We're welcoming Strength & Conditioning Coach for the University of East London, Leon Williams this week to help with any flagging motivation you might have for keeping your body and mind mentally fit.
Leon's 5 tips, alongside exercise, will help you stay on track with your fitness goals so that when the lockdown ends, you've put in the hard work consistently. After all, a common training mistake people make is lacking patience. People will often overestimate what can be done in 6 weeks, and underestimate what can be done in 6 months.
During this current time of uncertainty and lockdown, one thing many people can take charge of is their health and fitness. However, with minimal equipment and the extended quarantine, motivation to keep going is something that can quickly fade, so here are a few things you can do alongside your exercise to keep you going.
1. Log Your Workouts
With the amount of free home training advice and programs on offer it is important that you keep track of everything that you’re doing. Creating a simple work out journal
that includes your session type, set, reps, time, and mood after your session is a good way to do this.
The Life By Equipe team recommend the My Fitness Journal by Two Minds, available at shop.lifebyequipe.com
It's a 1 year undated journal to track your fitness progress, positivity and wellbeing. The easy-to-use sections help encourage you to set and create momentum for regular self-care practices, tooled with water intake tracker, space to meal prep, exercise planner, progress measurements and reflection points to refocus your goals.
Journaling will help keep you motivated during lockdown when it would be easy to stay in your pyjamas and watch NETFLIX.
Keeping track of your workouts is also a great way to keep your sessions balanced. If you’re someone who likes training legs, you’ll soon see that all your workouts look the same - and that other areas of your body have been neglected. Sound familiar? Maybe you should include an upper-body or yoga session to help with mobility.
We’re not asking you to become sport scientists - simply by reading these tips you’re probably already ahead of the curve! Having a better understanding of what exercise can do for you will help keep you engaged and encourage you to try new things.
Improving your knowledge will add variation to your to workouts, show you different ways to set up your sessions, add exercise progressions as well as new movements to your repertoire.
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Whether you’re into hardcore Crossfit events, enjoy simple transformation vlogs or visual podcasts, there are thousands of hours of fitness content on YouTube to help you along your journey. No matter what kind of content you like, you’ll realise that you’re not the only person to have struggles along your fitness journey. Learning how other people have dealt with their challenges can go a long way to keeping you on track and focused.
YouTube is also a great way to find new exercises, recipes and workout playlists to keep you going through lockdown!
WARNING! Those YouTube algorithms work really well, so make sure you limit yourself before you end up losing your whole day on a YouTube binge, like I have…
Here are a few fitness You Tube pages I like to have a look at:
With most of our time now being spent indoors, it is likely that you are finding yourself raiding the fridge multiple times a day hoping a new snack will magically appear. However throughout lockdown you have the perfect opportunity to spend more time in the kitchen honing your meal prep skills.
Use your days to find new healthy recipes for snacks, lunches and dinners that you can perfect. The more time you spend practicing in the kitchen, the easier (and more fun) it’ll be to cook the right meals when your schedule gets back to normal.
I’ve found Pinterest and YouTube to be really good when looking for new healthy recipes and inspiration. I also like to follow these Instagram accounts for new dishes:
Don’t be put off by fancy plating and lights - cooking can be really fun and enjoyable for everyone so just give it a go!
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You don’t need to be an Instagram model or Youtuber with thousands of followers to share exciting, interesting and useful content. If you’ve just completed a cool work out or read, watched or cooked something exciting then SHARE IT! You’ll soon find people within your social network that are in similar position to you - and before you know you’ll be creating a small fitness community of your own.
Leon also works as the lead performance coach for StarBridge Football Academy who provide a full-time development pathway for football and academics. He completed his undergraduate degree Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Roehampton and a masters in Strength and Conditioning at the University of East London.
Leon is an accredited coach with the NSCA. Leon coaches a wide variety of athletes, from professional to recreational level. His professional work includes two seasons at AFC Wimbledon.
Read Leon's coaching philosophy and personal wellness programme 'Expert of Week' - click here