Ali Martin is a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer at Upgrade Fitness. Here she shares with us her top tips to staying healthy while the gyms are shut.
Amazon has sold out of kettlebells, Joe Wicks is on our tellies everyday and the island is filled with the smell of freshly baked banana bread. It can only mean one thing - Guernsey Lockdown 2.0. No gyms, no sport, no exercise classes…
For many of us, exercise is more than just ‘getting fit’. It is what we do and where we go to socialise, to de-stress, to clear our heads, to feel better about ourselves, to get stronger, to overcome personal challenges, to improve our health. So how do we cope without a gym? Here are my top tips to help you stay fit and well during lockdown without the equipment and facilities that you may be used to:
This is a bit of a no-brainer - we get two hours of outside activity a day, so use it! During daylight is best, but even if it is an early morning or late evening walk, try to get some outside time everyday. If you are sitting for a large portion of the day, take a little break every half an hour or so to get up and move around. Do 10 squats and 10 press ups (off the kitchen counter works well if you can’t do a full press-up), or a lap of your garden as you wait for the kettle to boil. Run up the stairs if you have them. Just adding a bit of extra movement throughout the day will make a big difference to how you move and how you feel.
Instead focus on what you can do. Yeah, we are all missing lifting heavy weights, but unless you are lucky enough to have a full squat rack and barbell set-up at home, chances are you aren’t going to be beating any PR’s in the next couple of weeks. No point worrying about it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still make improvements to your fitness in other ways.
I know, it’s so tempting but if you are trying to control your weight, having that extra biscuit is not going to help! We are all baking and cooking more, because we can and that’s great. Having the time to experiment with recipes is fantastic, but pick healthy recipes. Avoid buying food which you know will tempt you. Instead how about making smaller, lower sugar cookies or treats which will satisfy your sweet tooth without loading up the calories.
We all have weak areas. Yours might be mobility, or a weakness from an old injury. You may have a movement which you have always wanted to master - a solid Turkish get-up, a press-up or a pistol squat. Focus on these areas now and you will go back to the gym better than before.
We all know the basic things we need to do to be healthy: Eat well. Sleep well. Reduce your stress level. Be active. Drink plenty of water. Smile and laugh often.
Some of those are easier to do than others given our current situation, but this might be the perfect time to work on the things we can control.
At Upgrade Fitness, we have cancelled all membership fees for February, but we are still providing our members with 5 free online classes a week. Check with your gym to see what they are doing, and support your instructors where you can. Many local fitness providers are putting out free or reduced price content, and they would love your support. Yeah, we may not have the production values of some of the better known fitness professionals, but we are all doing our best to keep our clients connected and fit during this (hopefully short!) lockdown. So where you possibly can, please check out the local fitness offerings online and give them your support.
Whatever you do to stay fit this lockdown, and however you choose to do it, let's all try to come out of lockdown a little better than we went in.
N.B. As soon as we are out, get yourselves down to Fletchers Sports to stock up on some basic home exercise equipment, just in case we find ourselves in this situation again.
Authorised stockists for