5 Easy Ways To Stay Fit During Lockdown

With the current lockdown being in place many people feel that they are unable to move around as much as they once could. They feel that perhaps their physical goals will now elude them and now some feel that their mental health will suffer.

However, what if there was another way?

Below I have listed and described 5 exercises/ workouts that you can do in the vicinity of your own homes that will put you back in the direction of your goals quickly.

1/ Tabata Training

Tabata training was created in Japan. It is a proven method for achieving fat loss and is essentially the most effective way of doing so. With it’s intense bouts of activity followed by a relatively short period of recovery. It is due to these short recoveries that the body begins to use fat as a major source of fuel. The key thing here is to get your heartrate up to 80% of it’s maximum during the times when you’re actually working out. You must warm up first but having done so you could try one of the following (Please choose 1 of the following and do not do all of them):

  • 20 seconds high knee sprints/ 10 seconds recovery (8 sets)
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks/ 15 seconds recovery (8 sets)
  • 40 seconds mountain climbers/ 20 seconds recovery (8 sets)

There are obviously other options here. I am just giving some examples.

2/ Cycling

Whilst we are in lockdown, we are allowed to do an unlimited amount of exercise each day. This isn’t just important for our physical wellbeing. It is also very important for our mental wellbeing. Whilst I recommend that you are not irresponsible with either your social distancing nor the amount of exercise that you do, this is an opportunity for you to get out and about and embrace the fresh air.

Cycling will engage many muscle groups in the body (especially in the lower half of the body) and the core. It is also low impact and thus it can actually strengthen your knees if done correctly.

There are also many ways in which you can measure progress with cycling which will support your mental health which is obviously very important during these times. Read my blog on exercise and mental health for more information on this.

3/ Running

Running is an easy sport to partake in or build up to, during these times. Obviously do not take on more than you can handle as running can be more demanding than it initially appears to be, but if managed well you can really progress.

Just ensure that you look after your knees with this one.

You will also be able to measure your progress very well with running which can be very important for your mental health as well. Read my blog on exercise and mental health for more information on the ways in which exercise can support with your mental health during these times.

4/ Circuit training

Just because the gyms are closed it doesn’t mean that you can’t complete your own “class”. Get out into the park (or even stay in your own home), and use your own bodyweight to create your own “mini circuit”. Exercises can included squats, push-ups, sit ups, lunges, bodyweight shoulder presses, the list goes on. If you’re really cleaver you can also make this a combination of a strength and cardiovascular workout.

5/ Walking

Maybe the most obvious one comes last. However, there is much science to explain with this one too. A brisk walk brings a lot of health benefits other than just the obvious calorie burner. When we are stressed we produce a lot of stress hormones which will cause our bodies to store body fat around our midriff. However, once we’ve gone out and done 20-30 minutes of brisk walking, this will typically reduce the amount of stress that we are feeling. Try to get your arms involved as well when you go for your walk as this will burn more calories.

Obviously there will be other options which you can use in order to get yourself into great condition and to keep your mental health strong over this lockdown period. However, the options above are excellent ideas, they are simple and subsequently they will certainly get you going.

Training in your 50s requires more knowledge than your day job

Drew Gatherer - Personal Training for women in London

When you want to train in your 50s, or even start training in your 50s, there can be many things to consider.

The first thing that your personal trainer should recommend is to go and see your doctor to make sure that you are fit and well. There are essentially no contraindications standing in your way to train but some exercises might need modifying in order to make them more suitable for you if you have something like arthritis which is more prevalent in someone in their 50s than someone in their teens.

Your personal trainer might also want to adjust some exercises in case you have something like osteoporosis which can be managed, again, by exercising at lower impact.

‘Whilst I have mentioned people with osteoporosis and arthritis, I haven’t yet mentioned clients who struggle with high blood pressure. This could be quite prevalent in their 50s. However, it can be easily managed. All that needs to be done is to not lift heavy weights as this can cause further difficulties. One can lift lighter weights but more regularly. Once this regularity occurs, results really start to occur.

By exercising regularly personal trainers can help older adults combat age-related muscle loss, improve bone and joint health, lower cardiometabolic risk factors, fight chronic diseases and improve mental health and cognitive functioning. Perhaps most importantly, exercising as you get older can help you maintain functional independence and improve your quality of life. This is particularly important as it helps bone and muscles become stronger and more maintained.  

Whilst I have mentioned people with osteoporosis and arthritis, I haven’t yet mentioned clients who struggle with high blood pressure. This could be quite prevalent in their 50s. However, it can be easily managed. All that needs to be done is to not lift heavy weights as this can cause further difficulties. One can lift lighter weights but more regularly. Once this regularity occurs, results really start to occur.

Your personal trainer should guide you through the entire process of this.

Next-generation of personal training

Drew Gatherer - Personal Training for women in London

Online training has become a very important way of personal training during the last few months.

Obviously the Coronavirus pandemic meant that people had to socially distance themselves from each other in order to prevent the disease from spreading but also it meant that, due to it being a very large event, people needed a long amount of time to get used to what was going on. They also needed their space. Not just physical, but mental and psychological space too.

Subsequently, online personal training came in.

Personal trainers were able to train their clients from anywhere in the world and they could still watch the technique, provide accountability, provide advice/support during the session, provide motivation during the session and advise the client what to do immediately after the session such as nutrition advice etc.

However, even though the gyms will come back, online training has a huge role to play moving forward. Here’s why:-

1) You can train anywhere in the world you want with your personal trainer. It doesn’t have to be in the gym. Flexibility is a big thing.

2) Online personal training is much more cost effective than 1 to 1 personal training.

3) This form of training allows us to have the most time together and will give me the most time to put together the best possible programme for you.

However, this programme can be delivered on most forms of social media privately, Zoom, Skype and others.

As a personal trainer of 8 years now, I understand that a lot of people feel that someone has to be there in order to monitor their progress or motivate them or help them etc. However, someone will still be there with all of the notes, all of the sessions, to take all of your measurements etc but I’ll have them on the other side of a phone, computer or laptop etc. I’m always by your side at any time you need me. Essentially it’ll also give you the space that you will need in order to make progress as well. This is important.

At the moment, the image that many people have of personal training is of a personal trainer shouting in their face like a military soldier in order to force them to get their results for them. It does not have to be this way!

An organised personal trainer will be able to have the composure to know that the results will come because they trust themselves because they’ve written a great training programme for their personal training client.

A great personal trainer will be relaxed and help their online personal training clients become more confident to get their results, every time.

The media has for a while been mentioning the term “new norm”. This new norm term is all about what society’s post Covid. A society of social distancing. One to one personal training would be very difficult to maintain with the 2 meter/6 foot distance. What wouldn’t be difficult to manage, and it’s been proven, is online personal training.

I’m not saying that things won’t evolve from online personal training (they might well do) but at the moment, online personal training is a highly technical and safe approach to achieving ones goals.

Personal training v training by yourself

Drew Gatherer - Personal Training for women in London

It’s early in the morning and you have to go to work but you didn’t train yesterday. So you really should do something today shouldn’t you? If you get up now you have the time to train and shower before getting to work. Oh well, just one more day not training won’t make that much difference will it. 

Let’s look at how your day could have started. Exactly the same in terms of waking up but your personal trainer had texted and maybe even called you to make sure that you were up. Your personal trainer would have had your training session all mapped out ready for you so that you didn’t even have to think about what to do. No Googling of exercises to help you think that you were making progress. 

You would have felt the desire (not need) to get up and get to your session. 

However, that’s not even the good bit. Having made progress physically during your personal training session, you would have felt a rush of achievement and sense of accomplishment. Now you’re set up for the day!

You feel that everything is achievable simply because you were successful in a highly specific personal training session that you turned up to earlier in that day. A personal training session that helped you to progress from the previous personal training session that you did a few days prior. 

Now you have a sense of purpose! A sense of purpose that helps you to realise what you are capable of. 

You see, when you train on your own there isn’t really any preparation in terms of planning or accountability. There isn’t any record of what you achieved. There certainly isn’t anyone in your corner cheering you on and giving you their support for when times get tough. And times will get tough! I don’t need to mention that. 

What should you eat? Do you know? Your personal trainer does. They will be able to let you know what to eat (or what not to eat) based on your goal. 

Do you feel that you do the same workout every time on your own? Well, sometimes with your personal trainer you will be doing similar sessions but there will be a purpose. The purpose will be to achieve a goal that you may have never though that you’d ever achieve. You thought that it just might have one day mystically happened. But your personal trainer knows that it’ll happen because their qualified to organise the sessions in order to help you get there. Your personal trainer is experienced enough (hopefully) to plan your sessions to do the same. 

Not every session should even be based on doing training. Some sessions will be in a room where all of your body stats are taken and your personal trainer discusses with you what the next stage is going to be. 

Some sessions you won’t like with your personal trainer. However, in a way they’re the sessions that make you stronger  and more likely to achieve your goals. 

Writing food diaries, being sent and told what you can and can’t eat are crucial if you are to achieve your goals. Would you achieve your goals if you didn’t have someone on at you telling you what you could and couldn’t eat. 

Yes, there’s a big difference between having a personal trainer and not having one. Some people say to themselves “I can do it on my own” and years later nothing has happened, whereas their friends have decided to invest and made huge progress. 

It’s your choice. Personal trainer or no personal trainer?!