A change of routine is difficult at the best of times, let alone when it feels as though the light at the end of the tunnel continues to move further away with every new update. It is not ground-breaking information that movement is one of the most effective ways to manage stress, anxiety and overall physical health.
We get it though, there’s a good chance you are taking this time to recharge and maybe pick up an old hobby or start daily meditation; which are both great, but staying or getting active while working from home is not just good for your mind and body, it’s actually good for your work too!
It’s not about 1000 burpees
We have all heard the age-old saying that there is ‘no pain, no gain’, but fortunately, it could not be further from the truth for a multitude of reasons. The first being that consistently training at your maximum output day-in-day-out will only do you more harm than good. Human bodies are resilient but they are also just that, human, and if you are looking for any kind of progress in strength or cardiovascular, not giving your body a chance to recover is the worst thing you can do. A safe ballpark is training between 60-75% of your maximum level of output on varied days. Remember, working up a sweat is not necessarily the sign of a successful workout, it just means you worked up a sweat.
Now is the time to focus on minimalist training
There is a form of training by a Russian strength guru, Pavel Tsatsouline, called ‘greasing the groove’ which is a fantastic way to add movement into your daily routine without feeling exhausted. Basically, it means setting a reminder for every 60-90 minutes and performing 1-3 reps of a movement to strengthen the neurological pathways but not fatigue the muscles. It works for pushups, squats, chin-ups and beyond because it is based on the philosophy that gaining strength is a skill and needs to be practised like any other skill. It also creates a nice break to keep your mind fresh and focussed throughout the day and come 5pm, you’ll have done close to 10-15 solid, strong reps of each movement pattern.
Take a walk outside
For obvious reasons, taking a walk or going for a run outside right now is going to do great things for your mental health. We all need as much fresh air and vitamin D as we can get at the moment so before you sit down at your make-do desk, plan a 15-minute walk around the block to press reset. It’s also a great way to sign-off for the day too by taking another walk after you finish working to let your brain take a moment. Living, working, training, studying, and potentially even home-schooling in the same house all day is tough! So, get into a routine of getting out and about for your own productivity and sanity.
Smaller workouts, more often
Chances are that if you have been going to the gym prior to this, you’ll have been spending 45-minutes to an hour at a time performing your workouts around 3-4 times a week. Now is the time to break those down into smaller, more achievable sessions and aim for 20-minutes a day, 6-7 days a week. Shorter and more digestible training sessions will set you up for long-term success and build sustainable habits, rather than relying solely on motivation to get you through.
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Support local gyms and trainers
Alongside our hospitality friends, gym-owners and personal trainers are struggling to find a way to adapt to the current environment. As always, there will be some programs which are more suitable than others and it’s important to treat it as though you are looking for a gym or trainer you would genuinely like to train with in person. Online training is a whole new world for both fitness professionals and clients, but it is one that is well worth supporting.
Sources we recommend:
If you aren’t ready to commit to a PT, here are our best fitness sources for movements and workouts to get you through the day:
One of the most important things to remember at this point in time is that putting pressure on yourself to maintain your current fitness level will only put your body under more stress. Take it day by day and treat movement and workouts as remedies right now, rather than ‘how many as fast as you can!’.