Looking after yourself when life gets crazy – Paul O’Neill AEP

Two and a half weeks ago my wife and I welcomed our daughter Isabelle into the world. Now, all the parents out there know exactly what that means, for your first child you are in a state of blissful ignorance until the day comes. Then it hits you. Now don’t get me wrong, Isabelle is amazing, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but man have the first two weeks been a challenge!

From the disrupted sleep to sitting a lot and eating everything in sight, overall it hasn’t been a great couple of weeks for my health and fitness. People say, ‘You just had your first child, that’s a great excuse not to exercise’. And unfortunately, it is exactly that, an excuse. There is no excuse that should stop you looking after yourself. This is even more important when you have other people relying on you. This may be your family that need providing and caring for, you may be an essential frontline worker, or you may even be an employer who is trying to keep the doors open because your employees rely on you for a job. Regardless of your situation, looking after yourself needs to be a priority so that you are able to continue helping others.

Maybe you are in isolation. Your world has been crazy for the last few weeks, but your new routine is starting to settle. Now is the time to start adding exercise back into your schedule. A recent statement from ESSA highlights the importance of exercise:

“We all understand that exercise supports our physical health, however, during times of crisis such as this, it is the first activity we tend to ignore. Being active can not only keep us healthy, it can also help us fight off infection.”

“Exercise is also unique in that it can boost our mental health, and during this anxious time it’s more important than ever to keep our minds clear and focused.”  

So where do you start? Starting small at 20-30 mins per day for 3 days a week is a great place to start. You can then build on this until you are doing 30 mins per day, everyday. A great place to start is simply going for a walk for 30 mins. Once this starts to become a habit, you can then add in some resistance training simply using your own body weight. Below is a simple 15-20 minute full body workout to get you started. Start by doing this twice a week and build up to three times a week. Once you can do this three times a week, with exercise on the other days such as walking, you are ready to progress the exercises.

Body-Weight workout

1A. Squat 3 x 10

1B. Push-up 3 x 10

1C. Mountain Climbers 3 x 10 each side

2A. Reverse Lunges 3 x 10 each side

2B. Glute Bridges 3 x 10

2C. Plank 3 x 15 seconds

Perform 3 exercises in a circuit fashion. So you would do 1a, 1b and 1c together as a circuit then 2a, 2b and 2c together. Try to do the circuit as first as possible with good technique. Rest as needed.

Contact us if you have any question or if you feel like you are ready to progress and one of our Exercise Physiologists would love to design an individualised program to keep you getting better every day.