Exercise in lockdown: Quick out the blocks but will it go the distance?

“We have become hyper-aware of our own mortality with coronavirus breathing down our necks as a reminder that we are not invincible.”

I’m not sure why it took a global health pandemic to kickstart our collective fitness obsession but here we are, donning trainers that have been gathering dust for years, testing the elasticity of resistance bands a physio gave you years ago or tuning in to some unknown fitness studio’s live stream. I’m not complaining, if that’s what you’re expecting, I think it’s wonderful that we are all noticing the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

I have played sport all my life and exercise has always been a fun, rewarding part of my existence. It therefore pleases me greatly that so many fitness noobs or retired runners are back at it, I know how much pleasure exercise can bring. It’s also widely reported that making exercise part of your routine can help improve mental health, something we all need to nurture.

That being said, however, I am skeptical as to how long the lust for endorphins will last. Once the threat of infection has passed and we begin to slip back into our old ways (or the ‘new normal’ as so many refer to it), will those who hadn’t put on a tracksuit since 1985 continue to do so, or will the allure of Super Sunday football sessions down the boozer just be too tempting? I mean, it sounds incredibly tempting right now…

Another factor that almost certainly contributes to this recent surge in fitness-fanatics is utter boredom. A socially-distanced rendezvous down the park has only recently been granted and this is now peak socialising. It is therefore no surprise that we are moving a little more, there’s fuck all to do!

My skepticism aside, it goes without saying that there has been some positive fallout from the devastating pandemic. Bravo to all of those who have taken up something new, achieved PBs or just got outside for some air. I hope these lifestyle improvements linger a lot longer than our current foe.

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