Lock Down Part II has just started as of midnight last night, which means gyms are shut and so are other services that might help you stay fit and active over the next 4 weeks or so. As well as this, we have also been told to work from home. Now working from home has its advantages which I will go into in a moment but it also has its disadvantages. If the last lock down in April, May and June was anything to go by, it probably means that most of us will get a bit fatter, a bit more lazy and pick up more niggles, aches and pains.
The negative affects of working form home for most of us are pretty damaging as you become:
Now I am not trying to be negative and scare people here but the fact remains that these lock downs cause huge social and mental problems in society but...
"It really doesn't have to be this way! Why? Because all of the above is a choice you make. It may not feel like one and you may feel out of control but trust me, it's a choice. Being in lock down does not have to be like this, working from home does not have to be like this as long as you perceive it in the right way!"
So earlier I promised you that I would outline the benefits of working form home. There are many and it gives you the perfect opportunity to make some real positive changes to your lifestyle and form great, long lasting habits.
So what are the benefits of working from home exactly?
my 5 top tips to make lock down work for you
1. Create structure and give yourself a timetable.
This is super important as it will help you get organised, work more efficiently and add structure to your day.
As well as your work related tasks, mark down your meal, snack, break and exercise times so you know exactly what you are doing and when.
2. Schedule your workouts for a set time every day.
Add them to your weekly schedule and make sure you prioritise them as you would a business meeting. These are a super important part of your physical and mental health so don't make poor excuses to skip them. Get them done and I promise you will feel much better.
I think a good way to go is a 10-15 min daily mobility session first thing in the morning followed by a scheduled strength & cardio session. Online coaching programs are great for this. Especially ones with live workouts as they help you stay accountable. Aim for 3-5 of these types of training sessions per week for proper results.
3. Get away from your desk
Mentally and to help with overall productivity, this one is also important. Meal times should be spent in another part of the house so no eating lunch at your desk and powering through. You are not doing yourself any favours at all. Get out for a walk too. Even if it is cold and wet. It will help you feel refreshed and make it easier for you to remain focus on your work.
4. Get on top of your nutrition
If your goals are to maintain or improve your body shape or size, this is the area that will result in the most gains. A good nutrition program that gets you results really is about habits and being consistent. So don't make huge changes all at once. We are in this for at least 4 weeks so my advice would be to work on one thing at a time.
I find breakfast is a great place to start as it also gets you in the right mindset for the day. So think of the next 4 weeks as a kick-start to the rest of your life (sounds cheesy I know but what is the point of making changes that you don't stick to?). Every week focus on a new part of your daily nutrition regime.
Week 1 - Breakfast Focus
Week 2 - Snack choices/alcohol intake
Week 3 - Lunches
Week 4 - Evening meals
By focusing in on one thing per week, it stops it becoming overwhelming and more manageable long term. It may be that you only get a handle on 1 or 2 of these over the next 4 weeks, which isn't bad at all. Remember, it is about making the changes at the right time and speed for you so you can stick with them long term. So there is no rush and every step in the right direction is great.
5. Find someone to support you and to be accountable to.
These times can definitely mess with your head so having someone there to help you through is really important. This could be in the form of an online coach or even just a friend or family member. Discuss your goals and what you want to achieve with this person so they can help you be accountable and help you stay motivated. They can also be someone who is just there fo a chat too, someone to vent to and get things off your chest.
So over the next 4 weeks and beyond, lets try to look at these changes as opportunities to improve and grow, help each other out and spend time focusing on ourselves...
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Darren has over 10 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, sports injury therapist and most recently as an educator to other trainers. Originally from South Wales, he went to Liverpool University to study Sports Science and liked the city so much, he decided to stay. Since finishing his degree he set up a thriving personal training and injury rehab business which continues to this day. He has recently moved over to Denby Dale in West Yorkshire and has opened Faster Fitness Solutions, a multi-purpose training and rehabilitation facility located in the heart of the village.