With lockdown seeming to fade away and lots of people going back to work, unfortunately our health is inevitably going to take a back seat. I can't see into the future but let's call it an educated guess.
It's really easy for me to sit here and write this sweeping statement about your priorities as you reply with the inevitable, "Not me! I'm going to get into the gyms once they reopen and work hard." The truth is, lockdown has provided us with a period of 4/5 months where we could've and really should've prioritised our health. So let me put a scenario to you, it might just sound familiar...
Deborah decided that 2020 was going to be her year, so she booked a holiday, went on a diet, started going to the gym and exercising. January was great but by February motivation was lacking, and she was slowly starting to go back to her old ways. Work was getting busier, kids had projects at school and all these things were put ahead of her goal to make 2020 her year. Then boom! Coronavirus happened, followed by lockdown and before she knew it Deborah was working from home. Barriers to exercise disappear. After all, Deborah isn't looking to become a bodybuilder so home workouts are fine with the gyms being closed. She does a few Joe Wicks classes and for a week or two it is really going well. Then takeaways and general inactivity along with constant grazing make for a steady increase in weight and before she knows it, Deborah has put on weight during lockdown. Now lockdown is ending, and Deborah is going from a time when she had the free time to cook healthy meals, exercise and take care of herself, to a time when the previous barriers to a healthy lifestyle are returning. Yet for some reason, because the gyms are opening she thinks now is the perfect time to lose that weight she put on.
I know I waffle but what I'm trying to say is that health was never a priority. In this case, as in many cases, lockdown wasn't viewed as an environment that could nurture a healthier version of herself. The extra time was viewed as a black hole of boredom that had to have some exercise in there to pass the time.
We prioritise our jobs, our families and our social lives above our health not realising that our health is what underpins our ability to be able to perform in our jobs, to care for our families and to enjoy our socialising. I know this has become a bit preachy and not all of us have the luxury of choosing between work and being healthy, but I guarantee you that if you go through a day and really put some thought into all the things that you do, it is quite easy to make some better choices. Ask yourself if the TV show, video game, Facebook video, indulgent lunch or extra hour at work is more important than being healthier, and you'll probably come to your own conclusions.
I hope that if this does sound familiar to you that it becomes a stepping stone in your journey to a healthier you. There is so much information out there to help you we really don't have any reasonable excuse as to why we are so unhealthy.
So my advice as we come out of lockdown into a world with possibly more distractions to you prioritising your health is this:
- Make a difficult daily choice for nothing else other than the benefit of your health! (Walk to the shops, no dessert, take a class or a home cooked meal)
- Prioritise a run, walk, gym session, swim or any other activity over something you normally wouldn't at least once a week.
- Invest in your health! This is the best investment you can ever make. Don't just pay a bad Personal Trainer or join a crazy club you will never attend. Invest as you would financially. Research, shop around and to start, stick to what you like or what you're interested in.
- Be accountable for your decisions.
- Make sure you enjoy the journey.
- Learn! Learn how to cook, learn how to weigh-lift, swim or sprint.... Education is power, especially when it comes to your health.