By Matthew Jeffrey, Associate at Lanyon Group
Most health and fitness experts categorise staying physically and mentally fit into a series of ‘simple’ behaviours – eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet; exercising regularly; and getting the maximum amount of sleep.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has escalated rapidly to its current critical state, the majority of us across the UK and Ireland have found ourselves working from home. On March 23rd, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a major ramping up of coronavirus measures that are to be adhered to across the UK, which will be reviewed again in three weeks.
One of the key points from these new guidelines to bear in mind is that all indoor and outdoor gyms will close indefinitely. However, it was made clear that one form of outdoor exercise per day was permitted. And while social distancing is imperative in preventing the spread of Coronavirus, it has no doubt disrupted our daily routines in general and, notably, our fitness habits.
Whilst major advances in technology make it incredibly easy for most teams and businesses to work remotely, keeping your diet in check can be challenging when adjusting to working from home – after all, it’s natural to feel more comfortable at home and there’s perhaps more food than usual readily available to you.
However, lack of exercise and not eating the ‘right’ foods can quickly halt productivity – something that businesses cannot afford to let happen in these current challenging economic times.
With this in mind, here are some of the well-publicised useful tips that the Lanyon team are implementing to keep our health and fitness on track at home:
- Plan ahead for snack and meal times – In the same way you would structure your diary in the office, it can be helpful to plan out your entire day and establish when throughout the day you’re going to eat. Find what works for you – if you like taking a break at 10.30am and lunch at 1.00pm, try as best as you can to plan the rest of your day around that.
- Prep your meals and snacks in advance – Whilst it’s a novelty suddenly being able to spend time in your own kitchen getting creative at lunch time, if you can, try prep your snacks and meals the night before, just like you might do on days when you physically go to the office. This is also a useful way to ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet.
- Focus on the ‘better’ food groups – It’s been proven time and time again that the more nutritious foods contribute to our productivity and help us remain focused, which is crucial to working from home successfully. When prepping your meals in advance during the week, try to focus on the proteins, healthy fats, fruits and veg, and try to refrain from needless snacking!
- Drink plenty of water – This is probably the most basic on the list, but it serves as a good reminder that drinking plenty of water daily is a great way to keep you hydrated and boost your outputs. Just as you would do in work, keep a water bottle filled up on your desk at home at all times.
- Don’t drink too much caffeine – Having access to endless cups of coffee can be a good thing for the coffee lovers out there, but try to limit yourself to two cups per day.
- Don’t work beside the kitchen – Perhaps the most trivial of the suggestions on this list, however, the point is to discipline yourself to stay away from the fridge throughout the day unless it is during one of your pre-assigned snack or meal times.
In terms of our physical exercise, whist we aren’t able to go to the gym for a work-out at present, there are many ways in which we can stay active in the days and weeks ahead. We are permitted to leave the house once a day, be it to walk, run or bike, so long as we are sensible, adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines set by the UK Government and keep a safe distance (two metres minimum) from other people.
There are also many gyms and fitness instructors across the UK who are now offering virtual classes or adding daily workout routines for us to follow online in light of the current circumstances – so, it’s time to get creative in the garden!
Here are some useful sites and individuals that you can follow which will help you stay physically fit and active while practicing social distancing:
High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT] and Cardio:
- Barry’s UK, the fitness studio famed for pushing its participants to the physical limit, is bringing its intense workouts to Instagram live.
- Another option for a high intensity workout is to check out the classes being offered by Peloton.
- Although boxing studio Rumble usually requires apparatus such as boxing gloves and skipping ropes as part of its workouts, while people are self-isolating at home, it is offering a variety of workout classes online.
- CorePower Yoga is carrying out live classes online.
- LV Yoga Fareham, in Portsmouth, is also offering free yoga classes, which are being live streamed on its Facebook page.
- Yoga and Pilates studio Triyoga has announced it is soon going to be offering free online classes, which will run six days a week from Monday to Saturday.
Fitness classes for the family:
- Well-known online fitness trainer and chef Joe Wicks is uploading daily PE lessons onto his YouTube account, which goes by the name The Body Coach TV.
- Northern Ireland-based yoga instructor Dr Anne Monaghan (Well Worth It), meanwhile, is offering free yoga classes for children on Facebook.
Fitness for the elderly:
- Exercise company Move It or Lose It, which caters for older adults, is offering live workout sessions on its Facebook page.
- And in addition to devising PE lessons for kids, Joe Wicks has also shared a 10-minute chair workout for seniors, which he shared on YouTube.
[Source: The Independent Online / www.independent.co.uk]
Staying physically and mentally fit while working from home