Staying healthy cannot be understated in these uncertain times

Darren Beattie


Darren Beattie


THE importance of staying fit and healthy cannot be understated in these uncertain times.

That's why the Tyrone Constitution has reached out to Omagh personal trainer, Ian Allen, of Activate, who wants to keep you flexible and free from stiffness while you work from home!

"During the coming days and weeks there is going to be a lot of stiff and sore bodies due to isolation. It is important to work at our mobility to keep our bodies moving freely," said Ian.

"There are numerous exercise we can do without equipment at home. As a trainer who specialises in movement, I believe in keeping our joints fully activated and mobilised during this challenging period.

"Whether you are 16 or 80, it is important now and forever to train our joints to function better. If they don’t function like they should your body will compensate and compensation will lead to feelings of tightness and restriction.

"Prioritise trying to improve the control of your body instead of stretching or releasing tight muscles.”

Movements include: 'cat-camel'; ‘clam shells'; ‘side kick’ (up and down); ‘cobra’; ‘shoulder rotations’.

During the isolation there is no better time to ‘bulletproof your body for life’.

It is important to implement good breathing techniques to handle stress; when our stress levels are low our bodies feel comfortable and begin to wind down; if we are highly stressed we will enter a fight or flight mode and staying here can be toxic for your body.

* Lie on your back in a relaxed position

* Keep your knees bent with heels on the floor

* Take a big deep breath in through your nose (four seconds)

* Exhale through your mouth (eight seconds) pushing your ribs and core to the floor.

* Complete for 10 breathes

“In this challenging period we can control our levels of stress by completing this simple breathing technique,” said Ian.

“It is important to keep a structured workout in the coming weeks - there is nothing worse than feeling like you are wasting your time. Following a structured bodyweight home workout plan will play an important role in keeping you on track with your health and fitness goals.

“I recommend following a six week plan that includes completing the same compound exercises on a weekly basis and adding in more reps in the coming weeks as progression.

“This is how your body adapts and ultimately changes allowing you to hit your goals.”

Bodyweight exercises include: press ups; tricep dips; squats; lunges; hinge; plank.

“Gyms are closed so there is no better time to start exercising outside and get some fresh air.

“Hitting your 10,000 steps is still a realistic target and will in turn strengthen your lungs.

“Whether it is completing a bodyweight workout, cycling or going for a long walk, these exercises will allow us to remain in social isolation whilst looking after our health and wellbeing.

“Reduce your sedentary time by moving your body whenever possible and prioritise keeping your joints mobilised.

“Remember, the human body was designed to move and your body craves movement like it craves sleep.”

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