We can finally wave goodbye to the quarantine now that life is slowly starting to return to normal, or some form of normality at least. Shops have reopened, gyms are back open in most parts of the world and for most days you wouldn’t have even guessed that we went through a global pandemic together. (Apart from people wearing masks, but I guess this will be our new normal).
During the quarantine, I’ve heard so many moms say that they learned a lot about their friends, family and even about themselves. I’m not just talking about those of you who have found out that you’re secret star bakers or green-fingered goddesses in the garden. I’m talking about how many of us have realized how much we depend upon human interaction and how much we took it for granted in our day to day lives.
Also, how many of us found motivation within ourselves to carry on working out from home with some genius workout routines that didn’t even require any equipment either!
The isolation affected many of us in different ways. What I found interesting, is that science has shown that social isolation can carry its own health risks, some of which you may not have even thought of! The American Psychological Association ran a report showing how feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, poor cardiovascular health, lower immunity, depressive symptoms, and impaired executive function.
When executive function skills are impaired, you may find it more difficult to focus (those days where you just can’t focus on that film you’ve been dying to watch!). But also to manage your emotions, remember information or even follow instructions. I’m sure most of us can relate to this at some point over the quarantine.
As we emerge out of quarantine, we ask ourselves… “what did we actually do during the lockdown, and was any of it actually productive?” Maybe not all of it was productive… But I can say that you would have definitely learned something new and come out of it hopefully both mentally and physically stronger. But if you’re still struggling to get back into the swing of things moms, don’t fret. I’m here for you.
I can’t say that I have all of the answers to help you get back to normality, but I thought I would share with you the 5 things I’ve learned during the lockdown and what I want to take with me through to our new norm to make me both more physically and mentally healthy!
The importance of a community
For me, the gym is a community. It’s not just a place where I go to workout, but it’s a place where I feel surrounded by like-minded people. We’re all working towards similar goals. My own gym community isn’t just there to support me, but they have also inspired me to try different workouts, up the ante when I’ve wanted to push myself to new limits and even build connections with people who I can now call my friends.
The gym can be a pretty intimidating place, even for the biggest gym buffs out there. Take the time to find a gym that is right for you. One that makes you feel instantly comfortable and confident in is key to your success and keeping you motivated. This is where you will reach your true fitness goals.
It’s not just the communities you see in person at the gym that can help you stay focused and hit those fitness goals. During the lockdown, I found that my online communities (Holla to my Mother Strong League gang!) were an absolute godsend when it came to both my mental and physical health.
They were there to support me and helped keep me focused, all without me having to step foot outside of my house. Whether it be new workout ideas, recipes, or general feel-good vibes – they had it all! The fact I could see the same familiar faces, ask questions that were on my mind about fitness, and even chat with some of the people on there about day to day life. It was in some ways the release I needed and a pillar of support.
Motivation comes from within
It’s something you always hear people say but never truly believe it until you’ve experienced it. Motivation is truly down to you, there is no right or wrong way to get motivated either. Maybe it’s your favorite workout playlist that you listen to before a workout that gets you fired up. Maybe you get motivated by making plans with a friend to workout so you can’t back out of them, or you may have a goal in mind that you want to hit by a certain date!
For many moms out there, it may be the thought of being strong and healthy or may be losing some of that baby weight. Whatever drives you to become more motivated, harness it! Use it as a tool to light that fire in your belly and make you want to achieve those goals. What I often do is I envision myself at the end of the finish line! I’m smiling, happy, and proud of what I have accomplished. Think about it yourself… Now you’ve visioned it, go out and get it, girl!
Importance of scheduling workouts
Most of us struggle with making time for exercise from time to time. Those days when your inbox is out of control, your boss is asking to schedule another 6 pm meeting, your kids need to be bathed and fed! Not to mention you still haven’t had a full conversation with your significant other in weeks. That’s when your spin class or date with your yoga mat is usually the first thing to get sacrificed from your daily to-do list.
But believe me, when I say, It’s when you feel like you’re running out of time (instead of actually running), that your workout becomes more important than ever. Not just if you’re working toward a goal or training for a race. Even 20 minutes of physical activity can drastically improve your mood, mindset, and overall well-being.
It’s not only just good for you, but it’s also good for those around you! Giving yourself some TLC and time out from everything else is important. Don’t let it be the first thing that’s sacrificed when everything gets hectic. Embrace it and let it be your time to release and press reset.
Your diet is key
Being limited on what we had in the pantry and in the fridge was somewhat challenging at times. Especially with 2 picky toddlers and a husband in tow! I had to be creative with the meals I made while also trying to stay on track with my goals. It was a challenge, but also, reveled in it.
During the lockdown, I had to learn to use things that we usually wouldn’t, as the shop had a limited amount of produce available. I would end up buying too much of one item, then I’d have to think of a clever way to use it. Whether it be mixed bean chili, mixed veg in pasta or veggie curries with every different kind of veg from the fridge that needed using up.
I was also considerably aware that I was moving less during the lockdown and not able to train as hard as I would in my “normal’’/ “pre-lockdown’’ life. I had to keep it in mind to adjust my calorie intake accordingly to avoid unwanted weight gain. In this blog, I explain in detail what calorie deficit is and its importance for fat loss.
All in all, I learned some amazing low calorie and yet filling recipes the whole family loves! I’ll be certainly taking these recipes through with me out of quarantine and into the new norm.
Do what You Can With What You Have
Same as with the meals, you have to do what you can when it comes to lockdown workouts. With the lack of gym equipment, many ladies were left with just themselves. They’d put on their gym wear and use their imagination/the internet to put together workout routines. Anything that would keep them burning throughout the time they were stuck at home.
It’s surprising what you can do with a couple of sets of dumbbells (or water bottles). Or a couch, chair, and a couple of toddlers! Whether it be bicep curls with water bottles, squats with the house plant, tricep dips on the chair or even a sled pull with the kids on a blanket. Us ladies have tried it all during the pandemic. It goes to show that when it comes to your home workouts, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Getting creative with your workouts wasn’t just key for staying active throughout the quarantine… It was also a great time to put perspective on how capable we are without the gym. We can still do a great workout routine, without having to rely on the gym equipment.
Are you looking for a program that can be done from home or the gym?? I’ve got some exciting news today! On August 10th I’m hosting another 4 Weeks to Fit Transformation! And for a limited time only, you can pay anything at checkout! WHAT?! YUP. You’ve read that right. I’m giving you the choice to pick the price at checkout. It’s my goal to make sure that this program is accessible to everyone!
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