The Big Lockdown Fitness Challenge – Day One
It’s Friday the 10th of April as I type up the first day’s results of “Fi & Jay’s Big Lockdown Fitness Challenge”. We’ve been wanting to up our fitness levels – and lose our bellies – for ages now. And with plenty of time on our hands – and nowhere to go – now seemed like a pretty good time to get started.
We had a few different reasons for deciding it was time to do this. Which mostly involved wanting to be like those uber fit seventy year olds we keep seeing cycling around in Europe. But I figured a good place to start ( before we got to the scales!) would be to write all our reasons down. And this is what we came up with…
- Be stronger
- Be more flexible
- Have more stamina
- Be able to wear the clothes I like again
- Be fit enough to enjoy cycling and canoeing
- Be able to play better with our grandchildren
- Enjoy life more
- Be healthier
- Don’t like how my stomach looks
- Live longer
- Be able to go paragliding
- So Fi will think I’m sexy
Now I’m pretty sure Jay was joking with his number four. He knows fine well I find him wildly attractive exactly how he is. But I left it in anyway (that’ll teach him to be silly) while I dragged out our old scales and dusted them off.
This was the moment of truth. How bad was it going to be?
Stepping on the scales and getting out the tape measure seems to work a bit of magic. As long as we didn’t know exactly how bad things were then we could just avoid dealing with them. Reach for a packet of crisps instead of getting up and cooking a healthy meal. Crunch on a biscuit or two because we’re feeling a bit restless. Have another beer in front of Netflix instead of going for that walk.
But once I’d seen the numbers on the scales, written down the figures on the tape measure…
|Fri – 10/04 Fi
|Fri – 10/04 Jay
It was definitely time to set ourselves some goals.
Our goals were pretty simple for now. We figured the easier they were to achieve the more we would see results and be motivated to keep going.
- Lose 3.6 kg. My current weight was 14.5 kg above the “healthy” weight for my size. But it was going to take a while to lose that amount of weight. So I divided it by four to give us some interim goals to start with. So Goal One was to lose 3.6 kg.
- Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.
- Complete the NHS Strength & Flex course
- Be able to cycle comfortably for twenty minutes a day
- Learn Yoga on the rest days between the Strength & Flex routine
- Have a bit of fun finding dance and different exercise ideas on YouTube.
We’re very, very lucky to be in lockdown on a farm. We don’t have miles of land we can wander on. The farmer would rightly be a bit annoyed if we started running around in his fields. But we do have a one kilometre “circuit” of private road running round our parking spot that we can use as much as we like.
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that we have this space to move around in. To be in the countryside, with a bit of space away from other people, is a luxury many people just don’t have right now. In a flat, in a city, we would have to go out seperately. One at a time for our daily exercise so that Marley could get two decent walks a day.
Here we are blessed to be able to go out together. Marley can sit outside all day long. And we can exercise and cycle and walk as much as we like within our one kilometre circle.
Many fulltime vanfolk will not find it as easy as us to carry out an exercise plan at this moment in time. And for people who have no garden it’s going to be harder too. But all the Strength & Flex exercises could be adjusted to be done indoors as well. Just replace the walking with marching on the spot and you’re good to go.
There’s no beating the fresh air and the welcome sight of the daisies in the Spring sunshine though. And the Strength & Flex exercises are all on a handy download that you can listen to on your phone as you walk. Absolutely free.
Jay had a bit of a grumble about the thigh stretches – always a difficult one for him – and I didn’t help at all by falling about giggling at him. Oops! But we completed all the exercises without any injuries so Day One was definitely a success.
Strength & Flex is a five week course. We have to perform a set of stretching and strengthening exercises every second day. After we complete each week we go on to a slightly more advanced exercise set on the following week. It’s really easy to follow the podcasts as well, and it feels great to be working on my muscle strength and flexibility.
Jay does not look happy trying the thigh stretches!
In the days to come I’ll write up our meals and snacks that we have each day. It’s definitely easier not to have unhealthy snacks in lockdown. No nipping to the shops to pick up treats on a whim. So if we don’t buy them on our supermarket trips then we’ll just need to go without.
Tomorrow we’re heading into town to do our first shop since lockdown. I’m a bit nervous about it after not being off the farm for three and a half weeks. But we’re picking up a folding push bike while we’re there. So I’m a little bit excited too.
I’ll leave you with our exercise chart for day one. It’s good to have something to focus on. To be doing something positive with our time. And , on our way to a better future, to be making a better now.
|Strength & Flex
|Fi – Yes
|Jay – Yes