In view of the current COVID-19 situation and measures implemented by the governments, we have asked some of the experts to share some tips with our running and sports community on how to stay physically, mentally and/or nutritionally healthy during this period.
1. How do we stay active or physically healthy during this period, considering that we are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible?
I don’t know a single runner who hasn’t been disappointed by the new restrictions and the cancellation of races, but I continue to remind myself that this fight against COVID-19 is way more important than my love for running outdoors.
Our human body is incredible yet complicated, and we don’t become better runners merely by running more. Runners can take this period as an opportunity to identify and strengthen their weaker muscle groups – usually the hamstrings and glutes. Since most runners won’t be trying to build muscle, bodyweight training would be perfect! It may also be a good time to increase the range of joint movement through mobility exercises and yoga.
If your kids are home with you, being active with kids is a great way to be active together while burning off their excess energy. Hop over pillows, toss balls into buckets, do kids’ yoga or even create a dance video… the possibilities are endless.
2. How do we stay calm during this stressful period?
Many of us use running as a form to relieve stress, and this period may be extra difficult. Personally, I like to make a weekly plan of the tasks I intend to accomplish each day. I implement this for my work, my five-year-old son’s home-based learning, my workouts and even my household chores! I find that it helps me focus on the things I can control, and it keeps me positive and moving.
3. Are there any simple nutrition plans, tips or recipes that we can follow?
An important aspect of health is nutrition, and this may be the perfect time to test out healthy recipes that nourish your body. As running mileage may be reduced during this period, a diet filled with wholesome foods will help you keep the unwanted pounds off.
My days are quite long, so I like starting my day with breakfast that has protein and good fats – usually a protein shake and 2 eggs, which keeps me full for a few hours. I also keep homemade healthy snacks in the fridge so that I don’t automatically reach for chocolate when I am stressed with work. My favourite snack is a tuna salad with canned tuna in water, greek yoghurt, caramelised onions, celery, lemon juice, dill and black pepper.
For lunch and dinner, I mostly eat homecooked food with my family during this period and we try to spice up our meals with healthy versions of fun foods. So far, we have done healthier versions of laksa, hokkien mee and ramen – all of these loaded with vegetables and without processed ingredients, MSG or excessive salt.
4. Are there any recommendations on resources (youtube channel/video, social media pages, blogs, books, podcasts etc) to refer to?
I’ve started reading North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek. I’m hoping to run a trail 50k later this year, and the book is extremely inspirational to me! Meanwhile, I am also reading Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook to boost my nutrition knowledge, particularly on popular trends like keto and gluten-free diets. As for strength training, I do my own workouts which I also post on my Instagram page.
ABOUT PEARLLY LUO
Pearlly Luo is currently undergoing a course to be a Certified Trainer.
She is a full-time working mother who recently rebuilt her fitness through running, cycling, resistance training and proper nutrition.
Through her own experience, she hopes to be able to inspire other women to regain their health and confidence.
Pearlly works as a Communications Manager and is also part of the On Run Crew. She shares about her fitness journey on her Instagram page @pearllyluo (link: https://www.instagram.com/pearllyluo/).