Top 5 tips for staying fit and healthy during quarantine

By David Broomfield, Founder of Primate Training UK

How are you finding keeping fit during the coronavirus pandemic? With most gyms shut for the foreseeable future some of us might find it hard to find the motivation to get up and get moving.

The fact of the matter is physical exercise is fundamental for us to reduce our risk of developing all forms of cardio vascular disease, improve daily function and decrease depression. That’s why it is so important for everyone to get up and start/continue to improve our physical well being. It will help us be healthier and keep a smile on your face!

With this in mind, I wanted to give you the top 5 tips to keep you motivated.

Stay active

It might sound so simple, but how easy is it to sit on the sofa whilst over-indulging and say to yourself ‘I’ll do that tomorrow?’ I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at some point.

Now to make it clear, this doesn’t mean you have to smash a two hour long body building session every day. However, try to get out and be active daily, whether that’s taking a walk with your family, going for a run or having a home workout. You will build muscle and/or improve your aerobic ability and it will have a great influence on your emotional state by the release of positive hormones (endorphins), keeping you fit and happy!

Small changes

More often than not, people start drastic fitness regimes or fad diets that are not sustainable. These type of programs generally have unrealistic training expectations accompanied with a reduced calorie intake that far exceeds what the individual needs, leaving them hungry and stressed. Not only is this no benefit to the person physically (you’re likely to overtrain and reducing your calories by such an extent quickly will actually lead to more water and glycogen loss than fat) it’s no surprise they end up giving up on their new-found diet/training and end up back where they started, a lot of wasted time and money. Four weeks later they see the next paid promotion on social media and start the whole process again.

Rather than making such drastic changes and having the mentality that this is a ‘diet’ that can be quickly abandoned, look to make a lifestyle change. Keep it small, something manageable that you can maintain over a long period of time. This way you’ll be more likely to adhere to the change and reap the benefits from living a healthier lifestyle. Once you’ve nailed that, make another small alteration.

I guarantee by making small changes you’ll find it much easier to attain your goal and more importantly continue to live a healthy lifestyle. So much more so than any yo-yo diet that cuts your calories by 80% and drinking your body weight in smoothies.

Set a goal

Goal setting is a great motivational tool and has been shown to improve performance and adherence to fitness programs in a variety of demographics (older, younger and athletes). Not only is it a great tool to keep you motivated towards your fitness goals, but it can also help you in every day life, your career, personal life and financial ambitions.

So many people disregard the positive influence that simple principals developed in the gym can have on the wider aspects of your life.

For example, if you have a problem with timekeeping at work, make timekeeping a focus in your fitness goals. Commit yourself to training 3 times a week, for 45 minutes with 30 minutes for cardio work and 15 minutes for body weight exercises, and at a set time. Inadvertently you are changing your mindset through a simple goal which will help you outside of fitness.

Remember to build short term, medium term, and long term goals that you are striving towards using SMART objectives. I’ve found these are the best way to make your goals specific to what you want to achieve and ensure that you remain on-track.

Consistency

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your long term goal wont be achieved that easily either (and if it was that easy, would it even worth doing?) The hardest part to any training program is keeping consistent. Being committed enough to have that long term goal in your mind and continue to strive towards it through your short term goals. Inevitably you will have days where you lack motivation but the individuals who succeed, whether its work or fitness related, have consistency and I guarantee if you show consistency too, you’ll achieve your fitness goals. Stay consistent, notice the small changes and most of all, enjoy the process!

Everyone has pressures outside of fitness so if you do miss a session, that’s okay – but what can you do to fit that in tomorrow instead? Do this so you can continue to strive and achieve what you set out to achieve. Not only will you smash a personal objective which should make you extremely proud, you’ll be fitter physically and mentally.

Have fun

The most important factor. The programs that are most successful and have the best influence on your physical and psychological state are fun. The reason why we partake in fitness, outside of the obvious health benefits, is because of the enjoyment factor. So make sure to incorporate fitness that makes you happy, whether that is by working hard with an online PT that you trust, performing cardio and/or weight training, or exercising with your family. Make sure its fun, we only get one life and its important that we continue to be healthy and happy.

If you have any questions or require any advice, please feel free to contact me at @primatetraininguk on Instagram where I’ll be posting various fitness tips to help you reach your goal.