Research carried out by outwear specialist TOG24 reveals almost two-thirds (62%) of Brits feel their newly discovered love of outdoor exercise will falter as lockdown eases. During lockdown, many Brits used their permitted form of daily exercise to discover or rediscover a love for working out in the great outdoors with walking, running and cycling top of the lockdown list.
For anyone who has established a good exercise routine and habits during lockdown but are concerned they may not continue in the new normal, TOG24 have partnered with personal trainer Lauren Goggs, to provide essential tips for keeping it up.
For many people, lockdown created an opportunity to rediscover a love for exercising in the great outdoors. with the gyms closed from march and the early restrictions enabling outdoor exercise only, many of us hopped back on our bikes, threw on our running trainers and activewear and took to the streets and countryside around us.
But with the gradual easing meaning a lot of people are back to work and with less time on their hands, can we stick to our newly found exercise regimes post-lockdown?
Forming a fitness habit and keeping up your exercise routine
If you have established your ideal exercise routine in lockdown but are thinking it might go out the window when you return to work, don’t worry, you are not alone. It takes just over a month to form a habit, so if going back to work is upon you, then start to create the perfect habits to help you achieve your fitness goals that fit in around your new regime.
Here are a few tips to help:
Schedule exercise in!
Schedule your daily exercise and make a point of writing it in your calendar. If you don’t, you will say to yourself “I’ll exercise when I get round to it” and you are much less likely to actually fit it in.
If you’ve been exercising at lunch and that is an unlikely scenario when you start back at work, then change your daily schedule to something that will work around your commute and work commitments. Set your alarm 20-30 minutes earlier in order to get up and get that exercise in before you leave the house. If mornings are already too early, then take that 20-30 minutes when you arrive home, prior to your evening meal.
Have a plan
Seasoned athletes always have a plan and a strict training schedule. Although you’re not trying to be the next Jessica Ennis-Hill, that doesn’t mean you are any less worthy of a plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated; you can simply write four exercises you want to get done on a post-it note and complete 3-4 sets at a time you have scheduled.
Include mobility warm-ups, and core work on as many of these days as you can.
● Monday: Legs
● Wednesday: Back and arms
● Friday: All over body
Save the weekends or evenings for longer cardio sessions like running, cycling or hiking.
There are so many exercises you can do, but if you’re struggling, stick to some variations of crunches, sit-ups, planks and back extensions. Superman is a great example for a well-rounded beginner programme.
Don’t over commit yourself
The most common barrier to any physical exercise is scheduling an hours’ workout and cramming the exercises into less than that. Give yourself an achievable goal and time to complete the workout otherwise you’ll feel rushed, under-prepared and you will feel your exercise is inadequate.
Depending on your own personal goals, you can usually see great results in less than 30 minutes per day. Overcommitting is also extremely mentally exhausting. By all means schedule an hour, but whatever time you have scheduled, be kind to your mind as well as your body and don’t over commit. Getting something done should be more rewarding than the stress of fitting it in around a busy schedule.
I have also been working on small incremental changes people can fit into their ‘normal’ working day.
Commuting by train?
Add in some subtle calf raises or stand part of the journey on one leg. These exercises are especially great if you’re a runner. The momentum of the train will make it a bit harder, and you have to work a little harder to keep your balance.
Sitting as a desk?
The mini band is the perfect addition to any jacket pocket or handbag. Just a few exercises with the band around your knees whilst sitting at your desk will recruit your glute muscles. This means when you stand up and go to make a coffee or head to the printer you will automatically be working harder overall.
In the Office?
When I used to work in an office, conversations with my colleagues sometimes revolved around the quirky ways I used to add fitness into my day. Print room press-ups were an office favourite. If I was printing 24 pages, I would do 24 press-ups (usually raised on the counter surface) and race the printer to see who finished first
Ok, it’s not going to get you that summer holiday body in an instant. But incorporating small things like this into the working day means you have already completed 5-10 minutes of exercise without thinking about it, and, without changing your daily routine. Those few minutes during your working day can be a great addition to your scheduled weekly workout and it’s an extra 50 minutes a week! Also, if for some reason you miss your scheduled workout or if you simply can’t fit anything else in, you don’t feel guilty.
Remove the guilt factor, don’t be hard on yourself and small incremental changes will help exercise become a habit not a chore!
Lauren is usually found outside doing something active: hiking, snowboarding, or signing herself up to challenges like ultra-marathons but believes it doesn’t take hours in the gym to benefit from physically and aesthetically being active. You can exercise anytime, anywhere and still get the results you want.
Lauren is a passionate trainer who believes exercise can help you lead a longer, happier and healthier lifestyle. Prior to Personal Training, Lauren spent 12 years working for global sponsorship and marketing campaigns, until it took its toll on her own health and well-being and she burnt herself out. That was a turning point in her life, and she decided to turn her passion for exercise into a career.
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