Exercise to deal with stress and frustration during lockdown

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Justin Oelofsen

Running and jogging fanatics from all over South Africa have accepted that going for a refreshing run after a long day or even a morning run is something that will have to wait until the pandemic is over. Exercising is a great deal for many to deal with stress and frustration and with lockdown adding to these factors, Bloemfontein Courant has decided to call in an expert  to not only help you stay fit but to also give you some tips on how to do it right.

Race director and running conditioning coach, Justin Oelofsen, who focuses on designing individualised training programmes for runners, told the publication that exercising is very appropriate during these trying times. “Out of lockdown some people are too busy to exercise enough, so now is the time to start exercising! It takes 21 days to form a habit and to avoid bad habits, running and being active will enable you to shift you focus onto looking after yourself physically and mentally,” said Oelofsen.

Oelofsen, who is also the ETR.RUN Race director, said in the interview that sticking to a programme and committing yourself to each training session will keep you focused. “The days get long during lockdown, so my advice would be to start off the day early, focus on having some time for reflection, whatever that may be for you, on where you are as an individual emotionally and mentally,” said Oelofsen.

He also mentioned the importance of not to focus on doing one long exercise session but instead, dividing it into three short 30-min sessions: strength, mobility/flexibility and then an areobic or anaerobic session.

“Focusing on different aspects of what is needed to make you a better runner, zone in on those aspects. Unfortunately, many of us are not fortunate to have a home gym or treadmill and are confined to having to run in our gardens and finding a space in the house to exercise, which poses a few risks,” said Oelofsen.

Check out the Tip Box for Tips on garden running, strength and mobility and also visit ETR.RUN on Facebook for weekly useful running posts.

Tip Box:

“A positive exercise attitude of telling yourself to GET UP, GET DRESSED and to GET IT DONE” – Justin Oelofsen.

Tips on garden running:

Do not do sessions longer that 30 – 45mins, it is far more beneficial to run two short 30-min sessions spaced a few hours apart than to run for prolonged periods of time!

Make sure you change direction often (every 5 – 10 minutes ) and focus on picking up your feet and easing your way around tight corners to avoid the joints from being placed under unnecessary strain! Running fast will put you in the red zone/injury zone!

Strength and mobility:

Focus on body weight exercises and functional movements. There are a lot of great workouts you can do without weights! To keep things interesting and dynamic, contact and exercise professional to help you through these times!

It’s now time to focus on getting the body mobile and flexible! Stretching and foam rolling is essential!

Have the attitude of coming out of the lockdown stronger and fitter but also smarter towards how you want to run or exercise moving forward!

Think of how you would like to be/look or feel after the lockdown!

Pierce van Heerden

pierce@mahareng.co.za