COVID-19 has had a mental and physical impact on many of us, however, this doesn’t have to be a negative situation with the right mindset and diligent planning; in regards to workouts and newly formed habits (to those now working from home).
Some have even used this ‘pandemic’ setback to spur them on to get in the best shape of their life.
Whether you want a six-pack, to build muscle or just to lose some weight — external factors cannot affect your mindset in regards to achieving your fitness goals.
In this article, we will give you 5 tips to help improve your fitness and body composition if you are spending longer hours at home, due to restrictions.
Many gym memberships have been cancelled since the beginning of COVID, and this is due to a lack of motivation. Many people are inspired to work out when others are around them, and this is also a sense of competition, seeing someone in good shape and wanting to look as good as them (if not better).
This is a strong motivating factor, however, if you can’t make it to the gym, there are ways to make up for this. Accountability is needed if you’re in somewhat of a lockdown, as you may become more relaxed hiding away at home, as no one is going to notice if you lose a little bit of muscle or gain 10lbs.
However, if you create a WhatsApp group with like-minded fitness friends, you can write your goals for the week or month and motivate each other to succeed. This will add a level of pressure to spur you on, rather than becoming a couch potato that is prone to missing workouts.
If you don’t have many like-minded fitness friends you can join Facebook groups that do the same thing, posting pictures of their progress and having people hold them accountable for their goals. When people are getting stuff done and hitting targets, you won’t want to be the one who’s falling behind.
2. Invest in a Treadmill
This depends on a person’s finances, however buying a treadmill is a great modern way to get fit and burn fat whilst in the comfort of your own home. People that now spend long hours at home, often get bored of sitting and being stationary, thus watching their favourite programme on Netflix or a 2-hour movie; whilst briskly walking or doing a moderately intense run is a great way to increase total calorie burn.
A treadmill may not be ideal for someone looking to bulk up and gain muscularity, however, most people’s fitness goals include wanting to be leaner and more toned — in which case a treadmill is your best friend (despite its history being somewhat darker i.e. a torturous device to punish prisoners).
3. Deny Yourself (in the Supermarket)
The reason people gain fat is that they overeat. This involves varying levels of temptation, and when you’re spending a lot of time at home there is increased temptation to binge eat (as the kitchen is always close by).
Such snacking combined with a lot more sitting, as opposed to walking around more at work (depending on the job); can lead to noticeable fat gains.
Thus, the key here is to deny yourself in the supermarket. If you are susceptible to eating a few chocolate bars in one go or a big bag of crisps, don’t bulk buy these items when shopping. If they’re not in the house, you can’t make bad decisions with your diet.
If you buy lots of fruit and vegetables and refrain from filling your cupboards with these foods, you are forced to eat healthy (helping your fitness goals) or go hungry.
4. Reduce Muscle Stiffness
Muscle stiffness can not only hinder your workouts and athletic performance, but tight muscles can also lead to injury. Lockdown means people are more sedentary than usual, thus it’s important to not sit for long periods and to spend time relieving stiff muscles. This can be done with massage, using a foam roller and performing stretches to reduce back tension.
All of which will also increase blood flow and oxygenation around the body, helping to improve endurance when running; or help to complete more reps when lifting weights.
Be particularly careful when lifting heavy weights with tight muscles, thus refrain from deadlifting or squatting large poundages as people will be more susceptible to injury if sitting for long periods.
5. Structure Your Routine
You’ll be surprised how many people had ‘workout rituals’ pre-COVID. They would make their favourite pre-workout cocktail exactly 30 minutes before stepping in the gym, have their macronutrients counted out to the T; and even wake up in the middle of the night to drink a protein shake.
It seems such levels of commitment are more difficult to maintain when staying at home all day, however, such habits are what get you in the zone mentally to achieve your goals (even if some of them are whacky).
If you lacked a routine before, starting now may help you get into even better shape, despite being in lockdown.
Whether it’s taking a cold shower in the morning to maximize your testosterone levels, or listening to motivating YouTube videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger before doing your home workout — these small things make a big difference to the intensity of your workouts over the long term. So, just because you’re at home now doesn’t mean you have to scrap your much-beloved routines (just because it’s easier to have less of a schedule now and an excuse to be slack).
(Disclaimer: Brand Desk Content)