Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
WITH gyms being closed due to the current international medical crisis there is a non zero number of you that are afraid of weight gain during this time. Let’s talk about that!
First of all though, if you aren’t one of these people, I’m going to say: Perspective. People are dying. If you don’t feel like trying to continue to lose weight right now or you don’t feel like getting much exercise I would suggest not worrying about it too much (unless there’s a pressing medical reason). Do, at least, get out for some air, especially if you’re out of work (like me) but if formal exercise seems like a bit too much stress right now remember that stress reduction in this very stressful time is what we’re looking for, not more stress because you’re forcing yourself to do something you really don’t feel like doing.
Now, with regard to the fear of weight gain. Try to eat normally… maybe a little less if you aren’t working out. Try to move as much as usual. It might not be exactly the same movement routine as normal, it might be a long walk instead of a HIIT class, but try to keep moving.
I know I, personally, am tempted to overeat at times of elevated stress. Here’s a comparison that works for me: “I can’t go to work for the foreseeable future. The fact that my income will be reduced does not mean I should deliberately spend way more than usual and blow all my savings.” Compare this to, “I can’t go to the gym for the foreseeable future. The fact that my calories burned will be reduced does not mean I should deliberately consume way more than usual and blow all my weight management efforts.” See how they’re similar?
“Oh the gym is closed… I’ll spend the two hours I would usually have spent working out sitting on the couch with a bottle of wine/box of chocolates…” that does not make sense.
Get up, get out (or get active in your own living room) and try not to spend more money than usual/eat more calories than usual.
Social media is being flooded with home workouts that require little to no equipment (I’m putting some on my social media @AdamWrightPT on Instagram and I’m recording workout classes for the Kingfisher Clubs that you can find on Facebook), do some of these at home. Go walking, running or cycling in places where you don’t have to be close to other people, do it early in the day to make sure it actually happens, and stay focused on not excessively consuming.
If you normally go to group fitness classes maybe now is the time to really work on doing it for you and not just because someone is yelling at you or because other people can see you.
But. In the end.
Any fat gained can be re-lost. Any fitness lost can be regained.
These are extraordinary times. The world is likely to be different after all of this, even when things return to “normal”. Looking after your mental and physical health is really important. It might also be really important to remember that there isn’t any actual health benefit to many of us losing the few pounds we’d like to lose and it might be better for our mental health to not worry about it right now.
I’m not giving you permission to do nothing but slob around and overeat (laughs out loud) but maybe I am giving you permission to not be too hard on yourself if you don’t exactly feel like doing high intensity workouts at the moment. Go for a walk. Stay safe. Protect the vulnerable amongst us.
If you have questions or there is anything else I can do for you, message me on Instagram. Watch the Kingfisher Club Waterford’s facebook page for pre-recorded exercise classes if you want them and for any news as to when we’ll be reopening. Try to have a great week!