Covid belly and lockdown lard seem to have swept across the globe with people putting on shed loads of unwanted weight and losing their hard-earned fitness during the current pandemic.
So many people I chat to, who were once highly motivated to exercise and ate well, are now struggling to maintain any sort of fitness regime and their diets have gone out the window - about the only thing that is allowed to go out at the moment!
The 2 main reasons I’m hearing that are behind this change in behaviours is daily routines changing and the closure of gyms or just the sheer unpleasant nature of training in some gyms at the moment, with no atmosphere and people looking at you as if you’re carrying COVID-19 in every cell of your body, kit and water bottle.
It’s due to this shift in people’s perception of their time and what’s available to them that they feel that fitness simply isn’t possible at these times and that waiting till things get back to ‘normal’ is the right thing to do.
But that’s simply not the case.
Unfortunately, like the presidency of Donal Trump, it looks like COVID-19 is staying around a lot longer than people wish it would, which means we need to change our behaviours and routines to best fit with what we want and need to achieve now.
We all know that the less exercise you do the less you want to do - that’s human nature.
We also know that once a diet starts to slip, it’s like a tidal wave of crap food floods into your fridge and ultimately into your belly, making you feel even worse, doubting yourself and having a hugely damaging effect on your motivation to do anything positive.
These human behaviour patterns are natural, but it doesn’t mean that they need to hang around for a long time.
New options are opening up pretty much daily to help you improve your life in these crazy times. From the amazing success of Peleton where you can have an American shout at you in the comfort of your living room whilst you shed 2 gallons of sweat over the new Ikea sofa to the infinite free Youtube videos promising you a workout that will make you lose fat, get ripped, and probably do the shopping and visit the in-laws for you!
What I’m saying is, there are options out there instead of the gyms, and some are bloody good options. You just need to embrace the change that has come, grab it with both hands with your weight training vice-like grip and start achieving again.
On the 23rd March this year when the UK went into full lockdown, I thought, my thriving Personal Training and Sports Therapy business would be destroyed overnight.
Cue a panicked phone call to my brother, who had what at the time seemed more valuable than 10kgs of pure Gold, an HD webcam, and my business was back up and running to full capacity just 12 hours later.
I’m a traditionalist and believed that to train someone properly you need to be standing next to them, to really get the very best out of them.
How wrong I was.
I now train clients from all over the world remotely, keeping track of every dimension of their health and fitness, motivating them and most importantly, having a laugh whilst doing it and all from home. All this came from the shit-show that is the pandemic.
What I’m getting at is don’t give up on your health and fitness because of the situation we find ourselves in, but use it as a catalyst to try something new, because you’ll probably find that it’s a shed load better than you thought and you can start winning again!
Variety is the spice of life - time to mix things up!
Rob Elford has been a Personal Trainer & Sports Therapist for over 15 years working with both Private and Corporate clients from across the world, both in-person and remotely.
He has worked with clients from every background with very differing demands, from international athletes from a wide range of sports including motor racing, Polo, Tennis, Dressage to London based FinTech businesses running their complete Wellness Schemes to mums and dads that just want to feel fitter and healthier.
Why not see what clients really think of Rob?
Watch his clients being interviewed here?