Yes, addressing when you feel overwhelmed and in need of a break to alleviate pressure is important and is different for every individual.

Equally important however, is knowing when that break has stopped serving you and doing something about it.

(Credit to Coach Nic Hahn for this section!)



in conclusion…


Having an understanding around changes to your routine due to a global pandemic is important. It is perfectly understandable to have had your exercise routine derailed during this lockdown.

Reassess any goals that you’re working towards if you feel things have plateaued or worsened. Allow yourself breaks when needed and slow things down in your training by pushing back time frames for achieving certain goals.

Once a break has served you and it’s purpose, get moving by taking small steps and gather some momentum back, even if it means you have to perform this cycle multiple times.


Want To Learn More?


Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.


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