Amidst these new restrictions, it can be difficult to find the motivation to do any work when you are stuck at home.
The endlessness of this lockdown seems to make the days fly by and Netflix or Disney+ turn into a daily trap. However, a great way to break up the days is to introduce some sort of exercise regime.
This could range from going on a walk or run every other day – obviously within a 2km radius – or following a Youtube yoga tutorial every morning.
For many this “lockdown” is difficult mentally. Being around your family all day, or being completely on your own for 24 hours is draining. While exercise has its limits – it can not replace a therapist – a run can offer a small break from your family or even from your own head.
Stacey Kenny, who is an essential worker in social care, said, “I always feel better after doing my exercises than I did before completing them – and it’s not even just in terms of fitness.”
Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin which can improve a person’s mood and can reduce – but not cure – stress and symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Alongside overall improvements in attitude and mood, exercise can give a sense of productivity. The chemicals it releases and stamina or strength it gives your body translates into the work you do, and has shown to reduce fatigue and increase momentum.
A 2017 study by BMC Public Health found that daily exercise and an emphasis on “sit less, move more” in workplaces increases productivity. While most people are no longer in lecture halls or offices, getting out for a walk can give the energy needed to write an essay, do an online quiz or even just watching online lectures.
However, knowing all the benefits of exercise is often not enough to get people out of the house. A great way to stay focused on exercise is to set goals. These can range from learning to do the splits or a handstand to building up the stamina to run a 10k.
The Australian Fitness Academy said, “Fitness goals are important as they help us to stay aligned and do the workouts we might skip if left to our own devices.” They further explained that having a goal or target is a great way to know if you are improving.
It is also important to note that these exercise goals are not limited to the typical 5k run or 10 press up challenges. They could just be spending 20 minutes a day weeding the garden, having a plan to repaint the house, or chopping the firewood every evening.
As well as having a personal goal, bringing friends and peers in on the challenge who equally have their own goals, can be a source of encouragement and accountability. If peers and friends are expectant of a newly painted kitchen or seeing handstands during the summer, there is a bit more pressure to work.
At the end of the day, it would certainly be great to have learned how to do a backflip during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Image Credit: PikRepo