Staying fit and healthy is crucial for mental health throughout the pandemic, and with shorter days and another lockdown, both are as important as ever. Below are a free workout plan and a press release, which you can use for publication.
The charitable social enterprise, GLL, has put together a free 3-week home workout plan to get people through the month in the comfort of their homes while staying motivated and active.
They also spoke to Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant Lee Chambers about how to stay mentally fit despite the circumstances, including three top tips for a healthy winter lockdown (full details on the tips are below):
• Write down things you are grateful for every day.
• Embrace the winter outdoors
• Be compassionate with yourself.
He also discussed how people could stay motivated for their fitness regimes while working from home and highlighted how home exercise could provide us “resilience against stress, relieve tension, and boosts our mood.”
Full interview and details can be found below, while the 3-week downloadable plan can be found here - https://www.better.org.uk/what-we-offer/activities/exercise-at-home
Lee Chambers, Environmental Psychologist, and Wellbeing Consultant Tips
What top 3 tips would you provide for people going into this month to remain positive and mentally strong?
1. Write down things you are grateful for every day.
It is challenging when we suddenly lose the ability to access things we enjoy and see people we appreciate. However, by writing things we can still do, we find it easier to focus on all the great things we still have, think less about what we have lost. It also assists us in remember that the current scenario is temporary, and positives and opportunities are waiting in a hopeful and optimistic future. Take this a step further and write down why you are grateful, and this will boost your mental wellbeing and improve your mood.
2. Embrace the winter outdoors
Suddenly it is colder and darker. While it is tempting to hibernate, accessing nature is essential to our mental fortitude. With less natural light, it becomes more important to go outside and absorb it.
Embracing winter helps us to embrace our own winters in our lives. It’s the perfect time to buy some lovely winterwear that feels like it’s cuddling you and get out and explore like a curious child.
We can see more shades of green than any other colour, and being in natural environments reduces our stress and anxiety, increases our clarity and kindness, and makes us feel part of something bigger.
3. Be compassionate with yourself
We are all faced with the underlying anxiety of a global pandemic that is prolonged and continues to impact our lives.
Look back and reflect on just how much the world has changed since the start of the year and how well you have adapted and acclimatised. Now is the time to be kind to yourself, to treat yourself to the small things, to celebrate the small wins, and to keep connected with the people who energise you.
We will have many of the anchors of this time of year changing, such as Christmas markets and parties, but this shouldn’t stop you from doing something nice for yourself and others around you. Keep talking, keep smiling, and we can come through any challenge we face stronger.
How can people stay motivated for their fitness regimes throughout this month, especially for the many people working from home and struggle with that work/life balance?
Staying motivated is always a challenge when things change, but we can certainly ensure we keep moving in the right direction.
Firstly, we should aim to make it easy by booking our activity in, like a meeting with ourselves. Any equipment needed should be easy to access, placed in a prime position, and visible to trigger us to action. Having a concrete ‘why’ is more powerful than a long term goal in times of change, so anchor into the feeling of having completed your activity, and this will remind you why you should continue even in the current uncertainty.
Consider booking in an additional slot as life often happens, and your likely to lose one a week to circumstances outside your control, and doing it is a bonus if you’re able.
Get creative, and instead of saying “I can’t do” because the gym is closed, ask yourself, “What can I do?” And when you are consistent, reward yourself and make it attractive to keep turning up; just avoid turning every reward into food.
Finally, have somebody keep you accountable; they will give you that prod and stern word that pushes you past that feeling of “not today” that we all have.
How important are regular home workouts, especially for those who saw gym sessions as such an important part of their routine?
Home workouts often do not feel like being at the gym. Our homes are not designed with exercise in mind, and it can almost feel counterproductive to get sweaty in the place you intend to relax and recover in.
You might not be able to replicate a whole gym session from your front room, but what you can do is get all the benefits of working out and getting creative. With exercise being an anchor in our lives, one that gives us resilience against stress, relieves tension, and boosts our mood; it is vital that we continue to get these benefits by working out at home.
By exploring what is possible, we can look to train in different ways and become innovative with everyday items and limited space. Instead of being a threat to your training regime, it becomes a challenge to step into and find new ways of moving your body, testing your strength, endurance, and flexibility.