Resilience During Challenging Times


How We Can Draw on Mandela for Inspiration during Challenging Times

The Circuit Breaker has meant a huge shift to our normal training sessions. Without our gyms, fitness studios, and limited time to spend outside, we are now figuring out how to stay healthy and keep fit from the comfort of our home. Trying to get an effective full-body workout beyond our usual gyms can be tricky, both in terms of a lack of gym equipment we are used to and a decline in motivation when we’re no longer training with coaches, having a familiar atmosphere and faces around us. 

However, without exercise and a routine, our minds might be less able to face the challenging times we are currently confronted with. Exercise is more crucial than ever in helping us to build mental resilience.  

If you already had a fitness routine before the Circuit Breaker, adjusting to the transition is not as difficult as you might think. And, if you are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle during your time at home, there is no better time to begin.

Nelson Mandela: A Boxer

This week, we look to Nelson Mandela for inspiration and motivation. Did you know that during his incarceration on Robben Island he looked towards exercise to help him through the time? 

Mandela had started boxing whilst he was a student at Fort Hare University and he carried on his boxing training and routine, which had previously taken place in a Soweto boxing gym, every week Monday to Thursday whilst still in prison. 

He attempted to follow his boxing routine starting with running on the spot for 45 minutes, 100 Fingertip Push-Ups, 200 Sit-ups and other calisthenic exercises.

In fact, Mandela believed that exercise was fundamental to both his physical and mental health – “Exercise dissipates tension, and tension is the enemy of serenity. I found that I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition, and so training became one of the inflexible disciplines of my life.”

Building Resilience

The news of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent directives from the government have left many of us experiencing negative emotions. As for Mandela, exercise could be the key to helping us face these difficult times. Research has demonstrated that exercise and good nutrition are both directly linked to our emotional well-being.

It provides us with an outlet for the anxiety and worries we are all confronted with at the moment. We must learn to adapt and be resilient during these challenging times. For those of us who are living in a confined space, it is time to get creative with our workouts. If you are limited to a confined space, no-equipment exercise routines are a great place to start.

Staying Motivated

Don’t let a change in your usual routine leave you feeling unmotivated. Use this time to build a new routine. Our advice is to schedule in your home workout session as if it is a work call or appointment. Your new routine will provide you with the mental strength you need to get through this!

Finally, remember that nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass! Let’s all take inspiration from Mandela as we go forward into this new month and week.