Like most people, lockdown was an extended holiday for me. I worked during the day, spent evenings enjoying the long summer days. Ate lots of food and did almost no exercise.
A holiday without a routine which lasts that long has consequences, bad eating habits and difficulty exercising. My disciplined healthy eating habits, rigorous 10k steps as a minimum a day are gone and now its time to restart the routine but where do I start is what many of us are wondering. We break it down for you and give you some tips.
1. Find a friend who will motivate you
The best endeavours in life are the ones we do with someone, be it a business, a task, a holiday. So find a friend who will help you to keep to your routine. Anyone you regularly speak to should be ok.
2. Build it up
We are still coming out of holiday zone and going from the relaxed no rules lifestyle we have had for the last 4 months to a complete change might be a drastic shock. It works for some people who would rather have a fitness trainer to get them into shape but our body has an amazing ability to forget what its like to exercise so it needs to be reminded slowly.
Slow doesn’t mean wearing your gym gear and then just walking up and down the stairs twice but more that you should build it up.
3. Start with introducing 10 squats every 30 mins while working
The great thing about a home office is that you don’t constantly have an audience when you get up from your desk so you can sit on the floor and work, stand against a wall and even do some squats.
Use a resistance band to really make a difference.
4. Add wall pull ups
Exercising the upper body is just as important as toning your legs so add some wall pull ups to your routine when you can.
5. Do 10 jumping jacks before a conference call or as many as you can within 1 minute
One jumping jack takes around 1 second, why not do 10 quick jumping jacks before a call and pump up some energy. You would have probably completed 10 while you connect to the call or if you have 1 minute to spare then see how many you can do within a minute before starting your call.
6. Stretch during conference calls
Most places like you to have your camera switched on but why not do some stretches while on a call, you can briefly switch it off while you stretch, most people can exercise and listen so you should still be able to focus while you stretch. Many films have busy CEOs exercising and working, so it shouldn't be viewed as you breaking the rules.
Add some resistance if you want to make a difference.
7. Watch your snacks
A home office also makes food so much more accessible. All the food in the kitchen cupboard is yours to eat and it's easy to think a break is to go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and biscuits or even a handful of nuts. I am definitely guilty of that but that is not what a break is about, use it to stretch instead but keep away from the food. Avoid temptation as much as you can.
8. Watch your lunch meal
When in the office we build up healthy habits, my previous workplace only served salad at lunch and it was the best salad bar ever. You could take anything you want and you paid according to the size of the box. There was always enough variety to stop me getting bored and it was always healthy.
At home it is far too tempting to eat a proper meal instead of a salad and hard to remain disciplined. Then post lunch there is the temptation to snack on a bar of chocolate. These are all bad habits which you should avoid.
Also get yourself these portion control containers which will help guide you with exactly how much to eat. Everything is good in moderation.
9. Take it to the next level
When you have done the above for around 1-2 weeks your body will start to feel like it's ready to take on more extensive exercise. You can do 3k runs twice a week to start off with and then increase it slowly until your fitness levels are back at where they need to be and you have your good eating habits back.
Maybe after a month you will feel like you need to take it even further and might be tempted by a resistance training parachute.
It won’t be easy but remember that friend we mentioned above will help you through the difficult times. Check in with each other to make sure you are both sticking to routine.