These are uncertain times. The pandemic has affected each and every one of us either directly or indirectly, and we are all dealing with the fallout in our own ways. Many of us are stressed, bored, or just plain unmotivated and this has the potential to impact not just our mental wellbeing but also our physical wellbeing. The external motivations, from something simple like a routine to stop by the gym after work, or trying to lose weight for that upcoming wedding have disappeared for a lot of us. We are stuck at home with no access to a gym and no idea when things are going to return to normal.
However, there is something that we can all agree on. And that is at some point in the near future things will go back to normal. Gyms will reopen, events will be organized, and life as we remembered will return. And with that there will come regret. Regret for having not taken better care of your fitness and wellbeing during the social distancing times. Regret for not having controlled your diet better and not having tried to get atleast some exercise while staying at home.
So, it's time to do something about it and try to make the best of this situation and try to do whatever we can to stay fit and avoid regrets. This will allows us to quickly catch up with our fitness goals when things return back to normal. Staying-at-home actually offers some unique opportunities to do things that we don't always get to do when we have a commute and are stuck at work.
Here are some of the tips & tricks that you can follow to not just be as fit as before but even exceed some of your fitness goals during these times:
Drink More Water
Set a goal to drink atleast 10 cups of water every day. Liquid in the form of tea can be counted towards this number. By staying hydrated you will flush toxins, keep your metabolism in order, stay energized and power through your day much easier.
I recommend 16:8 Intermittent Fasting for most people as an easy way to add fasting to your life, but staying at home offers opportunities to try other forms, like OMAD or 5:2 fasting. The choice is yours to make based on what you prefer and can stay consistent with. Any fasting is better than no fasting and longer durations provide more benefits. This leads to a number of positive changes in your mind and body from affecting fat loss, to increasing metabolism, to keeping your mind sharp, to creating a better relationship with food. The benefits cannot be overstated.
This is challenging to do when all of us are stuck at home but we can all walk more inside our houses, or even just in our neighborhoods. Set aside 1-2 hours where you are consciously walking, even while doing chores inside your home, or walk your dog, or go for a jog, do some skipping in your backyard, work in your yard or do some gardening or even do some yoga. Any movement will help and keep your muscles active and raise your metabolism.
There are many exercises you can do at home that doesn't require any special equipment. Look into doing Push-ups, Body weight dips, Planks, Stairsteps, Curls using household objects, Hip thrusts, Deadlifts using household heavy objects, etc. To keep things simple, choose a body part for each day of the week, and aim for doing a certain number of total reps, say 50, with multiple breaks. So, say you can do 10 reps in one go, then take a break for few minutes or even go do some chore or other things you need to take care of, come back and do another 10 and so on. Keep a count of how many reps you could do total for that exercise in one day and record in a diary. Then try to increase that number week by week, so that if you are able to do a total of 50 in one week, try to go for 55 for that same exercise next week. This type of routine will ensure that you don't lose your muscle mass while away from the gym.
An advantage of staying home is that you can control what you eat better. Gone are the excuses to grab something fast and easy on the go. Plan your meals and stick to it. Avoid refined, processed foods and sugary juices and drinks. Aim for atleast 3-4 servings of fruits and same for vegetables. Cook all your meals and familiarize yourself with using spices for flavor, instead of relying overtly on sugar and salt.
With just these five actions incorporated in your lockdown lifestyle, you are bound to notice significant improvements in your health and once you have followed these for a while, you will want to continue them even after things return to normal and continue to reap immense benefits.