Welcome back Everyday Warriors! We hope you enjoyed the first part of this blog which focused on planning and mindset.
As a country we’ve been through three national lockdowns now (sorry for the reminder!) and we’ve noticed that in each one, there have been different things that have driven decisions on how we train and eat. For instance, in lockdown 1.0 when we were heading into Spring, we felt energised to stay fit; it was certainly easier to get outside to exercise and enjoy the fresh air as the weather was pleasant. We felt although there was a level of uncertainty about when lockdown would end, everyone was pulling together to motivate one another and themselves to stay fit and healthy; the online workouts, the Saturday night Zoom quizzes (we wouldn’t believe you if you say you didn’t join one!!) and the novelty of working from home. And in terms of mental health, it took a real forward step and seemed to be a topic being discussed more openly with friends, family and colleagues with the phases ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ being shared widely to encourage people to get talking about their mental state.
However, in lockdowns 2.0 & 3.0, at YANA HQ we’ve felt quite deflated and motivation has been a real struggle with regards to training, despite taking part in online fitness classes and trying to maintain a healthy eating regime! The constant changes to government regulations around what we can and can’t do as a nation certainly don’t help with motivation; “you can meet friends”, “you can’t meet friends”, “you can go to a gym”, “you can’t go to a gym”, and frankly the impact it has on a small start-up business like YANA is devastating (but that’s a story for another day).
Through all of the ever-changing government guidance and laws, there is one thing that is prevalent now more than ever: your health and fitness should be a priority to help you stay physically and mentally fit.
We asked our experts what advice they had about training, nutrition and accountability during a lockdown; here’s what they shared with us:
Keep workouts interesting
If you're short on time, or find that you procrastinate when training alone then try the following formats to keep things short, intense and productive:
AMRAPS (as many rounds as possible in a certain timeframe)
e.g. AMRAP 10
40 mountain climbers, 30 air squats, 20 sit ups, 10 burpees
EMOMs (every minute on the minute perform the exercise, rest in remaining time)
e.g. EMOM 20
1) 10-15 push ups, 2) 30 jump lunges, 3) 20 tuck sits, 4) rest
- Elly Cowley
Fuel for the work required
A term used a lot in performance nutrition, meaning you periodise each day and in some cases each meals composition in relation to your energy expenditure and goals.
No single food group is the enemy
Whether it is carbs, fat or your preferred source of protein, someone else will have an opinion on why you shouldn’t be eating it. There is a time and a place for all foods you enjoy eating.
Nutrition is not one size fits all
A lot of us feel if it works for our friends it will work for us too, this is not always the case when it comes to nutrition, it is important to remember we are all individuals with individual needs.
- Ally Harrison
Recreate your favourite takeaways
If ordering food in is hurting your bank balance and making you feel not-so-great, why not swap for a themed night instead. Pick a country, create a meal originating from that country and choose an activity linked to the culture.
Here are a couple I've tried recently.
Japan: Chicken Katsu curry served with an Asian salad, watch a Haruki Murakami film (I highly recommend My Neighbour Totoro for the ultimate feel-good factor).
USA: Buffalo wings and Cobb Salad, listen to American pop punk (throwback to the mid 2000s anyone?)
- Elly Cowley
Find a training partner or programme
A lot of gyms are offering online class memberships to get involved in, but if that's not your thing then try out a partner workout over video. Either WhatsApp or Zoom work well! Alternatively hire a coach or buy a programme to follow - quite often you'll find communities online so you can feel like you are part of something bigger, which really helps you stick to it.
- Elly Cowley
Take control… I think we can all feel very out of control with the ever-changing lockdown rules. My top tip when it comes to wellness in lockdown is to ‘control the controllables.’
There are things outside of your control - Gyms may be closed; your favourite fitness class cancelled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control of your at-home routine.
Focus on the small thing that ARE in your power, for example – drinking 3L water per day, hitting your step target, moving your body for 30 mins a day, getting enough sleep – all things that you DO have control of.
To make sure you succeed in this, you’ll need some sort of routine, a plan or a tick list. I am a STRONG believer in the power of writing this down (It’s so satisfying ticking off all the small wins to put you into a positive mindset for the day). This will also allow you to prioritise YOU – your health, your body, your mind (amongst the home schooling, endless zoom calls and just general overwhelming climate we see ourselves currently in). Be sure to block these times out FISRT and work everything else around it.
Remember you are in control of your day. Own it! You are a Warrior…
- Meg Fynn
We hope the advice in our latest blogs has been helpful to you and we'd love to hear if you've been able to try any out or implement them into your routine.
Take care Everyday Warriors and we are alway here to talk to during these strange times!
Love, YANA x
With thanks to:
Ally Harrison – @ah_sportnutrition – SENr Accredited Nutritionist, BSc, MSc, UKAD advisor – NHS key worker
Ellen Turnbull - Athletes Cookbook @athletes_cookbook, SENr Accredited Nutritionist, BSc, MSc
Elly Cowley @ellycowley - Reebok CrossFit Coach & Nutrition Coach
Meg Fynn - @movebymeg – Level 3 Personal Trainer, Pn1 Nutrition Coach & Class Instructor.