Post Lockdown Exercise Benefits & Tips
Lockdown provided people with a lot of spare time and the opportunity to start something new, be that a new job or a new hobby, anything. Many people, including myself, decided to focus on exercise as a means of escaping their lockdown blues, and bringing routine to their, otherwise monotonous, days. Now as we prepare to exit lockdown and hopefully return to some normality, many people will be hoping to regain their pre-lockdown fitness levels or maintain their newfound passion for exercise. This article will highlight some of the benefits of exercising, both mentally and physically, whilst also suggesting some tips that may help beginners and experts alike stick to these habits.
Benefits of Exercise
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of exercise is the impact it has on your physical conditioning, possibly because this is the benefit that is easiest for others to see and then provide those highly desired compliments; “Oh you’ve lost weight, haven’t you?”. However, the physical impact is more than skin-deep, exercising can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease or a stroke for a person whilst also reducing their blood pressure at the same time.
Exercise also has a beneficial affect on a person’s mental state. As a result of exercising, it allows for people to be more social, either through gym classes with others or just providing people with body confidence that they haven’t had before to allow them to go out in public and not feel worried that people are passing negative comments about them. Exercise also boosts endorphin release within a person which, through studies, has been proven to lower the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Tips to maintain healthy habits
By no stretch of the imagination am I a fitness expert with personal training qualifications, but the following tips are things that helped me, personally, to stick to my habit of exercising regularly and made it easier to do so.
- Earlier the Better – The biggest tip I can give someone is to do their exercise first thing in the morning. Yes, this might mean setting the alarm for half an hour earlier than usual but by getting it done straight away it means you don’t have to worry about trying to motivate yourself for a workout after a long day at work. Also exercising before work will give you a substantial energy boost so you can go into work and rock that 9am meeting you’re usually stressing about!
- Embrace the social aspect – Especially after such a long period of enforced social recluse, get yourself out there with a mate, sign up for classes together and keep each other accountable. I always find it harder to cancel that Sunday morning run if I have planned to do it with someone else, simply because I don’t want to let them down. However, more importantly, if the past year has taught us anything it is not to take things for granted. So, make the most of being able to see friends again, do so by incorporating an exercise in and you will both reap the rewards!
- Have a plan – This tip sounds obvious, but the number of times I have missed a day of exercise simply from not knowing if I was going to do a walk/ run or weights. Our days are already hectic so take 5 minutes the night before to decide the type of workout you want to do, that way you can jump straight into it when you wake up (see tip 1)!
As you can see the benefits of exercise span further than just your physical looks, it can provide people with an escape from the stress of daily life and allow them to expunge some of their frustration. Hopefully, you found my friendly tips to be helpful and moving forward as we exit lockdown you can incorporate them into your routine to help keep yourself on track and make those fitness habits stick in the long term!