We are certainly facing challenging times right now. There are so many different variables at play for why this is so trying for many of us, such as feelings of powerlessness, a lack of control over what once were simple facets of our lives, and lack of security of basic needs such as food, finances and other household goods. Not to mention isolation and a potential loss of connection. That is just on a basic day-to-day level.
One of these ‘once were simple facets’ of our lives which has been heavily impacted is sport and other physical activity. Physical activity is so crucial to our overall wellbeing, yet we are either unsure how to navigate our facilities in a safe manner, they are being closed all together, or we are already in isolation. On a sporting level, there are many people dealing with their sports being suspended (training included), events postponed or cancelled completely, then there are those still needing to maintain training without knowing what the future holds for their event.
So how to we navigate this time when we are in control of so little and things are so uncertain? Here are some tips on how to ‘ride the wave’ when it comes to physical activity and sport in these current circumstances (and please note, this is an ever-changing situation which will change from the date this is published):
- Research exactly what ‘social distancing’ means and how it applies to your chosen activities: some facilities are able to accomodate the requirements of social distancing and increased hygiene. By adhering to what your facility is putting in place and respecting their often long-established hygiene rules such as spraying down machines, sanitising/washing your hands on entry, using towels, you can help them stay open as long as possible before situations may change.
Some activities are still able to go ahead with some adaptations, so unless you are self-isolating, it is important to keep supporting these small training organisations for as long as we can.
- The great outdoors: whilst we are still on social-distancing protocols, outdoor activity is a key activity option for us right now. Being in nature is a proven way to improve our stress levels and mental health; it is also something we can connect to on an individual level. So get outside and hit your local trails and beaches, and soak up your time in nature; just leave off the hi-fives and stick to your 1.5m protocol.
- Get creative: for those who are in forced isolation, it’s time to get creative with what you can do. If you have access to the internet, then there are LOADS of fitness professionals who are putting full, free workouts online for you to do.
Need some ideas? Here are a few that I have come across over the past 2 days:
- Swimmers and Triathletes: wondering how on Earth you are going to get any swim specific training in if your local pool closes or in the case of isolation? Former World Champion Triathlete, Dave Scott has come to the rescue with some dry land swim training exercises. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel or Facebook page for more sessions, but you can find the link for the first session below:
- Shake it Off: most of my friends know I LOVE this next YouTube Channel and my kids love it too. Caleb, aka The Fitness Marshall, has been helping us sass around our own lounge room like superstars for many years now. Not only does he create short workouts to hot new music (although I would debate that status for ‘Yummy’), but he features 3 ability/intensity levels within his vids AND has a Kid Friendly dance range too. Need to have some fun and a decent workout? Check his Channel out:
- Train Like a Pro: Mamba Sports Academy is the brainchild of the late Kobe Bryant. A space where many top athletes train, Mamba Academy is particularly well-known for its NFL Draft Combine Preparation programs, helping some of the top NFL talent be at peak performance for the Draft Combine. Mamba has just starting uploading daily workouts, including this full body one linked below, and a brand new Guided Meditation session. Click here and check them out:
- It’s time to try Yoga: there is a tonne of yoga resources online, and finding the right instructor or session is a very individual thing. Below I am listing my long time go-to session that is specific for runners, and a channel I discovered for Cole Chance, which has a tonne of different sessions on it which I have not tried but plan on doing:
- Hone your Netball Skills: Netball Australia have partnered with the NETFIT Netball team to provide free at home workouts for six weeks starting March 23, 2020. It’s a great way to stay strong, fit and either hone your netball skills, or try something new from home. You need to register, but can do so from the link below:
- Joyful Movement for all ages: Rachelle Clayton is a QLD-based Movement Coach who has been in the Body Positive Fitness space for years. Rachelle offers online movement classes and is hosting a FREE event on March 29, 2020. You can read some more about MEE Active by clicking the link below, or track her down on Facebook and you can check out the event details there.
- Try to stick to a routine. I will admit, my normal routine has gone out the window this week. However, it just meant that I needed to revise and strategise what would suit our current home situation – so a new routine is afoot and I am finding peace in being able to stick to it.
Routines are such an important part of our lives. We find comfort and a sense of calm and control with them. For athletes, routines are even more important to our daily lives because in elite settings, almost every minute of your day is planned out. And when that routine gets out of whack, so do you.
If you find your normal routines have been completely turned upside down, then just breathe and adapt. Ask yourself ‘what CAN I manage today?’ and start a list from there. Be honest about the free time you have available to do your set of tasks (especially if you have kids at home), and go easy on yourself if you only get 2 of a list of 7 done that day. Just try to make sure that the 2 you get done are the most important to you feeling like you’ve still got a handle on this. For me, my two include 30mins of movement and an hour’s work (at some time of the day between dawn and bedtime – because motherhood).
- Look after your Mental Health. This is crucial right now. I believe there will be many more to come, but Headspace is leading the way with specific content that can help you ‘weather the storm’ – and its FREE. They are also offering free access to their platform for any healthcare/frontline workers. I will talk more about the role of self-care and why its necessary and not indulgent in another piece. But for now, start exploring how things like guided meditation and advice like that offered by Headspace can help. I have also provided the link for 1 Giant Mind, my favourite meditation app:
Hopefully these resources can help as a starter kit for maintaining your wellbeing at a time when there is so much stress and uncertainty. I will update as more resources come to light and please if you can recommend any, then please get in contact with me.
Take care of yourselves and each other,