How to stay energised at home
So, I’d planned to post about my recent trip to Barcelona and what a fab time I’d had seeing all the sites (and hitting 35k steps every day in the process). However, with an FCO ban on all but essential travel, I've decided to leave this one until the summer (maybe late May)? Optimism, please. Instead, with our lives stripped back to basics right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve compiled a list of how to stay energised at home.
This one’s obvious but I’ll write it anyway. Keep to your routine as much as possible. Wake up at a reasonable time on week days, whether or not you’re able to work. Eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner at typical hours; definitely don’t skip meals. In the evenings when you would normally be having a drink with work colleagues or friends, call one for a chat and talk about something non-COVID-19 related (if possible). And, if you’re already over the novelty of twice-daily video calls, find a great work of fiction to read for some escapism (check out Goodreads for inspiration). Then, think about setting up a virtual book club with pals because staying connected really is key. You can even have a virtual movie night and watch the same film at the same time.
Make sure your daily routine includes working out in some form. Even if you didn’t do much of this before, it’s a great way to boost your mood. Create yourself a bit of a plan with your favourite bodyweight exercises and, if possible, use weights or tins for added resistance, and to mix it up. If you ask me, you can’t beat some jumping squats, lunges and planks to feel energised at home. Just don’t forget to warm-up and stretch after, this was one of the key lessons I learnt in my running rehab. A workout doesn’t need to be long to be effective, you can blast one out in 20 minutes for great mental and physical results (because, even though we have more time right now, who really wants to exercise for over an hour?!). Please contact me for a free tailored home workout plan.
I’ve been preaching to anyone who’ll listen to me about NEAT. It stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, and it’s essentially all the energy we burn each day that isn’t sleeping, eating or sport. You’ll be surprised to hear that NEAT includes walking, typing on your laptop and fidgeting. According to some sources, this can account for 15-50% of your metabolism. Whilst I personally don’t believe that this figure is quite 50%, what it does show is that walking around your house, playing with your kids and getting up to make a cuppa, will all help you to stay energised at home. This science suits me as I’m a pretty restless person, so the more I NEAT, the more I can EAT.
Use your one daily trip outside as strategically as possible. If you need to go to the supermarket for essentials, can you run there rather than drive? If I’m spending my trip solely on exercise, I will map out a round route that enables me to run three-quarters and walk the last quarter back home. I find that running and walking give me different mental health benefits. Figure out what clears your head the best. This can also be a nice time to walk and talk to someone you don’t live with. Also, if you’re taking your dog for a walk, use the time for your own exercise as well as theirs. If you start chasing your dog though, don’t be surprised if it gives you a run for your money.
Another great form of exercise, which is often overlooked (me included) is skipping. You can order cheap skipping ropes online (hello, Amazon) and use your back garden or living room (mind the lampshade) to do a real cardio full-body workout. You’ll use your abdominal muscles to stabilise the body, building a stronger core. Win win. Just watch out if you have any existing knee or foot injuries as it’s an intense exercise for those areas of the body.
It’s a really tough time right now for everyone and not easy to be told you can’t leave your home for an extended period of time. However, hopefully if you incorporate a range of the above you can still enjoy life (to a certain extent) and stay energised at home!