With the good news just announced and our freedom increasing by the day, perhaps now is a good time to reflect back on the time we have spent in lockdown and think about what we might like to carry through into this new phase of COVID-Normal. Have our habits changed? Do we value our mental health more wholly? And if so, what are we doing about it?
Like many, I spent the first part of lockdown eating and drinking my feelings and the latter part kicking my exercise routine into high gear. But with a stint in complete quarantine (thanks to a close contact testing positive), the shutdown of gyms and fitness studios and restrictions on my permitted reasons for leaving the house, finding new ways to engage my mind and body became a bit of a challenge.
Throughout the month of October, I have been using the MindBody platform, to access online yoga from the highly renowned yogis at Humming Puppy. October has coincidentally been one of the busiest months of the year for me, with guest appearances, podcast interviews, my counselling work and our business taking off – not to mention the madness of two young boys underfoot, so the mental health management was starting to slide.
Having been in lockdown essentially since March, we have all had to get creative about how we make time for ourselves and our mental health, so having access to online exercise platforms like MindBody has been a game changer.
Mindbody, Australia’s leading fitness and wellness app, recently released new research, ‘The Fitness Industry and the New Normal’, which revealed just how much the COVID-19 crisis has stirred up the way we stay active.
With brand new Australian data, the research provides a definitive guide to the nation’s fitness and wellness behaviours, as well as revealing the top predictions for a post-COVID world.
The findings showed that just like me, 76% of Australians were working out at least three times a week throughout COVID-19 restrictions, with 15% working out daily or more.
39% of participants cited having greater access to virtual workout content as the motivation behind their choice to continue their fitness journey, and 36% revealed they were using it as a means of coping with stress.
I am certainly one of those people.
My biggest concern has been how I will manage when things return to COVID-normal, as finding a big enough window to get to an in-person class seems almost impossible right now. The good news is, it looks like virtual workouts are here to stay, with 51% of participants anticipating continuing this routine at least once a week when regular life resumes.
For me, the physical and mental health benefits have been immeasurable. Having immediate access to high quality classes, with the convenience of knowing I can slot in some self-care into an already jam-packed schedule, without having to leave the house has been invaluable. It has helped me feel like I’m more in control of the uncontrollable and I hope that my kids would say, has helped me to strike the right balance between work and play.
I have particularly loved the Dynamic Hum classes on the Humming Puppy virtual site, thanks to the lovely people at MindBody. It has been the perfect blend of strength and flow, with just enough of a challenge to keep pushing me to deepen my practice.
So, what have I learned in this time of virtual contact, WFH and virtual classes? Exercise is imperative to my mental health. Allowing my busy schedule to dictate whether or not my needs get met is a thing of pre-COVID past. Now all I need is a quick 30-40 minute window and I can top up my health credit with the click of a button.
Namaste IN for that!