How are you managing work-life balance? 

I’m going to be honest, I’m finding work-life balance hard to manage during this lockdown. With working from home and there not being the natural end of day routine of going home, I find myself getting wrapped up with work and this results in me working longer than I should in the evenings.

Prior to the current lockdown, while the gyms were open, I went to classes which would start at 5/5:15 and therefore would have to stop working to go to the classes. However, now that the gyms are closed again I find myself falling in to this bad habit of working late again.

On a more positive note! I try to get out for walks at lunchtime (weather dependent!) and as the lighter evenings come back I will be more inclined to go for walks in the evenings also.

How has your exercise routine changed? What are you doing differently and do you enjoy it even more or less (or the same)

My exercise routine changed massively! I have gone from going to the gym 6 days a week doing a mixture of classes, PT sessions, own workouts and sessions in the Climbing Wall. To doing the odd walk on my lunch break and going for walks on Saturday and Sundays. I have done a handful of workouts at home but so far, I have not managed to get into a routine. However, I’ve not given up on this and aim to do a little more each week with the hope of slowly building into a routine I can stick to until the gym is open again.

What keeps you motivated?

Seeing friends for coffee and walks.
Remembering how good I was feeling in myself before the current lockdown.
Wanting to return to the gym and not have fallen too far behind in my fitness so it doesn’t take too long to be back to seeing progress.

From your own experience, how does exercise impact on your mental health? Does exercising positively impact on your work and how?  

Exercise has a huge impact on my mental health. It helps me to de-stress after work and just makes me feel better and more positive in general. It gives me a sense of achievement at the end of a day where I may feel I haven't managed to achieve much at work.

It also has a positive impact on my work by giving me a place to go (when the gyms are open) to get me away from my desk at the end of the day to prevent me from doing longer hours than I should. While the gyms are closed it gives me the opportunity to meet friends for long walks and coffee.

What is your greatest exercise accomplishment?

I think most recently, a few weeks before lockdown in December, I managed to do a superset my Personal Trainer, Calum Thresh, gave me which ended with me doing 9 reps of Mountain Climbers in to Pushups straight into 9 reps of Walkouts into Pushups. I would never have imagined I could ever do 18 Pushups in one go!

Have you signed up to any challenges or set any goals?

I haven’t signed up to any challenges or set any goals as of yet, just taking each day as it comes just now. More likely to set goals when the evenings get lighter.

What are you looking forward to the most once lockdown ends?

I think this may be really obvious as it seems like everything I have said so far is all about the gym! I am most looking forward to the gym opening again as it is not about just exercise, I miss all the people and the social side of being there.

What are you looking forward to the most once ASW reopens?

Being way more active, feeling better in myself and seeing all the people I haven’t seen since December.

What advice would you give to others who are looking to become more active?

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve the level of activity you plan to do at the start of the week. Be realistic when planning activity in to your week and try not to set yourself goals that you are going to struggle to meet. I believe this is not as motivational as setting smaller goals and achieving them. You can then increase your goals each week if you feel that you can. Lockdown is tough enough without us being tough on ourselves.

Lockdown life is all about the little wins.