How to Maintain an Active Lifestyle During Lockdown
So you’re very busy, but still want to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Join the club! It’s super important to stay active all year round, and especially so in the middle of a pandemic.
Lockdown restrictions have made going to the gym impossible and your exercise routine might have fallen by the wayside in 2020, but there’s nothing like a New Year’s resolution to get your physical and mental health back on track in 2021.
What Even Is a Healthy Lifestyle?
While there isn’t a “one size fits all” definition, a healthy lifestyle usually involves getting regular physical activity and prioritising your mental health through self care. It also includes eating a balanced diet (a process made easier with our amino-rich vegan protein powders) and cutting down on cigarettes and alcohol wherever possible.
Why is a Healthy Lifestyle Important?
A healthy lifestyle can lead to a more joyful, energetic and present way of life. It can do wonders for your physical, mental and emotional health. But don’t just take our word for it.
The NHS is quite vocal about how good physical health can boost your energy levels, improve sleep and lift your mood. It can even help to reduce symptoms related to mild forms of anxiety and depression. They’re pretty much calling it the ultimate stress buster, which is exactly what it is.
How to Maintain an Active Lifestyle During Lockdown
Maintaining an active lifestyle during lockdown starts with adhering to the latest government advice when it comes to exercise. Once you know when and where you can work out, you can start thinking about how you’re going to go about it. The following ideas should help you get started.
1. Set goals
Try not to go running off with a rigid workout schedule at first – your body might not take too kindly to it! Begin by prioritising a time in your day for some form of physical activity. One you have this time carved out, start setting small goals for what you want to do.
It can be as simple as making time to get up out of your chair and walk around the house, apartment or the garden. Personalise and change your goals to fit in with your needs and schedule. You might be surprised how much these small changes with a positive mindset can lift your mood – which might also motivate you to make small changes in your diet to keep the momentum going.
2. Speak it into existence
Another good idea is to speak the idea of getting more active into existence. Say it out loud as often as you can. Hold yourself accountable by telling someone about your exercise plans.
You can even become (virtual) workout buddies with a friend. Maybe you both can go for a run at the same time each day and tell each other about it. It’s easier to stick to a routine if you have someone else counting on you. The extra support will also help on the days when everything feels a little harder than usual.
3. Get outside as much as you can (within the guidelines, of course)
Spending time outside doesn’t mean having to run a 5k race. Besides, running isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and isn’t the only way to feel healthier. Instead, make the most of your opportunities to get some fresh air every day: you could go for a walk, take the kids to the park or the playground or take the long walk down to the supermarket.
4. Try something new
As lockdown has forced everyone to slow things down, it’s never been a better time to try a new (virtual) activity. Maybe you’ve been meaning to get to that online yoga or pilates class for months, or to try a free workout on YouTube (there are more than enough of those to go around!).
You could even try using frozen food as a weights substitute to do some strength training. If it’s worked for some of the best athletes in the world, why not?
5. Do it your own way
If you aren’t enjoying your workouts, keeping them going will be hard. Explore different ways of working activity into your day in a way that works for you. Maybe you prefer to exercise by taking 10-minute dance breaks in between episodes of your favourite Netflix show. Or maybe it’s all about doing countertop push ups while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
The same advice applies for looking after your mental health. Self care practices are more consistent when you do it your own way, and incorporate it into your schedule in the best way for you. Try writing down a few things you’re grateful for before breakfast each morning. You could also take a few minutes to pause and stretch in your lunch break, to slow your day down.
How to Support Your Active Lifestyle
The best way to support an active lifestyle is to be mindful of the food you eat. Healthy nutrition is useful whether you’re trying to improve your energy levels or build some extra muscle during lockdown.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you get all the essential nutrients you need is to explore some new recipes. Take protein, for example. Even on our very own blog you can find a lot of great protein-rich recipe ideas, and they’re all plant-based, too! If you’re trying to make sure you get enough, our 46% protein powder is a great option to include in pancakes, bread, porridge and more. The 85% protein powder is perfect to add to your smoothie if you’re keen on building some muscle while waiting for the pandemic to blow over.
Lockdown and mental health
We like to call physical and mental health non-identical twins in the healthy lifestyle space. They might not look the same, but both are equally important for overall balance and good health.
We only have to mention the words “isolation”, “loneliness”, “uncertainty” and “fear” for you to understand why mental health is so important during lockdown.
Turning to a numbing agent like alcohol or cigarettes might provide temporary relief, but as time passes, it brings a long list of health problems along with it.#
Learning new coping mechanisms with the help of a counsellor or a therapist (or any other mental health services) is a safer alternative to consider.
A Quick Reminder
As you embark on a journey towards better health, we’d like to remind you to be gentle with yourself along the way. You’re doing great, ok? We’re living through a historical moment that’s completely beyond any of our control, but it will eventually come to pass.
Sure, it may still be a while until we’re high fiving each other (who misses those too?!) next to the water cooler at the gym.
But how wonderful is it going to feel when you get that hug from a friend you haven’t seen in ages, feeling better than ever before?