The brand new year has brought a brand new lockdown, but we’re feeling good for two reasons – first, we're progressing well with production plans for FloatRower™; and second, we’ve been part of some great research about the impacts of exercise on mental health. We’d like to share our progress and some mental health tips here with you on the blog.
Production plans are progressing well and we have learnt an incredible amount through our pre-production FloatRower™ builds and testing. As you can imagine many of our planned trials have been put on hold, but that won't stop us! We're moving forward towards production and we'll soon have some more exciting news to share with you about our launch plans and how you can be one of the first to own a FloatRower™!
The Atlantic Row
Our last post featured the awesome Monkey Fist Adventures, and their upcoming row across the Atlantic. Sadly these plans have also had to be postponed due to the latest lockdown, and they're hoping to fly out to Lanzarote in late February, to begin the Atlantic Dash to Antigua in March. We've got everything crossed for them and will keep you posted.
Exercise and mental health
Lockdown can have huge impacts on mental health in so many ways, and it’s more important than ever to do all you can to keep yourself healthy, in mind as well as body. There are very clear links between the benefits of exercise and mental health – which means if you’re exercising, you’re taking care of both! – and if you caught our last blog post you’ll know about the project we’re part of with Oxford Brookes and Monkey Fist Adventures to further this research.
We’re still allowed outdoors to exercise under the current rules, but it’s not quite so appealing or even possible in the winter months, compared with the spring and summer. Here are a few ideas from our resident fitness guru, Jude Crisp, to help you get physically and mentally fit this lockdown.
Water - it's the key to everything!
Cognitive function, fitness, weight loss, mood - getting all the water you need is the foundation to success in so many things. You need approximately 3 litres across a day as a minimum, and more if you're exercising - and if you break that down to 500ml an hour, it's more than manageable. Try it, and see what a difference it makes.
There's nothing like a group experience, with all the motivation it brings, to get you off the sofa and exercising. So train with the people you live with, or if you're on your own, become a member of some online groups. There are loads of running clubs on Facebook, for example - they're a great place for route recommendations, accountability, or even a new running buddy (under the correct restrictions, of course).
Exercise On Demand - At Home
There are so many options out there to get you exercising in your lounge, many of them completely free. Joe Wicks was crowned as the king of lockdown workouts last summer, when he produced daily 20 minute equipment-free High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions. The completely free ‘PE with Joe’ programme was aimed primarily at children, but trust us, these workouts are definitely not just for children! His focus is all about exercising to feel good afterwards, and feeling that blast of serotonin you get from a good workout. If you haven’t given one a go, visit his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
And if HIIT isn't for you, try some Zumba, some body weight classes or that class you've always wanted to try but never dared go to in a gym session.
All movement is good, and if you need something a little gentler than a HIIT, yoga is a wonderful option. Forging strong links between body, mind and mindfulness, yoga is all about relaxation, listening to your body and mind, and moving it gently and carefully into flowing poses. A good yoga session should always leave you feeling rebalanced and ready to take on the world.
This is a seriously undervalued form of exercise. Pick a local beauty spot - ideally one with a couple of good hills - and you'll be so distracted by the scenery and the joy of your surroundings that you'll barely notice your raised heart rate and the great cardio workout you're getting. At the time of writing, you can meet up with one other person from another household for a walk as well - perfect for a good catch up.
This is one of the most important practices I use for my mental health. Every day, usually in the evening before bed, I make time to write down something I've enjoyed or valued that day - something that's made me grateful. Even on the worst possible day, you will always be able to think of something - whether it was the taste of your coffee, the sun coming out, or hearing from someone you've missed. When times feel tough, you'll be amazed how valuable these daily entries are to help lift you.
So many aspects of lockdown can impact everyone’s mental health, and with no end date in sight it’s more important than ever to recognise the signs that you’re struggling, and to do something about it.
To find out how FloatRower is helping to further research into the links between exercise and mental health, read our previous blog post here: https://www.floatrower.com/single-post/pulling-for-mental-health