Just as we thought we were in control (earlier this year), Covid crashed back on Australia like a ton of bricks. Millions of people are now locked up and living a restricted life.
For those who lead an active lifestyle, and those who love the gym – particularly for those in New South Wales and Victoria – this has meant their quest for gains has once again been put on hold. As we discussed last year, just simply because you spend most of your time at home doesn’t mean that you have to stop exercising.
It’s a message Australian fitness and nutrition guru is keen to continue spreading, and DMARGE recently spoke exclusively with him, to find out his latest top tips with regards to all things fitness, nutrition and sleep, to help us see through this latest lockdown. It’s like trying fit a square in a circle.
“I think the greatest success I’m seeing from people is from those who have created a new plan to suit this new situation [any lockdown compared to not being in lockdown].” You can then take good care of yourself and move in the morning when the practicalities arise.
“It’s more important than ever now, it gets you up, it gets you going, it gives you energy, it boosts your mood, sets you up for the day. For many of us, it’s easy to just stay in our pajamas all day. This doesn’t do any favors for productivity or mental health.”
“It’s now warmer and lighter in the mornings, it should be much easier to get up and get moving.” It’s been strangely a blessing in disguise. We’ve had so many lockdowns in Melbourne that you have never seen (depending upon what restrictions) so many people playing with their children, riding bikes, or kicking a ball around on the ovals.
“As sh*t as the time is, there’s definitely some silver linings, you see a lot more dads working from home, they’ve got more time now because they’re not spending two hours on their commute each day. These silver linings will be with us once we get to the other side.”
“I’m encouraging people to move in the morning, I’m still trying to maintain their food structure, even though their life structure may have severely altered.” You might have to exercise at home because your gym may be closed. Sam offers some additional advice.
“Two things, I think try and find a space in your garden or your house that is your home gym space. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live in a mansion. You don’t have to live in a mansion to be able to exercise.”
“If you’re a bit haphazard with it, it doesn’t help your success in that space, and the other things is a lot of us our gym obsessed, but resistance training is working your body against any kind of resistance. You can use TRX, bodyweight or pilates to get great strength and tone benefits. It’s also a great way to experiment with new things.”
“And for anyone that tells me you can’t get results at home, well my whole 28 program is based on results at home for 6 years and I have tens of thousands of testimonies that will tell you otherwise. You can definitely get results, all you have to do is mix it up and remain consistent.”
Naturally, ensuring the meals you do eat during lockdown are as nutritious as possible, whilst juggling stress, work and potentially kids, isn’t always the easiest of tasks. It’s important to aim for adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrate in every meal.
Recent research suggests that we may have a selective memory regarding calorie intake and expenditure. We tend to underestimate how much food we eat by 20%, and overestimate how many calories we exercise by 20%.
“That’s a pretty big gap. It would be very easy to do in lockdown, I believe. If you feel that your exercise has decreased or your ability to get out of bed, and you feel like you are eating more, you can easily start putting on the weight.”
“It’s just about self-awareness and making sure you’re moving both of the needles in the right direction and then you can use it as a good opportunity to get in shape as we enter the warmer months.” Sam agrees, saying, “There is a real truth to your pre-bed routine: dark, cold, and no blue light.” Although they are all probably only 2%, there are many factors that can contribute to better sleep quality.
“With sleep itself, obviously the 7-8 hours is the ideal number, but there’s a lot of research around getting into consistent sleep habits.” You’ll find that you can fall asleep faster and experience deeper sleep if you follow a consistent pattern.
Plenty of advice to take onboard, then, and we hope much of it will make your lockdown that little bit more bearable.