Ultra-distance running star Gerda Steyn gives her top lockdown fitness tips.
Covid-19 continues to take its toll on many of us, and as we move between adjusted lockdown levels, we understand that fitness has probably dropped down on your priority list. However, doing some form of exercise is a simple way to boost both your mental and physical health.
South Africa’s ‘smiling assassin’ Gerda Steyn, who made her debut this weekend at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, knows all too well what it takes to get up and go. So, if you’re new to fitness or want to start living a healthier lifestyle but aren’t too sure where to start, Gerda has a few ideas to get you into the groove of things.
A healthy and balanced diet
While there’s no food that can fight Covid-19, a healthy diet can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy. You should focus on a balanced diet of whole foods like fruits, veggies, healthy fats, carbs, and protein instead of processed foods to ensure your body can produce as much good bacteria as possible.
YouTube, Instagram and fitness apps like Strava have various features that will suit your lifestyle and fitness requirements. Join challenges like the Nedbank Runified series on Strava, which connects people through their passion for running virtually while maintaining social distancing. The challenge is suitable for everyone, no matter your fitness level, plus it’s an opportunity to take the next step and join the movement to challenge your limits, run and get rewarded.
‘Participating in a virtual challenge like the Nedbank Runified series is an opportunity for me to not only engage with other runners but potentially inspire new runners to start the journey. You don’t need to be an experienced athlete to participate in these challenges, you just need to have the motivation to get up and keep moving’
Boost your mood, support your weight, and sharpen your focus by knowing when and how much to hydrate. If you’ve made it this far and if drinking more water is one of your goals, you’re on your way to a healthier body. Staying hydrated, helps maximise physical performance, improve your energy levels and boost your metabolism.
Joining a gym can seem overwhelming, but an activity like running is truly a sport for all and it’s easily accessible. Whether your goal is to get fit, kick a habit, lose a few centimetres, or improve your physical and mental health, road running offers an affordable and easy way to achieve your goals. Getting started is easier than you think and running clubs, for example the Nedbank Running Club, offers an easily accessible platform for runners to get together and pursue a healthier lifestyle.
‘I run every day of the week. I prefer running early mornings, especially when I have a tough training session for the day. But besides running, I also do cross training every day, hike when I get the chance and complete longer distance runs over weekends.’
Get enough sleep
During these uncertain times you need to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. The benefits are endless: sleep helps with weight control, improves your productivity, supports muscle recovery, helps with stress levels and maintaining a healthy heart. Lack of sleep saps your motivation, which is what gets you up and moving in the first place.
Life as we know it has changed, but keeping active and staying healthy is still as important as ever. Whatever you decide to do, do it responsibly to minimise the spread of Covid-19 by adhering to health safety protocols like social distancing and wearing a mask.
Join the Nedbank Running Club on Strava today and keep up with new updates and tips. For more information visit nedbankrunningclub.co.za and follow Nedbank Sport on Twitter and Facebook.