How to keep fit and stay healthy during lockdown: an easy-to-follow guide

You shouldn't feel pressure to lose weight just because you have some spare time, but there are plenty of ways to ensure you stay fit and healthy, despite social distancing restrictions.
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  • At the moment, we're all spending much more time indoors.

    Due to the coronavirus lockdown, many of us are missing out on the daily physical activity we may have been used to before the pandemic hit. And for many us, the stress of living through such a worrying global health crisis means we may be snacking a lot more too – and perhaps not going for healthy family meals.

    For some of us, the decrease in movement and increase in what we eat may well have led to us feeling a little unhealthier than normal. So you may be wondering how to lose weight during lockdown and ensure your health is in good condition.

    It’s important to remember that the most important thing during the lockdown is staying home, and staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Our collective goal during this global pandemic should be keeping ourselves and our families safe and healthy, and come out of this thing alive.

    MORE: Feeling tired all the time? Having vivid dreams during lockdown? Your sleep queries answered by the experts

    But, it’s understandable that some of us may want to use the extra time to up our physical fitness and improve how we feel about our bodies. For so many, the lockdown offers a chunk of time to work on our fitness levels without the daily disruptions, appointments or distractions of everyday, normal life.

    So if you do want to use this time to work on improving your health for the better (remembering that there should be absolutely no pressure to do so if you’d rather not think about it), we’ve put together some ways to help you do that.

    This is easy-to-follow guide to how to ensure you stay healthy and strong during this stressful period…

    Exercise when you can – doing whatever you feel comfortable doing

    The NHS recommends that adults do some type of physical activity every day. And while daily exercise is of course a big component of weight loss, helping you to burn fat, it also helps hugely to stabilise mood – something you may feel in need of during this anxious time.

    The NHS advises that adults complete at least 150 minutes (so that’s just shy of three hours) of moderate intensity activity a week (brisk walking, dancing, gardening), or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (running, fast cycling) per week.

    Experts at PureGym suggest, that if you want to lose body fat, “Your sessions will want to be varied between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on activity.”

    How to up exercise while staying indoors

    Now that we’re spending so much time indoors, its important to try and achieve these physical activity goals if you feel up to it – both for your physical health and to help you lose weight, if that is your goal.

    To tick some exercise off the list, you could follow Joe Wicks’ daily PE workouts on his YouTube channel. He shares live, 30-minute exercise sessions each weekday, so finishing off one of these each day means you’ll quickly be well on your way to achieving the recommended exercise goal – and maybe, even dropping a few pounds over the next few weeks or months.

    If you’re home with your little ones, you could also incorporate burning some energy off with them into your day. Try these family fitness activities for some brilliant inspiration. There are also some fab family fitness exercises to be found in this list of things to do with kids.

    Or, if something a bit more high intensity is more your bag, try this HIIT workouts, which you can easily do from home. This ab exercises are also easily completed in your living room, and allow you to get a quick workout in when time is tight. And, if you’ve recently welcomed a baby and want to lose some of the pregnancy weight, these at-home post-pregnancy exercises could be really useful during lockdown.

    Credit: Getty Images

    Take part in a running or walking challenge

    Running is a pursuit many have taken up during the coronavirus lockdown too. It’s a cardio exercise than can help to keep your heart healthy during this time, particularly if you’re spending more hours than usual on the sofa. With many taking on the 5k challenge (with a donation to the NHS included after you’ve finished it), you may be keen to join in. If you’re new to running, follow our 5k training plan, that aims to slowly build up your endurance.

    Given that a walk is now one of our only allocated reasons to head outside, and walks can also be a great way to help keep your body healthy. Read our guide on walking for weight loss.

    Eat well and try to curb mindless snacking

    Being at home all day means 24/7 access to our fridges and cupboards. But that doesn’t mean that, if you want to, you can’t try and return your eating habits to somewhat normal.

    Stay fuller for longer with these high protein breakfast ideas, and enjoy these tasty, healthier food swaps that means you don’t have to go without your favourite snack.

    Eating more of the right kind of foods may help to stave off those snack cravings – find out which foods stop hunger here. It might also help to know the best time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner to help you lose weight – if weight loss if your goal during this time, and if you’re finding yourself eating more erratically during lockdown.

    how to lose weight during lockdown

    Credit: Getty Images

    Intermittent fasting – which is an eating pattern that sees you cycle between period of fasting and normal eating – can also help you to lose weight in lockdown, and may be easier to try out with a less hectic schedule to contend with. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have benefits on both your body and mental health, as well as being a very powerful tool for weight loss.

    Now could also be the time to try out some tasty healthy juices, which could be a brilliant replacement for your afternoon coffee.

    It might also help to find a diet plan that works for you – but remember that a sustained, healthy balanced diet with treats every now and then is usually the best long-term solution for weight loss.

    Remember that staying healthy is the main goal

    During the midst of a pandemic, it’s important to remember that you should never feel guilty or that you need to lose weight.

    Spending this time working on your body is something you should only do if you feel you need/want to, for the sake of your health. Ultimately, the most important thing is to come out of this health crisis physically and mentally well – so ensure you take whatever steps you need to look after yourself.

    And if relaxing on the sofa with a bar of chocolate and glass of wine will help you do that, that’s exactly what you should do – to hell with the extra few pounds!