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Taking The Pressure Off: How This PT Has Coped With Lockdown

by Alexandra Parren
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personal trainer gym workout

When I was told we were going to go into lockdown, like many I panicked! Not only will it affect my work and social life, it will affect my mental health. As a personal trainer and fitness manager my work will be paused. Teaching group exercise classes is my daily exercise and I add my own training onto that, so what am I going to do now?

Firstly, I went to work to pick up all my functional kit I use for personal training, and my work were very kind in letting me borrow a Wattbike. So I had a plan!

Some of my personal training clients have continued virtually so I have been filming workouts or doing live workouts and I’ve been filming classes too. I would jump on the Wattbike most days for either a Zwift plan or just a ‘spin the legs’ ride.

But I had no structure and I work well with structure. So I set daily goals:

  • To walk at least 10,000 steps a day
  • To do one weighted workout a day
  • To do one cardio/core/stretching workout a day

I'd borrow my brother's dog to take him out each morning for a 4-mile walk then I’d come home and get on with training. But then I’d find I’d have nothing to do the rest of the day. So I changed this! I would get home from work, film my workouts, have a rest then do my own training in the evening. It became routine!

But one evening at 10:00pm I found myself walking laps in the garden to get my daily steps in. It was cold, it was dark, it was stupid! I then realised the pressure I was putting myself under! I may work well with structure but this was different. I felt I had to reach my daily goals, but for what reason?

We’re on lockdown but it’s only temporary. When I’m back to work, training will resume, so why am I so worried about training now? This was affecting my mental health in a different way and I was becoming obsessive. So, I took a step back. I enjoy taking Flash - my brother's dog - for his walk and to get some fresh air. But if I don’t do my own training for a few days or weeks, is this going to affect me in the long run? Probably not! I’m in the fitness industry so it’s in my nature to always exercise.

I’ve said to my clients and friends that it’s ok to take the pressure off. If you want to train, great! If not? That’s fine too. We’re all going through this so no one is missing out. This isn’t our normal. So don’t let it affect you mentally.

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