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The negative effects of lockdown on our physical and mental well-being

We're one week into Lockdown 2.0. which means increased time at home.

Physical activity is generally on the decline and despite our industries best efforts. gyms are yet to be classed as an essential service resulting in temporary closures.

It's likely that your daily step count is now lower as you are encouraged to stay indoors. Staying indoors means more sitting time and as a result, more screen time. There is evidence to link increased screen time with lower psychological well-being. This is a concern to us at Runway Fitness.

In terms of physical health you are likely to see muscle loss and weight gain as a result of lower physical activity due to containment measures. Spending increased time indoors can also contribute to higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety can lead to; appetite dis-regulation; increased meal frequency, poor nutritional decisions and lower sleep quality.

STOP! you say, this information is enough to give you stress and anxiety.

We have some tips to help you through lockdown 2.0

1. Get out doors

Lack of vitamin D can contribute to a decline in physical and mental health. Studies have shown that getting outdoors as soon as you wake up can help your natural circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a natural internal process which regulates the sleep wake cycle. Exposure to natural light in the morning helps your body sleep better at night.... who knew! getting out doors will also help you on those daily activity levels.

2 Limit screen exposure

You can purchase blue light glasses which help filter out artificial light that disrupts signals within your brain. If you are working from home and can't avoid screens, try to minimise your use of them in the evenings. Particularly in the hours before bed to promote good sleep hygiene. Sleep is where the body and mind recovers so good sleep quality is key.

3 Exercise

We know, were biased. but really, get moving!. Home workouts are easy to come by, head to our youtube page for some to follow along with or if you struggle to get motivated at home try our zoom sessions.

Daily PT sessions and Fitness classes. You don't need any equipment, but if you have some then great. The best part is you'll have a professional telling you exactly what to do and how to do it so in 45 mins you get a great, safe and effective workout.

4 Eat more protein.

More protein is required during periods of inactivity to maintain muscle strength and function. Protein is also responsible for keeping you feeling 'fuller' for longer. So eating enough protein should be a top priority. It doesn't need to be complicated try to include protein with each meal throughout the day.

It's also important to control your portion sizes if you are less active than usual to avoid weight gain. Preparation is key for this. Buy the right foods on your weekly shop and map out a plan of what to eat and when.

5. Look after your elders

Sarcopenia is age related muscle loss. It can begin as early as in your 40's but becomes more serious the older you get. Be mindful if yourself or family members may be susceptible to Sarcopenia as it can be triggered by lockdown conditions.

A fit person in their 20's should be able to bounce back from periods of inactivity well. This is not the same for a person in their 60's for example.

Once sarcopenia begins it is unlikely that the person affected will recover total muscle mass. Sarcopenia is associated with a range of pathologies including; type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, frailty and disability, loss of independence, cognitive decline, depression and a lower quality of life.

2-4 sessions of resistance exercise per week and a quality diet should be enough to prevent sarcopenia.

6. Mindfulness

During times of stress and anxiety the practice of mindfulness can be helpful. Become in tune with your thoughts and feelings. Try to distance yourself from negativity. For example, limit exposure to the news and social media. Try setting an intention for each day or practice a daily meditation. The most important thing is to be consistent in however you choose to practice mindfulness.

Please help us share the message of the potential downsides to lockdown and keep an eye on those close to you.

If you need someone to reach out to please email us on or find us on our social media channels.

Studies mentioned in this blog can be found at:

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