Use exercise as a destresser while staying at home

Darren Beattie


Darren Beattie


AN Omagh gym owner has said yes it is important but now is not the time to "stress too much about exercise".

Paddy McGrath, of PMAX Fitness, said that while it is important to use exercise as a way to improve mental health and keeping yourself fit and healthy, it shouldn't be your main priority right now.

"There is enough going on, there is a pandemic ongoing and it's more important to keep you and your family safe, without worrying about numbers on scales or gains you may lose," he said.

"It's good to keep on top of your mental health and use exercise as a destresser, rather than another stress.

"On the flip side, being locked down in your house 24/7 can lead to high tension and stress. Getting out for a walk/jog/cycle or even using the garden for some mobility work or circuit exercises for example.

"With regard to nutrition, give yourself a break, but stay mindful of what you are eating. In most cases people will be burning less daily calories - this could go on for a while, so it's important not to use every night as a 'Netflix binge night'. Instead maybe use the time and learn how to cook healthier meals and treats,

"We are going to be in the house a lot, so why not experiment with food? You'll have a lot more time to cook nice healthy meals; cook them slow and get the full taste out of your meals."

If your gym membership has been frozen, now may be a good time to buy some kettlebells or a few bands with the money.

But there are plenty of exercises you can do without any equipment, said Paddy.

"I have given my clients a lot of programmes which involves only body weight exercises.

"Tabata circuits are beneficial: pick four or five exercises, 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off, for four or five sets. There are a wide variety of exercises, but it's important to keep whatever you are doing interesting and fun. Keep your mind right."

There are also exercises children get involved with.

"The bodyweight exercises can be adapted for kids," said Paddy. "There are loads of different workouts and YouTube is full of ideas.”

Meanwhile, Loreto Grammar School pupils have taken to Facebook to share their workouts - and to provide inspiration for their fellow pupils.

Every day, pupils are uploading videos to social media of their workout and setting skill challenges to their peers.

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