Are you aware of the importance of movement for your health this lockdown?
Okay so it’s another lockdown and life is now starting to feel a little tougher than normal during these uncertain COVID times. It’s winter, gyms are closed and the barriers to getting outside to exercise are at an all-time high. We all know that moving more is going to positively impact our health, but it’s hard, very hard.
It is totally understandable, trust me, I get it.
Many of us will be working high stress, sedentary jobs requiring large periods of time seated. Before we know it, it is 7pm at night and you’ve not moved from the one spot all day. The neck is sore, the lower back is aching and the couch is calling. Rather than sit down and watch all the 1%’ers perform amazing workouts on Instagram, let’s get moving!
I want to share with you some amazing health benefits that even the smallest amount of movement can provide and some strategies to implement in order to do this.
Exercise & Mentality
When it comes to exercising, we can too easily get caught up in the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. This can prevent us from starting to move because we have these basic conditions that need to be met.
Common barriers to exercise include:
- ‘There’s no weights so there’s no point exercising.’
- ‘It’s raining, I’ll start tomorrow when it is sunny.’
- ‘I didn’t get enough sleep last night, tomorrow I will have more energy’
We’ve forgotten to celebrate the little victories, the minor changes we’ve made to our daily routine that benefit our health. We play down positive aspects of our health and focus mostly on the negative.
This is wrong.
It is wrong because health and wellbeing are far more than just performing reps of a weight or running a certain distance. Health is the small, easy, almost unnoticeable habits that can provide the biggest return in the long run.
Any movement is good movement.
The Importance of Movement
Let’s focus on the previous statement:
“Any movement is good movement”
What is movement you might say?
Well, movement can literally be anything. A recurring issue I see is the perception of what constitutes movement. Focusing solely on one type of movement prevents us from seeing the bigger picture.
If you like a particular movement that’s great!
However, if you don’t have access to being able to that particular type of movement, or if you don’t have the energy to perform a tough workout it’s likely that nothing will be done.
Movement can be as simple as a slow walk (the long way) to the coffee shop, a stretch routine in-between meetings or picking the kids up and doing some squats while you’re waiting for the jug to boil for your morning tea.
All of the above examples of movement will do wonders for your health in lockdown and can all be incorporated in to your day with (relative) ease.
By increasing how much and how often we move we can improve our physical and our mental health. This is by creating distance between ourselves and the things that can cause us stress. It gives us something to celebrate and feel accomplished even if it’s only minor.
Let’s start celebrating the small victories and begin to build a healthier routine.
Health Benefits Of Movement In Lockdown
Some of the health benefits of increased movement in lockdown include:
- Mental clarity
- Improves mobility
- Increased energy
- Increased blood flow
- Happier mood
All of the above are incredibly important in every day life, let alone lockdown life. Everyone is under a lot of pressure at the moment, there is a lot of stress from factors outside of our control. One thing that we do have control over at the moment however, is how much we can move on a daily basis.
How Can I Move More Every Day?
We know we need to move a bit more, it is a great idea. But how can we actually do it? Sometimes putting the answer into practice can seem much harder.
To help you on your way to moving more I’ve come up with 5 top tips:
Scheduling time regularly throughout the day to move is key to ongoing success. If we’ve committed to ourselves and put time aside to move it’s far more likely to be done. Set a 2 hour timer and get up from the desk. While you’re up do some squats or lunges, perhaps walk up and down your stairs (if you have any) or even do some stretching.
Call a friend or loved one
Times are tough and we’ve never been more disconnected (yet connected) to our friends or family. We’re lucky to live in an age where technology allows us to speak to people either via phone call or video call. While you’re on the call, walk around the house or go outside and speak to them whilst getting your steps up and some fresh air at the same time.
Drink water from a small glass
This is a great idea. Whilst also reminding you to drink more water (8 glasses a day keeps the doctor away) it also prompts you to get up from what you’re doing to refill. Again, a great distraction from the task at hand.
Try something new
There’s plenty of different forms of exercise out there. It’s a great time to separate ourselves from our normal exercise routine and try something new. Put a yoga video on and get the family involved or try a dance workout from YouTube. It doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be good at it, but it might just be a little bit of fun.
Go for a walk
I’m sure many of us have been for plenty of these recently but let’s make ‘a walk’ the next big thing. We can still interact with others whilst exercising after all. Going for a walk with a friend could be the best thing you do for yourself that day. It’s a time to not only exercise and increase the heart rate but to get out of home. Share some stories about work or plot your revenge against your partner for leaving the toilet seat up or the sink full of dirty dishes.
Moving more may seem like the most difficult thing at the moment. If we start small and take it one step at a time, we can create a good routine which will positively impact our health.
Good luck this lockdown, remember movement is wonderful for health. Although it’s winter, a favourite quote of mine is ‘a swim if for your health, but a dip is for the soul’.
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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