With the immediate future of lockdown remaining uncertain, one thing we can be confident in is that we will reach a ‘post-pandemic’ phase of living. How the world we live in will be changed remains to be seen and I find this concept of a ‘new normal’ exciting, it leaves much to the imagination.
Setting New Goals
In a post-pandemic world, many will see this as a ‘new beginning’, much like a new year, making resolutions to get in shape, reduce alcohol intake, make better food choices, and to sleep more. This is something I urge you to consider carefully. Much like new years resolutions, make sustainable, manageable changes that. Aim to form habits that will have long-term empowering effects.
Your Daily Routine
Similar to when going into lockdown, people will want to plan out their days. Prioritising work, exercise and socialising. Finding the balance between working hard, remaining fit and healthy whilst keeping up with friends and family is essential. I think there will be a period of over-excitement as shops, bars, and restaurants re-open. When in-person socialising becomes part of your daily or weekly routine, albeit at a social distance. This period of quasi-celebration, of liberation, is in my mind important, it is important to look beyond the damage and destruction caused by the COVID-19 virus, but even more valuable are the lessons to be learned. There has been disaster and heartache, but there has also been a lot of good.
So when it comes down to YOUR POST-PANDEMIC PLANNING you must remember to be kind to yourself.
Here is my Post-Pandemic Forecast:
Exercise habits and routines have been formed and will initially be maintained. People will find the time to have their daily exercise of choice. The duration of this will depend on the intensity of the exercise
Post-Quarantine Fatigue and Burnout. Simply, walking more as restrictions are eased = more NEAT, so more energy expenditure on top of the current exercise routine. This is one to be careful of, with an increase in general exercise that isn’t your allotted exercise time, people will aim to maintain their exercise routine and without even realising will be expending much more energy, which requires more rest. Post-Quarantine fatigue and burnout will be a big one.
Working From Home will still be advised. Forecast of up to 50% of London offices remaining closed, and companies keeping the WFH protocol in action. A real point of interest as there are many pros and cons. Being able to work in an agile manner, controlling your working day is great. Allowing time for exercise, better food choices, and more sleep Vs the reduced social interaction that comes from working in an office environment which is crucial for team cohesion and working efficiency. Lots more time spent on zoom calls or Teams.
Increased need for ergonomics with increased screen time. With regular Zoom/Teams meetings, you will be expected to be ready to go at multiple times throughout the day, which means no more walking to meetings and more time locked into your desktop/laptop or phone. A really thorough assessment of your home working environment is key. You don’t need to buy an office chair or desk but with careful desk set-up and organisation, many of the standard aches and pains can be prevented. Purposeful and regular screen breaks will be important to maximise efficiency and to keep desk-related aches and pains at bay.
The interweaving of social interaction and exercise. Socially distanced running/walking/cycling with a friend or group will be on the rise as soon as we’re given the go-ahead by the government. With a home-working life, people will enjoy the ability to use time efficiently to both socialise and exercise. Be prepared to see more and more small groups of runners/cyclists as the good weather continues.
Increase in cycling. For exercise, pleasure and a means of ‘clean travel’ - much like other European cities Amsterdam and Copenhagen there will be a decrease in the use of public transport and an increase in cycling. An easy way to increase your NEAT to stay fit and healthy, whilst staying at a social distance from others. As good weather continues, people will relish the opportunity to be out and about.
Creating Your New Normal
There will be a period of time where we are all trying to do too much. Overuse injuries were on the rise during the lockdown as running and HIIT exercises became the flavour of the month. As the reality of the ‘new normal’ of working from home sets in and it is no longer a temporary solution, without proper planning and set-up, repetitive strain and postural injuries will rise as you are no longer sitting in your comfortable, ergonomic chairs. Going from 0 to 100 several times per day is a lot to deal with, and by that, I mean going straight from your desk to exercising without too much of a warm-up can be a shock to the body. We will all be trying to exercise daily (at the intensity we have become accustomed to), walking more, going to shops and social spaces as restrictions are lifted and there will be an increase in cyclists as we are still all trying to get about whilst minimising human contact on our journeys. So whilst this is all manageable, it will require some proper post-pandemic planning. As human beings, we are social creatures and as with any significant period of change in our lives, this will be no different, keep moving forward, optimise your working and living spaces, maintain careful social interaction but most importantly be kind to yourselves, listen to your body and avoid post-pandemic burnout.
If you are suffering from overuse aches, or think you might have an injury brewing, reach out to me now so that we can nip this in the bud together.