Unless you’ve been living in a cave in the middle of nowhere, chances are you’ve come across the video of the irate Italian mayor complaining that during the mandatory lockdown, everyone’s become an elite athlete training for a marathon. It’s true that not all of us were fitness freaks before the COVID-19 lockdown. However, there’s something to be said about the benefits of movement during this time.
Even before everyone transitioned from coach potato to fitness fundi, the World Health Organisation recommended that people do some form of exercise. The global recommended fitness guidelines are that “adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity”.
Not only is exercise good for your physical well-being, but it has a myriad of benefits for your mental health. At the moment, while our minds are processing bad information at a million miles a second, working out can help ease anxiety and tension.
”Exercise is a scientifically proven mood-booster, decreasing symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Physical activity kicks up levels of endorphins, the body’s famous ‘feel good’ chemicals produced by the brain and spinal cord which generate feelings of happiness and euphoria. Even moderate exercise throughout the week can improve depression and anxiety,” explains Dr Shawna Charles in an article for Walden University.
If you’re seeking a way of maintaining some level of fitness and health, help is at hand.
Since the start of the lockdown, wellness coach Vatiswa Mavume has been hosting online Zoom breakfast sessions from 8.30-9.30, Monday-Friday, where wellness coaches, clients and individuals from all over the world meet up to share recipes and ideas about the most important meal of the day. But it doesn’t end there, she adds.
But it doesn’t end there. Mavume also has a WhatsApp group called Body Transformation, where over 130 participants motivate each other to maintain wellness and nutrition, and beat this pandemic which has capsized their lives. Every morning, the group shares motivational thoughts, home exercise videos, lunch and dinner recipes, as well as ways of continuously boosting their immune systems and eating correctly, all in the comfort of their own homes.
Every Saturday at 8am, the usual Fitcamp24 hosted by coach Eric Aguebor has now also been moved online via Zoom. Participants do a 45-minute intense workout session.
“We need to remember that our bodies know nothing about 21-day lockdowns. This is why we’ve taken everything online, using our WhatsApp group and Zoom channel to help clients and individuals continue looking after their bodies – bearing in mind that it’s still 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, as usual,” says Mavume.
Vatiswa’s Monday-Friday Zoom meetings ID are 959 886 314, password: Breakfast. Anyone can log in and join. People are also welcome to WhatsApp her directly on: 083 444 1658 for advice, or to be added to the Body Transformation group for motivation and tips. For the Saturday morning fitness camp, visit: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/7412396004?pwd=bUYvT1BFekQzb2FEOFJJQkZZOHJWQT09 and use the meeting ID: 741 239 6004, password: Fitcamp24.