AS discussed in my last column, exercise and eating are all about routine and consistency.

Lockdown has broken everybody’s routine in one way or another.
Now we are slowly returning to some sort of normality with some of us back to work and shops reopening.

Most of us will have gained a few unwanted pounds during lockdown, with eating and exercise habits all changing. So how best to return to fitness and shift our lockdown bellies?

Here are my five tips to help you get back into shape after lockdown:

1. Track what you are doing. Just like nutrition you need to be recording what you are doing. To be able to progress/improve something you first need to know what your starting point is. 

Keep a diary or use apps like map my walk/run there are similar apps for resistance training also monitor your daily steps. Ensure each week is progressive from the previous week.

2. Do not try to pick up where you left off before lockdown. Give yourself chance to build back up, your fitness and strength won’t be what it was previously if your exercise hasn’t been the same. Trying to do what you did before lockdown will be disheartening and run the risk of injury. Allow yourself time and build up slowly don’t rush it!

St Helens Star:

Give yourself chance to build back up your fitness

3. Set small goals! By setting small goals you are making yourself accountable to achieve something, this will motivate you and help keep you on track giving your fitness routine a purpose. Make sure the goals are realistic and achievable, i.e. jog for five mins without walking. Once you achieve it set a new goal, i.e. jog for 10mins without walking.

4. Earn rewards as previously discussed. Nutrition will have probably slipped during lockdown just like exercise. Just like the exercise set goals with the nutrition, earn your little treats or take away with the exercise goals. 

For example, I’ve been as guilty as everyone else during lockdown, I’ve got into bad habits. So, my first goal was to not eat anything unhealthy Monday – Friday. Also, to train five times a week, if I do so then I allow myself a takeaway at the weekend. But be sensible, don’t undo all your hard work. Keep treats balanced and if you’re having alcohol try keep the food clean and still ensure you record treats on fitness pal.

St Helens Star:

Make sure the goals are realistic and achievable

5. Monitor progress. Take start point pictures (same time of day, same place) and circumference measurements along with weight. You don’t always see your progress in the mirror as you see yourself everyday. Doing this is a great way to keep track of changes and motivate you. My clients are always shocked when I do their progress pics. Allow 4 to 6 weeks between pics and do weight/measurements weekly.

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