Ian Worthington, personal trainer and owner of GymWolfPT in Preston, offers guidance to help you look after your physical and mental wellbeing whilst working in isolation at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Spending extended periods confined to home and adhering to the government’s instructions for isolation may seem overwhelming, however, in my case, it throws the challenge to push myself and create solutions (rather than excuses) to continue to stay healthy at home.
Don’t let isolation worry you, try instead to embrace it as an opportunity to create a new routine which works for you, your family and business needs under these current circumstances.
Here are my five top health tips for making home-based working, work for you:
TIP ONE: Create a new normal
Your normal routine may no longer be possible, but it doesn’t mean you can’t create a new normal routine that fits your current circumstances.
Short-term it may be tempting to stay longer in bed and watch hours of TV, but long-term it will have a detrimental effect on your mindset and become a harder habit to change.
Rising at the same time every day, doing some exercise first thing and getting showered and dressed and having a nutritious breakfast will put you in a better frame of mind to start the day.
TIP TWO: Exercising at home
There are many variations of squats, lunges, press-ups and sit-ups to help you stay fit at home.
By adding elastic belts as resistance bands into the equation, filled bottle for weights, chair as dip bench, you can literally get the full gym workout experience.
A daily workout may be as little as 20 minutes in duration if completed at a high intensity and should include:
- a ‘starter’ warm-up of light cardio and dynamic stretches / mobilisations
- a ‘main course’ of bodyweight or resistance-based exercises
- a ‘dessert’ of cool-down static stretches
If you want to create a set of home workouts that fits with your home situation, send me a message. ‘We can work it out’ together.
TIP THREE: Keep eating well
Not only does a balanced diet keep you feeling great, it will help improve your mood and strengthen your immune system.
Whilst certain foods may be unavailable, the key is to maintain a healthy balanced diet that limits junk food and contains the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals) you need.
Your diet should contain wholefoods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, seeds and whole grains which provide high quality protein, carbohydrates and food containing no added sugars nor salt.
TIP FOUR: Rest the mind
During times of stress and anxiety it is extremely beneficial to meditate, the practice of training the mind into a state of mental clarity. Home is the perfect place to perform it.
There are plenty of meditation ‘apps’ available to download, such as Headspace and 1 Giant Mind both offer plenty of methods to teach you how to meditate.
To get away from it all, even at home, make sure to follow these suggestions as well:
- Limit the coronavirus related items you watch and read each day and make sure to have some coronavirus-free conversations.
- Celebrate things important to you and find new ways to do this.
- Focus on the things you can control in your life, not the things you can’t.
It takes time and practice to master the art of meditation, so be patient. Once mastered it’s definitely a ‘go to’ super-power to focus and calm the mind.
TIP FIVE: Stay in touch
Social interaction is very important to preserve the health and fitness of the mind so don’t lose touch with close friends and family.
Arrange a regular time that you speak to specific family members and friends each day by phone and create social groups online to keep in touch with colleagues too.
I connect daily via my new Facebook Everyday Fitness Accountability Group.
I hope my five tips will help you to gain a better positive experience from being at home. And remember, staying fit and well during this difficult time and looking after one another, will also put less strain on UK’s medical support network that needs to available to help people suffering from COVID-19.
So, stay home, stay healthy, stay strong and stay safe.