It's been a long year and dispite our best intentions, we ate a little more, rested a little more and perhaps partook in some bad habits. All of this has left some of us with unwanted pounds and a shape that we do not recognise. I call this my new Covid lockdown donut. The extra pounds are just around the middle and resemble a donut. I truley did my best to practice yoga 5 times a week and walked the dogs almost everyday for over 30 min. and I still gained weight. I think because the fridge and pantry was calling my name throughout the day and of course I was happy to answer.
So what can I do now? I have turned to the experts. Here are a list of top 5 tips to getting back our pre lockdown bodies from our very own Luisa Marie Quinn who is a personal trainer and certified yoga instructor:
1. Get a Training Partner to keep you motivated, in check and keep it fun.
2. Prepare your meals in advanced, keep your fridge organised with healthy food to avoid FAST GRABING those snacksAvoid refined sugars, keep to natural sugars eg. fruit and veg.
3. Try new fruit and make healthy snacks. Keep your snacks interesting each day
4. Treat yourself. Do not torture yourself regarding food. Everything is in moderation, just keep moving!
Throughout lockdown, we’ve all been waiting for the day we can get back to our local gym or yoga studio. However, as we reopen around the country, some of us might have felt unmotivated to return. We might need a new plan to get back into a regular fitness routine. There are a few things we can do to keep motivated and begin new healthy routines according to nutritionist and certified yoga instructor Martina Pokorna. Here are a few things you can do now to improve your health and to help with shifting that unwanted lockdown pounds:
Have a portion of protein with every meal ( nuts, seeds, pulses and beans, avocado, olives, meat fish, eggs , poultry...) This will keep you fuller for longer and will assist to keep blood glucose levels balanced.
Stop snacking between meals.
Move your body daily (20 mins) walking, yoga , stretching, running, jumping, rebounding, weights.
Sleep better - improve sleep by reducing caffeine & alcohol intake, reduce the exposure to blue light screens in the evening (TV, computer, laptop...) at least one hour before bed, have a bath or foot bat with Epsom/Magnesium salts before bed, read a real book, listen to calming music, meditate, practice gentle yoga (Yin).
No late night eating- try to aim to have your last meal around 6/7pm to let your body digest and repair during the night.
Stay hydrated- drink enough fluids daily (up to 1.5- 2 liters per day) water or herbal teas.
Even with our best intentions we have to realise that some things will have changed at our beloved fitness and yoga studios. Booking session times, limited member numbers, physical distancing, equipment not in use — these are all going to be the new normal, at least for the foreseeable future. All of this will be to our benefit as the level of hygiene will be extremely high and studio crews will be doing everything they can to keep members safe. And you’ll still be getting your workout in. Personally, I can't wait to see and visit with our amazing yoga community- it will be awesome to welcome you all back to our beloved studio and have some serious fun!
Take baby steps as you return to your fitness and yoga studios. It's important to stay healthy, but not push yourself to hard, kindness is key. You may have lost the drive but for both mental and physical health reasons, we all need to exercise. Exercise has so many benefits including: reducing the risk of health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, reducing stress and anxiety and improving your sleep. For these and so many more reasons its time to return to our routines and/or create new habits towards living our best lives- you don't have to do a lot, you just have to keep moving. We look forward to seeing you all again! Classes now available on: www.blacklotusyoga.co.uk
Luisa Marie Quinn - instagram @luisamarie - personal trainer, fitness instructor and yoga teacher
Martina Pokorna - instagram @martinapokorna - helping men & woman to overcome anxiety naturally, mental well being support, nutritionist