South Africa, like many other countries, is currently in lockdown as the population has been ordered to #stayathome for 21 days to attempt to #flatternthecurve of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are interesting and rather unusual times that we are living in and the effect leaves us filled with a whirlwind of emotions ranging from ‘chilled-out’ to full blown panic-mode.
Being ordered not to leave your property can feel even worse when you are a dedicated runner or athlete as we yearn to hit the roads or trails, get our heart rates pumping and our muscles burning. It’s also easy to feel demoralised or demotivated during this time and find yourself becoming less active and possibly over-indulging. But it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. We share some encouragement and ways to stay motivated.
- Change your Focus
It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos that COVID-19 has roused; tools like social media, news pages, chat platforms etc. amplify the noise and spread a lot of scary and fake information. This can mean a very long 21 days with your head in a cloud of despair and negativity, which isn’t ideal for your mental health. Try to limit your time on such platforms and rather create some healthy habits like meditation or yoga at the start of your day. Then set yourself some productive tasks each day. It’s about living in the now and making the most of it.
- Create a Routine
It’s easy for the days to start to blur into each other and your normal routine falls away. Try to keep some kind of routine, even if it is altered or modified, to encourage purpose and motivation for each day. Use one of your days to get creative and design a routine chart or calendar for your lockdown that you can refer to. Make activities out of small tasks and take your time.
- Stay Active
We may be social distancing or self-isolating, but technology keeps us close. YouTube workout videos are abundant and cater for any exercise you desire. Get connected with friends via zoom or skype and do fitness routines together or take part in a lockdown challenge (e.g. Mzansi Lockdown Marathon). Set yourself achievable and realistic fitness goals but don’t be too hard on yourself either. Some days it’s also OK to take a break.
- Plan Ahead
If you are worried about your fitness levels post-lockdown, get creative and start setting up goals and planning routes, put together some fresh music playlists, look at joining a club or even taking up a new sport. Get creative with your future training schedules so you have something to look forward to.
These are unusual times and even though it is frustrating not being able to stick to our normal fitness routines, it’s important to focus on the positives and make readjustments during this period. Remind yourself that this will pass, be grateful for your health and know that you will be able to get back to your normal training again! Stay safe.