With a third national lockdown in place, many of us are looking for ways to keep fit and active during the cold winter months. These new restrictions pose a real disruption to the lives of people throughout the country, with gyms, leisure centres and team sports all being forced to close and put on pause.
Keeping fit and healthy has never been more important, but perhaps never more difficult, with restrictions in place for many across the country and motivation at an all-time low. Exercise plays an integral role in the lives of many, having undisputed benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing and is often not only a way to stay active and keep fit but a way to relieve stress.
Now, with the colder months coming in, many might find it hard to find the motivation to get out and exercise during winter and with most of the UK now under tight new restrictions, being able to maintain our fitness regimes has never been harder.
Five of the biggest stars in British basketball are here to give you their top tips for keeping fit during a lockdown:
Dirk Williams – A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Williams brought his exciting game to the BBL in 2017 and since then has set the League alight with his versatile game. In January 2018 with his Dunk of the Year, that saw him go full court, between the legs, before leaping over a Surrey Scorchers defender to slam home. He reveals how he stays explosive and keeps his jumping skills sharp:
Make a plan and stick to it
“Training during the winter can be tough and it can be hard to remain focused and motivated. Making a consistent fitness routine will help you to keep on top of your regime and a lot easier to stick to it. A lot of people start the new year on a fitness kick but then fail to keep it up, but if you make a plan and a strict routine, then you will find it easier to maintain. I usually go for a regime of cardio and high-intensity interval style fitness workouts as on the court it’s a lot of back and forth running and explosive bursts, so a mixture of cardio and interval training is key. Sticking to your fitness regime is the hardest part, so finding one that keeps you focused and motivated is important.”
Kevin Ware – A defensive force and an athletic finisher at the rim, Kevin plays each game with the highest level of intensity. His resilience like no other, shown through his inspiring collegiate career, winning an NCAA title during his time at Louisville to then go on to play a key role in Georgia State’s best season in history. He gives his tips on boosting your endurance:
Tailor your regime to you
“Endurance is a huge part of my game, so cardio is an integral part of my fitness regime. It is vital for anyone who exercises or keeps fit to choose activities and workouts that are relevant and suitable to your lifestyle. It is ever more important that you enjoy keeping fit, especially in the winter months, otherwise you simply won’t maintain a consistent regime and therefore won’t see any benefits or results. Choose an activity you enjoy and have fun doing, this way you are more likely to actually keep it up. If you like running or going outside then do so. I really enjoy going out for a run as much as I can and because endurance is a bit part of my game on the court, cardio works well for me. And most of all, I enjoy it! This is so important as it’s so easy during lockdown to give up, but if you find something you enjoy and something that works for you, you will be more likely to stick to it.”
Justin Robinson – the 2x league MVP and dynamic guard for the Lions has controlled the floor this season with his expert court vision, pinpoint passing and nimble agility on the court. He says:
Don’t make excuses
“Don’t use the bad weather as an excuse and don’t let the elements deter you from getting your workouts in. Nothing comes easy, so don’t make excuses. Just make sure to use the correct gear. If you have the correct training gear, then no matter what the weather you will be able to get your exercise in. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, then try working out early in the morning. Start your day off right with productivity and this will help set the tone for the rest of the day. Keeping active has never been more important, but at the same times has never been harder. Many of us are suffering from a lack of motivation and it only takes one look out the window to put us off. Right now, we all need to stop making those excuses and just get out and do. And trust me, you’ll feel a lot better for it.”
Joe Ikhinmwin – team captain and 8 year veteran, Joe epitomises the spirit of the Lions. His drive is reflected in how he plays, a defensive sharp shooter with athletic ability to finish at the rim. He says:
Maintain a balanced diet
“Working out is one thing, but you will only see real results if you also work on your diet. A balanced diet will guarantee you get the most gains from your workouts and will also have you feeling better inside and out. Eating a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise is essential in maintaining physical and mental health and wellbeing, and right now this is more important than ever. Not only will this be effective in maintaining weight or preventing excess gain, but will also aid with your overall sleep and mood which is essential during these tough times.”
DeAndre Liggins – the NBA journeyman turned BBL star has made a real impact since entering the league this season. During his time in the NBA, DeAndre has played with some of the biggest names in basketball from Anthony Davis in New Orleans to LeBron James in Cleveland. He says:
“Staying hydrated is key when working out or exercising. Being even mildly dehydrated can have effects on your energy and ability to perform. Staying hydrated also improves your blood flow and circulation which is key in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles you are working out. Fatigue can be caused by the lack of hydration in your cells; in order to optimise the production of energy from food, it is essential you drink enough water and avoid being dehydrated when keeping fit.”