When lockdown was first applied in New Zealand, the streets were heavily peppered with Kiwis getting out and exercising in their local areas – running, walking and biking the main pastimes to relieve the tedium of their own four walls.
However, in many cases the initial exercise popularity has stalled somewhat with Auckland's second lockdown. In fact, one survey revealed that nearly half of all Kiwis felt depressed or battled sleep problems during lockdown, while one in three had a member of their household lose income from their job or business.
The survey, from Massey University and published recently in the New Zealand Herald showed that, in spite of New Zealand being free from community transmission of Covid-19 at the time, nine out of 10 Kiwis expected the country's economic situation to get worse, with more job losses coming in the next six months.
Samantha Clayton, Vice President of Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition, is happy to suggest some methods to help make sure people continue to address their wellness.
Clayton – a former Olympic sprinter – says, with many governments implementing "stay at home" policies including working from home provisions, it's understandable new disruptions to daily routines may cause stress or anxiety.
"For many, working from home is a new experience and people may find themselves plugging in more throughout the day and missing out on essential time for their wellbeing. That's why it's important to find creative ways to keep moving throughout the day, while you're confined to working from your house."
Clayton should know – she was a sprinter representing Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and has since become a global fitness personality.
Her current role at Herbalife Nutrition saw her champion the transition to digital platforms, with the free, online Herbalife Nutrition Fitness Portal. In doing so, she became one of the world's most popular video workout instructors and nutrition blog writers.
"Just like it's important to have a consistent workout regime, it's also important to develop or stay on a 'work routine' to avoid creating bad habits that will hinder your motivation," she says.
"It may be tempting to roll out of bed and work in your pyjamas, but before you know it your work area will also become a mess and your habits will change. In the midst of these changes we're going through, why add more?"
Clayton says it's important to stay consistent and keep a schedule – get up at the same time as if you were going to the office in the morning, shower, get dressed, have your coffee or tea, set up your workstation and work as you normally would.
"This sense of normality will help you stay focused on your tasks," she says. "While you may be more concerned about getting your work done than getting a workout, you should always make time for a total of 30 minutes of exercise every day.
"If you make it part of your daily routine, it will be something to look forward to in an otherwise monotonous workday."
Research also suggests that sitting for long periods of time can be linked with a number of health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and back pain.
"Even if 'being fit' isn't a priority for you, the body's natural release of endorphins is enhanced during bouts of physical activity," she says, "which will at the very least improve your mood – and during stressful times like these, one of the greatest benefits of regular exercise is its ability to make the activities of everyday life feel easier.
Clayton lists several ways to fit fitness into a work-from-home schedule, with five easy exercises to do while working from home, many not even requiring you to leave your workstation:
• At the top, middle or the end of every hour, set an alarm on your phone for a few minutes of activity. Whether you choose to do one minute of crunches, 60 squats or 20 push-ups—setting time to get your body moving will help you feel stronger over time and help keep your energy up throughout the day.
• Warm up your muscles with upper-body stretches—raise your arms above your head, stretch until you feel it in your chest and biceps, relieving stress and tight muscles.
•Take your phone calls standing – use this time to put your ear pods in and move. Lunges can also work glutes and thighs.
• Work your abs while sitting in your chair with seated crunches. Keep your back straight and hands behind your head, then raise your knees to your elbows, alternating legs.
• Keep your blood flowing by doing some simple ankle circles to support healthy circulation.
Clayton says an exercise routine, a healthy diet and getting enough rest are just a few ways to strive toward the best physical and emotional results. Healthy snacking throughout the day on fruit and yoghurt will not only keep you full but are also easy to grab when you've lost track of time. A balanced diet with plenty of protein also promotes feeling full so you're not constantly visiting the refrigerator.
She says Herbalife Nutrition's Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix is number one in the world in meal replacement shakes*, providing an easy-to-prepare, healthy, balanced meal, using soy – which is sustainable and produces more protein per acre, using significantly fewer environmental resources than other forms of protein.
Whether it's a meal replacement for weight management or a healthy breakfast, Herbalife Nutrition's Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix has been developed to provide balanced nutrition packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
For more information, healthy recipes, nutrition tips and to access free online workouts, contact your Local Herbalife Nutrition Independent Member or visit herbalife.com.au/newzealand today.
Before embarking on any physical activity or regime, please consult your physician.
*Herbalife Nutrition is the #1 Brand in the World for Meal Replacement and Protein Supplement combined. Source: Euromonitor International Limited; per Consumer Health 2019ed, meal replacement and protein supplements definitions; combined % RSP share GBO, 2018 data.