Daily Workouts During These Times That We Find Ourselves In

Words by Joseph Bryson

 

The COVID-19 pandemic that’s rampaging is no more news. In a bid to combat the spread of the deadly virus, lockdowns have been put in place in different regions around the world. This has restricted people’s access to social gatherings such as stadiums, cinemas, clubs, and even gyms.

Yes, gyms are closed in some states or countries depending on the severity of the outbreak. The virus may be unable to survive on highly sanitized surfaces, but there’s still a high risk.

In the gym, people share locker rooms, equipment, and towels. This is why fitness enthusiasts have to adapt to new living conditions and still stay fit.

Obeying the social isolation and social distancing rules should not be the worst thing ever for you. You’ll be spending all your time at home and you should make out some time to keep in shape.

Definitely, it may be impossible to reach the level of intensity you achieve at the gym. But constant home workout will guarantee physical fitness.

Sticking to simple workout routines will ensure that you don’t lose momentum during your time away from gym equipment. Home workouts are also a great way to battle anxiety by boosting endorphins.

What are the daily workouts during these times that we find ourselves in?

Let’s take a look at daily workouts that keep muscles active and guarantee general fitness. They are simple routines for everyone that require little or no equipment.

Burpees

Burpees are a great choice if you want to do something intense without visiting the gym. You don’t have to go ahead and do 100 reps. All you have to do is start with something that is doable but would still pose a challenge. Starting with 50 reps is a welcome idea.

To do a burpee, you would have to stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. While in this position, keep your hands at your sides and ensure your knees are straight.

Ensure that your shoulders are upright with your back straight as you tighten your abs and squeeze your butt at the beginning of each rep.

Slowly, bend your hips and knees and go into a squat. Move your hips forward and bend your knees to face the ground. Straighten your back and keep your arms close to your body.

Next, place your hand on the floor in front of you. Make sure your arms are straight but don’t lock your elbows. Then, kick your feet back into a plank position.

It’s important that your hands are shoulder-width apart and properly placed on your floor while in this position. Drop to the ground and lie flat. Press shoulder-with arms and jump your feet forward.

Do this in one smooth motion but keep your hands on the ground. The final step is to jump upwards. You’re free to jump as high as you want to but stick to reasonable height to conserve energy.

That’s the end of one rep. Repeat the entire process for another burpee rep.

Push-ups

Asides from the burpees, you can also do some push-ups. You may stick to the same number of reps as the burpees. It’s a pretty popular exercise but how do you do it properly?

Get into a push-up position and place your hands on the floor. Make sure that you close your hips to engage your glutes and lower abs.

Pull yourself slowly to the ground while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Start out the movement by tensing your chest region.

Next, push your hands forward to maintain the tension in your chest. It’s important that your hips do not sag and keep your glutes and lowered and tight.

Plank Rotation

Another workout to try out is the Plank Rotation. Get into position by lying on your front with your elbows locked. Keep your legs straight behind you. Tuck your toes in, tighten your abs and lift your hips off the floor.

The goal is to evenly distribute your weight between your arms and feet. Make sure that your shoulders are above your palm. Focus on keeping your body in a straight line from shoulder to ankle.

To complete a rep, take one palm off the floor, open it and rotate it till it is in the 12 o’clock position. Place the arm back down and keep your palm facing the floor.

Plank rotation is harder, the closer your feet are together. Therefore, you can start out with a wider stance before closing the distance between your feet. This will add more intensity after a few simple reps.

V – Sit

Do you know how to do the v – sit? Take a look at how it’s done. Lie on the ground with your legs stretched out and keep your hands by your side. This will be the start and stop position for each complete rep.

While keeping your legs straight and outstretched, tighten your torso and lift it towards your thighs. Maintain a v – shape and stretch your hands towards your feet.

Take your hands closer to your feet by slowly lowering your back. To do this routine properly, you have to ensure that you don’t rush through it.

Make sure your torso is tightened throughout the routine. Keep your back from arching or else you’ll not be engaging your core muscles.

The intensity of this routine can be increased by adding some weight to your hands or ankles.

Squats

Squats are a straightforward routine to engage your muscles early in the morning. Stand on your feet with your hips-width apart. Tighten your core and keep your back muscles engaged. This will be the start and end position for each completed rep.

With your core tightened, sit your hips back, bend your knees and go into a squat. Keep the weight fixed in your heels, flex your knees, and go back to your starting position.

Tighten your glutes at a standing position and repeat the movements. During the routine, keep your body weight balanced on both feet. You can consult an expert to determine the correct body position for you.

It’s important that your back doesn’t arch throughout the exercise.

This period doesn’t have to be the end of your workout routine. It’s important that you keep feet and don’t lose too much momentum while staying at home. The routines above will keep you in shape during these times that we find ourselves in

[AD]The Bedroom IS the new Boardroom – Suitable WFH loungewear #Sponsored

While many of us are now having to establish working from home as the new normal, where zoom calls are replacing physical meetings and our bedroom is the new boardroom, well at least for the foreseeable.

Staying in your pyjamas through the day, and then the night, non showering and a lack of general grooming really can have a detrimental effect on our mental health and all-round levels of anxiety. 

All recent research has advised during this period of lockdown and self isolation establishing a routine is all important. Getting up, getting showered and getting dressed is essential in starting a positive mindset. 

Although attitudes seem to have relaxed on formal workwear attire no longer being enforced. Professionalism, employer opinion and our own stylish standards means sitting on our sofa in last night’s nightwear isn’t an opinion. But we don’t have to add to our already heightened stress levels Very Menswear, can cater to all of our loungewear needs from smart to, let’s agree on, smart casual. I mean as they put it, “our range is designed to give you a little bit of luxury at home”.

Tommy Hilfiger

Whether, it’s the regular start of the week meeting or taking your daily exercise. This look from Tommy Hilfiger won’t see you looking out like you’ve just rolled out of bed.

Polo Ralph Lauren

This casual look is great as the weather continues to warm up, fingers crossed, and won’t have you looking out of place whether it’s a 121 with your boss or answering the door to a food or maybe a delivery from Very.

Marvel

Although this is loungewear it’s aspirational enough to maintain your high style standards yet tick all the boxes in the comfort stakes.

( This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Very Menswear)

HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY TEETH – Top 10 things you should do to maintain good oral health at home

With most of us working from home, home-schooling underway and regular dental check-ups now off the radar for the time-being, it’s crucial to look after your teeth. The expert team of dentists at Together Dental have created a ‘Top 10’ of things you can do to maintain good oral health from home.

Together Dental is a growing group of practices led by forward thinking, caring dentists with a shared vision to provide outstanding dental care for both NHS and private patients.

They value the trust that patients have placed in them and work hard to protect that trust. Their team are passionate about working together to deliver the best possible care in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Mayur N Pandya, Dentist and Chief Clinical Officer of Together Dental said; “Maintaining healthy teeth, mouth and gums helps avoid future dental treatments.  Keeping your oral health routine during this ‘stay- at- home’ time, and creating positive habits can also help maintain a more positive mind-set.”

The top 10 things are;

  1. Moderate your diet  –                           Of course, what you eat has a massive effect on your teeth. You should increase the amount of vegetables which contain healthy fibre. You should reduce the frequency of consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Sugar is converted into acid in the mouth which can then dissolve the enamel of your teeth. Acidic fruits, fruit teas and fizzy drinks can also erode tooth enamel so enjoy these things only in moderation.
  2. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth –                                     Brushing before bed leaves your mouth clean overnight, when your mouth becomes drier, and bacteria begin to multiply. By removing the plaque that has accumulated throughout the day, you can reduce your risk of gum disease and dental decay. Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that coats the surfaces of your teeth.
  3. Brush-up on your brushing technique       
    Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, when you get up and before you go to bed, for two minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. At night time, try not to rinse after brushing to leave a reservoir of fluoride which will help to re-mineralise tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
  4. Slow down!                                           Most people brush their teeth in a hurry. To do a good job of cleaning your teeth it is important not to rush it. Work slowly in soft, gentle, circular motions, taking your time and moving the toothbrush to remove plaque. Any unremoved plaque can eventually harden, leading to tartar build-up and the beginnings of gum disease.
  5. Go electric
    It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, they are both equally as good, as long as you brush ALL the surfaces of ALL of your teeth and gently angle the bristles towards the gumline. That said, electric toothbrushes do take the effort out of brushing, allowing you to focus on your technique.
  6. Fluoride, fluoride, fluoride            Use fluoride toothpaste. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. At night time, try not to rinse after brushing to leave a reservoir of fluoride which will help to remineralise tooth enamel and prevent cavities. During the day, after meals, use an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash to keep your enamel strong.
  7. Floss
    Flossing isn’t just for getting those little bits of food that are stuck in between your teeth. It is much more about reducing plaque in between teeth, the gumline and helping to lower any gum inflammation in your mouth. Flossing once a day is usually enough to make a big difference to gum health.
  8. Stop Smoking and Moderate your Alcohol intake                               Smoking is not just bad for our general health but puts us at risk of oral cancer. Around 90% of mouth cancers can be linked to preventable lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Smoking and drinking together increases the risk of mouth cancer by up to 30 times. Use this time at home to stop smoking and moderate your alcohol consumption.
  9. Sensitivity                                               Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by exposed dentine. Sometimes this may be caused by over-zealous tooth-brushing. Changing to a softer brush and using a sensitive toothpaste (e.g. Sensodyne Rapid Relief) may help. Apply the sensitive toothpaste as a cream in the sensitive area at night and leave it there to act for several hours.
  10. Think of looking after your teeth as part of your positive personal routine                   
    Habits such as getting up at a regular time, following the same personal hygiene routine, eating and exercising at set times can all help to support a positive mindset

 

As well as helping you establish a routine, having a fresh mouth and beautifully clean teeth will make you feel better and prevent future dental problems.

Together Dental, in line with the latest guidance from NHS England, is offering a dental health advice line to help people at home. If you have a dental emergency you can call them call  on 01277 289096 or visit them at www.together.dental

9 ideas for maintaining morale, with resources to help

Words by Sarah Lewis, C.Psychol., Appreciating Change

How are you finding lockdown?  As the restrictions continue many people are feeling more anxious than they usually would.  And there’s a risk of adownward cycle of worry, lethargy and depression. We can’t make the virus disappear but what we can do is boost our resilience, finding ways to keep our spirits up.  

Two principles are particularly useful. First, managing anxiety takes mental strength and energy, if we don’t actively recharge, we will become depleted.  Secondly the state of our morale affects the state of our immune system (At this point I have to say this doesn’t mean that anyone who becomes ill wasn’t positive enough!). So, if we pro-actively attend to our morale, we are also pro-actively attending to our health.

Here are some ideas to help manage anxiety and build resilience:

Laughter

There is lots of evidence that laughing is good for us and for our immune system. Whatever rocks your funny bone. Remember, coronavirus may be no laughing matter, but we don’t have to be solemn to be serious. Laughing is a good coping mechanism. My favourite YouTube video, which seems particularly apt at this time, is Tripp and Tyler: A Conference Call in Real Life. It makes me laugh every time.

A quick note on a form of humour that tends to arise during the most challenging of times, specifically ‘gallows’ humour. Laughter reduces threats to size. Be aware though, it doesn’t travel; it is very specific to the moment. Use with caution and only with those with a similar mordant sense of humour.

Blessings

The new science of positive psychology has proved the benefits of the old adage of counting your blessings. There is an exercise known as the ‘three good things’. At the end of each day, identify three good things that have happened during the day. It’sgood practice to write them down. Doing this regularly helps train your brain to look for the positives amongst the gloom, to find the silver linings, if you like.

For instance, perhaps you saw a report in the paper on the positive effect of the lockdown for wildlife. You can find lots of similar proven exercises in Vanessa Keys excellent book: 10 keys to happier living. Based on science, written for everyone, it is full of ideas for boosting your mood.

Manage your news feed and other anxiety amplifiers

We are being offered 24-hour, worldwide updates. Following this minute-by-minute is not likely to do you any good. You can’t influence things other than by taking the sensible precautions we’ve all been told about. So, take positive control and limit your daily diet. You might choose to read rather than watch the news. One benefit of this is that there is less ‘emotional contagion’ from the written word than from a person’s voice, so less transmission of anxiety.

What we want to do is replace anxiety with optimism. Two great resources with ideas about how to do this are Happy Brain Science’s Happiness at Work’ game and ‘Positran’s Positive Action Cards’.Happiness at work contains over 100 science-based ideas for how to change mood or deal with some common work challenges such as ‘I work remotely, rarely seeing colleagues face to face’. While the positive action cards, also science-based, give easy to follow instructions for over sixty ways to increase your well-being.

Get out of yourself and into flow

Just ‘not thinking about it’ is hard, we need to find things that take us out of ourselves. When we are completely absorbed in things we are in a state of ‘flow’ and when we are in this state, we are not focused on our feelings. It’s like getting a holiday from your worried self.

Perhaps cooking, exercise or a hobby will work for you. Sometimes it’s hard to get yourself over the initial hump into the activity, but once you’ve started to apply yourself, time falls away.

The book, ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ explains flow and other positive psychology concepts that might be useful right now. ‘Positive Organizational Development cards’ take twenty of the key positive psychology concepts, including flow, and give you questions to help you explore them and brief ideas for action. Or you can go straight to the master’s voice and get Csikszentmihalyi’s classic book, ‘Flow’.

Good food and exercise

You are no longer at the mercy of the snack bars, train trolleys, airline catering etc. as you skedaddle from one place to another. Make the most of it to eat healthily. Lots of fruit and vegetables are good for immune system. Exercise is very important to both mental and physical health. You know the rules about keeping your distance. Put your face mask on and get out there and yomp for an hour somewhere green.

Alternatively you might want to try Jo Wicks ‘Seven days of sweat’. You could treat it as a way of socialising and take part online with friends as you all log on at the same time.


Have projects
to pull you forward

‘Wise people’, someone once said ‘prepare for the worse while hoping for the best’. Once you’ve done what you can to prepare for the worse, then turn your energy to hoping for the best.

Starting projects suggests an optimism about the future that becomes self-reinforcing. Uncertainty can act to paralyse us. By pro-actively starting a project we can break out of that paralysis. The hardest part is getting started, but once you do it will draw you forward. Apart from total house rearrangement, I’vestarted a new tapestry kit. These take me years to complete. But every evening I can admire the couple of square inches I’ve completed and feel I’m making progress.

Positran do another great set of cards called ‘Positive Transformation Cards’. They are resilience building cards, full of uplifting quotes and insightful questions to help you boost your optimism, hopefulness, and self-confidence in a mindful way.

Coach yourself

If you are feeling really stuck, and your thinking is just going round-and-round in circles then you may need to take a more structured approach to pull yourself out of the mire. Usually we can rely on informal chats with colleagues to stimulate our thinking or for ideas that haven’t occurred to us. Sometimes we just need to be asked a question that gives us a different take on the subject or causes us to make a new connection. You may already have a coach who can help you, but if not, people often self-coach. Self-coaching helps move you into a more productive self-talk, that allows you find unexpected ways forward.

‘At My Best’ offer an excellent selection of forty-eight coaching questions in their ‘Good Question Card’ pack. Alternatively, there is a set of six Coaching Cubes with thirty-six questions, based on the PRISM coaching model, that you roll like dice, introducing an element of randomness and chance into the questions you’re asked.

Call a friend

Social contact also is very important to our wellbeing. Even if you are in lockdown with loved ones it’s good to talk to other people. I recommend you phone, Zoom, Skype, Facetime etc at least one person every day. You might want to talk about the situation, that’s fine. However, I suggest you also ask them about their plans for the day, what they are hoping to achieve during this period of lockdown. In other words, try to help them see a silver lining. Ideally you will both come away from the phone call feeling slightly better not even worse!

Practice Appreciative Living

This tip takes us almost full circle. Appreciative Living, which is based on Appreciative Inquiry, is all about seeing and seeking out the best of life. We can’t deny the reality of a worldwide threat to our whole way of life, but we can still appreciate the things that make life worth living, today. Developing an appreciative eye, especially in times such as these, takes practice and isn’t always easy, but the benefit to our health, well-being, state of mind and ability to remain pro-active in the face of threat, in fact to our resilience, is beyond question. Keeping doing all the things you need to do to stay safe, and start living appreciatively at the same time.

Jackie Kelm is the guru of Appreciative Living, you can find her videos on YouTube and her latest book, Appreciative Living, on Amazon. Or try the Appreciative Inquiry card pack, with pictures, quotes and questions. Or you might find Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management by Lewis, Passmore and Cantore of interest for a more work orientated explanation.

Lockdown is a new experience and as restrictions of some kind may continue for a while it is important to look after yourself, manage anxiety and build resilience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Lewis C.Psychol., is the principal psychologist at Appreciating Change, a strengths-based psychological consultancy that is committed to applying well-researched positive psychology ideas and interventions to workplace challenges and opportunities at an individual, team or whole organization level.

Sarah is an associated fellow of the British Psychological Society, a principal member of the Association of Business Psychologists, and a member of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Sarah is an acknowledged Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology expert, a regular conference presenter and author of ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ (Wiley), Positive Psychology and Change (Wiley), ‘Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management’ (KoganPage) and Positive Psychology in Business (Pavilion).

She also collects great positive psychology resources to support consultants, trainers and coaches in their work which are sold through the Positive Psychology online shop. https://www.thepositivepsychologyshop.com/

Web: https://acukltd.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahlewis1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahlewis1

Something To Watch This Weekend #2

Words by Cameron McLauchlan

Welcome to another lockdown edition of Something To Watch This Weekend, the lockdown specific series where weve swapped shopping for streaming. We hope this list will help you get through what is this rumoured to be the final weekend of the strongest lockdown measures (in the UK). Let’s crack on with the list!

1) After Life – 2020 – Netflix (15)

With season 2 of the show only releasing a couple of weeks ago (24th of April) its an incredibly easy series to get up to speed with.

The dark comedy features Ricky Gervais as the main character, a man who has sadly lost his wife to cancer. Tragically left to continue by himself and Brandy, his female German-Shepherd.

Having been written and directed by Ricky Gervais, the storyline whilst featuring scenes which will make most cry, are equally balanced by moments which can make you laugh just as much if not more. Centred around the village in which he lives, the story develops to render some hilarious moments during his characters darkest scenes. The writing is truly some of Gervaisbest work, a statement which should not be made lightly given his previous success.

After Life is available exclusively on Netflix and due to the popularity of the newly released second series, Gervais has already announced a third series is in the works! A testament to how good the show really is.

2) Star Wars : The Rise of The Sky Walker (2019) – 12A

The last film to join the most recent trilogy is out on all platforms now. A film which I regrettably failed to make it to my local cinema to see, at the tail end of last year. The Rise of The Skywalker is no different to any previous film, an action packed, space-thrill ride which nicely rounds off the entire Star Wars franchise to date.

The final film, in this phase of Star Wars features familiar faces from the previous two installations  such as Rey, Finn and Kylo as well as the legends of the franchise – Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

The film is typical Star Wars through and through with incredible actions scenes, laughter and plot twists. The clanger twist is saved until last, arriving at the very end of the film, a scene which sees one of the franchises darkest characters make return. This is a must watch if you havent already to get you over the line this weekend!

3)  The Man From U.N.C.L.E (2015) – Netflix (12A)

How a follow up film hasnt been made yet I dont know. Fresh on the Netflix recently added list, this Guy Ritchie film is an incredibly enjoyable watch. The plot is centred around CIA agent Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya (Armie Hammer), who are forced to come together in an effort to prevent nuclear warfare.

The film in true Guy Ritchie style is filled with brilliant action sequences. The settings and scenes do a great job of building the 1960s world in which the film is set. Speaking completely subjectively as a die hard bond fan, this film is good enough to rival some bond movies and offers a similar feeling to that of a bond film. Theres just an extra leading character.

If you’re struggling to decide on something to watch this weekend, this film is easily one to dive straight into. You wont be disappointed.

4) We Are The Millers (2013) – ITV2 – (15)

I often forget that there are still some some really decent shows and films on normal television.

Starting at 9.00PM this Saturday on ITV2, We Are The Miller is a hilarious film for all to watch. If the kids arent too young!

Starring Jennifer Anniston, Jason Sudeikis and Will Poulter. The plot surrounds the story of a random collection of individuals which (in order to make a sum of money) have to travel to Mexico in an RV acting as a legitimate family.

In true comedy style, the journey there and back is loaded with eye-watering scenes in more ways than one. This films is perfect for a Saturday night infant of the telly to capitulate what will hopefully be the last weekend of the current lockdown conditions!

We hope all of our readers have stayed safe, happy and well during the unprecedented time and hope the list above will get you through and your loved ones through this weekend one way or another!

Until next time.