Beating the lockdown blues

Just one more wafer-thin mint, I groaned to myself plunging my hand once again into the already diminished box of after eight chocolates.  It was April 26th and I was feeling very much like Mr. Creosote of Monty Python fame, perhaps without the moustache.

When lockdown began in March, I was like all of us unsettled and somewhat depressed by the situation but I thought to myself, well now is a great time, in fact THE best time with no temptation of the pub or other social shenanigans – to get fit and healthy. Lose a few extra pounds and feel all glowy skinned and bikini ready for summer.

Unfortunately, this was not to be.

It all started so well, In the first two weeks I became a master home schooler (Mrs. Mummy, if you will!) partaking in morning PE with the daughter, hosted on You Tube by the lovely ( somewhat scrummy) Joe Wicks and also tutoring healthy cooking lessons.

I started jogging again( something I used to enjoy but never really felt I had the time or energy to do) I also cut down on booze. Which is something of an achievement.

And then it all went wrong! Out for a run one day, trying to beat my personal best of 11k I tripped on a curb ( or perhaps if I’m totally honest over my own stupid feet) and went sprawling to the floor putting a huge gash in my knee and twisting my ankle.

This painful and somewhat comedic incident was made worse by the fact that though my tumble was acknowledged by passers-by they were unable to help. Instead settling for  shouting from a safe distance ‘Are you ok?’. Sad times.

I hobbled home in tears, feeling very sorry for myself and worried about the state of the world.

Laid up on the sofa for the best part of a month, I gradually declined into a wine quaffing, takeaway gobbling, whats the point of it all, Stig of the Dump. Visions of a post lockdown 10 years younger, film style montage dashed at the first hurdle.

Or so it seemed.

Fast forward to today June 14th.

Lockdown has been thankfully, partially lifted though social distancing is still in place for the foreseeable future.

Around a month ago I decided a change was urgently needed. It got to the point where I knew enough was enough! ( helped by the ever-tightening waistband of my faithful leggings.)

It has taken a lot of positivity and list writing ( see June’s article) to get out of this unmotivated slump but by Jove, I believe I’ve done it!

Ok so I’m not going to be leading a work out class ( I envision 80s big hair and spandex) any time soon but I’m gradually getting fitter and healthier

It can be so hard to find the energy and enthusiasm to make a change especially in this strange new world we are currently living in.  “Its Life (Jim) but not as we know it”.

So I thought I’d share a few of my top tips for escaping that ‘lockdown lethargy.’

*Work out first thing in the morning (If you can), No making excuses.

I’m good at these such as – I can’t find my headphones! It’s raining! (one drop of rain will do!) or the ever laughable… I’ll do it a bit later! (never happens.) .

Exercise produces endorphins and will leave you feeling more energised and positive to tackle the day ahead.

*Try different forms of Fitness.

Walking is good and suitable for those with limited mobility. A long stroll on a beautiful day lifts the heart and gets the joints working!

For those who don’t mind a bit of an uphill jaunt, I recommend visiting Cissbury Ring. It is the most beautiful tranquil place with wild horses roaming free and miles of uninterrupted views. You can even see the isle of white!

 HIIT  (High-intensity interval training) is good if you have little time but still gives you a great work out, much-needed endorphin boost and helps burn those calories. I personally enjoy sprint and jump rope. 30 seconds work 30 seconds rest for 20 minutes and you’re done!

You can enjoy a distanced Jog or walk with a friend, or perhaps meet in the park for some aerobics.

*Try to cut out alcohol… ( I know right – crazy idea!) or if not perhaps save having a few drinks as a reward on the weekend or a special occasion. This means you have a treat to look forward to and will feel fresher and a little more clear headed in the mornings.

*Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early and get up early. They say 8 hours but whatever works for you!  7 hours rest suits me fine.

*Keep hydrated! Drinking water has many benefits and can help reduce sugar cravings and aid weight maintenance . 2 litres a day is generally recommended by health authorities. I keep a bottle topped up with me wherever I go.

*Plan your meals. Not only will this mean less waiting in never-ending queues at the supermarket but will help you monitor what you eat and cut down on wasted food.

* Make use of free apps and tutorials – I have found the following incredibly helpful!

For HIIT workouts see

Fitness Blender or The Body Coach on You tube.

For mapping walk and runs/calories burned.

Search for ‘map my run’ or ‘map my walk’ app on your phone.

For nutrition calculator and calorie counting ( it even has a barcode scanner!)

Search for ‘My Fitness Pal’ app on your phone or go to 

https://www.myfitnesspal.com

And finally

Think positive. Be the little train who could! (* check out the children’s book!) There a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking! 🙂

As lockdown eases let’s beat that lethargy and look to a positive and healthier future.

Happy July!

Dolly x

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