Keep Your Focus on You: Comparison Is a Thief of Joy

“If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself” 

Max Ehrmann

Walking into any Muay Thai gym, it’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to those around you. 

One Nak Muay’s kick may be more powerful than yours. Perhaps, your training partner has better overall technique or more raw talent. Maybe they are younger, faster, stronger or more aggressive in their style. 

Everyone really is on their own journey. It’s a cliche, but it’s no less true for that. 

Each individual’s life is a collection of wildly disparate variables. Just as you’ll never really know where each person starts with, you don’t know what it took each to get to the point they now inhabit. 

You don’t know how much or how little they’ve trained, how clean their diet is, or how many hours they put in at the office that week. 

You may be battling injuries, illness or mental health issues. You may have a family and a couple of kids at home that is robbing you of sleep. A lot goes into making a good Muay Thai athlete. Some people are physically gifted, it’s true. Others train twice a day and don’t know what a cheat meal is. 

Luckily for you, none of this stuff is any of your business. Just as all the variables that make up your life are no one’s business but yours. 

Comparing where you are on your journey to where someone else is on theirs will leave you feeling one of two ways. Either you’ll feel smug that you’re further along than your teammate or you’ll find yourself lacking, neither of these is useful to your progress. 

There will always be someone who struggles more than you. There will always, always, always, be someone better.

Your job isn’t to compare yourself to your teammates or training partners, your job is to work on your own skills and techniques. 

Instead of looking outwards, ask yourself these questions: Are you improving? Are you faster than you were two weeks ago? Is your footwork better than it was a month ago? Are you able to land more shots when sparring? 

If you can answer yes to questions such as these, you are on the right path. Continue. 

If you answer, “No”, then it’s time to ask yourself why you aren’t improving. Do you need to make a deeper commitment to training? Eat better? Rest more? Only you are privy to all the information required to make an honest self-appraisal.

Let others navigate their own journey. Focus on being better than the you that showed up yesterday.

As is so often the case, Anonymous sums it up best:

“I am in competition with no one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I’m simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.” 

Get Back to the Grind: Three Steps to Regain Your Muay Thai Mojo 

The restrictions surrounding COVID have become something of a boomerang. We hurl them away with all our might and watch them recede into the distance, only to feel them whack us on the back of the head as we walk away.

So what.

If you’re training Muay Thai, then chances are your idea of what a fighter is is far removed from the untouchable superheroes in the cartoons you watched as a kid.

Real fighters get hit. They bleed. They get knocked down. Sometimes they even take a bad beating.

None of these things defines what the true fighter is.

What defines them is what they do in response to these setbacks. Do they fold and quit?

If you train Muay Thai, you already know the answer. 

In this article, we’ll look at three ways to pick yourself up off the canvas in the wake of this COVID madness and get back to the grind.

Get Optimally Fueled

You wouldn’t put low-octane petrol in a Formula One race car. Instead, you’d get your hands on some high-octane premium road fuel if you expected to get the most out of it come race time.

Likewise, before you step back in the Muay Thai gym, you need to look at what you’re filling your body with. 

Takeaways and boxes of Tim Tams may have gotten you through the depressing intensity of lockdown, but now it’s time to reevaluate your life’s direction. 

If your goal is to get back to training, it’s important to have the right nutrition to get you there. Trust me, you won’t feel like hitting pads if you’re stuffed to the brim with a super-sized Big Mac meal. 

If completely changing your diet in one fell swoop seems too much too soon, a good place to start towards better health is simply adding more water to your day. 

Not only will this help you start to feel better but with the sweat sessions at training, you’ll certainly need the extra hydration.

There’s no great mystery to eating healthy. You don’t need to be a trained nutritionist to make better choices. Start by opening up your fridge and cupboards and look inside. Which food items in there come with just a hint of shame? Replace these with something that doesn’t.

Invest in Your Return

I don’t just mean buying a pair of new shorts here, although new training threads can certainly put a little pep in your step. I’m referring to investing in a private training session or two. If it’s financially viable for you to do so, a one-on-one training session could just be what you need to kickstart your Muay Thai journey again. 

Not only will it give you some valuable one-on-one time with your coach but it will let you determine your own pace while you find your stride again.

Any good coach understands that everyone’s motivation, responsibilities, and abilities are different. They’ll help you navigate your individual challenges while rebuilding your confidence and momentum. They’ll also help you address any specific concerns that you have about returning to training, such as lack of hip flexibility or nagging ongoing injuries. 

Check Your Engine

You may look in the mirror and not see much change in your body over the last two years of COVID lockdowns and varying restrictions, but that doesn’t mean it still functions at the same level. 

It’s always a good idea to get a physical to check in and check up on your body before heading back to Muay Thai. 

That way, you’ll be able to evaluate where you’re at in terms of cardiovascular health, lung function, flexibility, and overall health.

Having someone in the know ensure you’re healthy enough for hitting the heavy bag and sparring will give you peace of mind and confidence. 

Put More Tools in Your Toolbox

If you want more great ideas on how to get your Muay Thai mojo back, check out my article on What I Learnt in the World’s Longest Lockdown.

Why You Should Surround Yourself with the Right People

Menander of Athens, one of those old bearded Greek dramatists we’re so fond of quoting, put it like this:

“Bad company corrupts good character.”

There’s certainly truth to the snappy phrasing above. But, there’s also sufficient depth to it to make it worthwhile digging down into this statement for more of the wisdom that it undoubtedly holds.

If we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, then, while bad company corrupts good character, the reverse must also be true. 

Here are just a few of the things to look out for when examining the relationships you maintain in your life.

Begrudgers Will Drag You Down

Getting anywhere in life is hard. In business, our relationships, skills development, nothing is for free. In whatever sphere of life you care to examine, progress requires the overcoming of obstacles, time and time again.

When we surround ourselves with people who tear us down with snide comments or who throw unworthy temptations into our path to distract us, we create more obstacles for ourselves.

There are already sufficient stumbling blocks in life without willingly adding more. This is a compelling reason why it is worth the effort to seek out the right people to spend your time with.

The right people are in tune with our goals, even if they don’t share the same goals. Supportive people help us on our path to self-realisation rather than hinder us.

Welcome into your life those who will be part of your support system. Just don’t forget to return the favour!

Embrace Good Role Models to Find Your Path

A peek into the bedrooms of teenagers around the world will reveal some important insights into human nature. I’m not talking about the unholy mess or that mouldy sandwich in the corner. I’m talking posters. 

Teenagers love papering their bedroom walls with pin-ups of their idols. Stars of the big stages and screens of the world, influential political figures, and inspiring writers peer out from their perches in the bedrooms of adolescents across the globe.

See, the teens are onto something. They realise the truth of the phrase – you can’t be it if you can’t see it. As they struggle to find their way in the world, the young find heroes to emulate; role models to aspire to be like.

As adults, we sometimes expect to become the ‘hero of our own movie’ right off the bat. We forget that we can still learn from the lives of others too. We forget that we should learn from the lives of others.

While weak people often find the success of others intimidating and a reminder of their own comparative shortcomings, the wise know that they have much to learn from the efforts of others.

Share in the Lives of Others

Like anything we do regularly, friendships can become a habit. While some habits are good for us, others may drag us down. As we evolve and develop within our lives, it’s essential to take stock and examine the people we choose to spend time with and how they affect our evolution and development.

A fully-lived life requires others to share those meaningful moments with; not just the triumphs and celebrations but the hardships and failures too.

When we find just the right people, our lives become enriched. Our journey around the sun then becomes a much more meaning-filled adventure than it would have been otherwise.

The Importance of Physical Activity During Stressful Times

Nothing takes its toll on the body, mind, and spirit quite like stress does.

The symptoms of stress can run the gamut from restlessness and irritability to panic and even rage. We may suffer headaches and pain, a racing heart rate, muscle cramps, and even fainting spells. 

When stress becomes chronic, it is one of the leading contributors to the development of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide.

There’s no doubt about it. Stress kills.

Unfortunately, we now live in highly stressful times as the regular daily pressures of modern life are compounded by the seemingly endless restrictions and cycles of lockdowns in response to Covid-19. 

Our stress levels are understandably through the roof.

Luckily, despite all appearances, control over these swelling stress levels are still within our grasp. 

The answer lies in physical exercise.

Physical Activity and Stress Relief

If a man achieves victory over this body, who in the world can exercise power over him? He who rules himself rules over the whole world.

Vinoba Bhave

The effects of physical exercise for stress relief are well researched and documented. 

Here are just some of the reasons physical exercise has never been more critical than now in these difficult times.

1. Stabilise Your Mood

Not only does vigorous exercise reduce harmful stress hormones in the body, but it also helps the body increase production of the feel-good neurotransmitters known as endorphins. 

Though we are used to thinking of the body and mind as two distinct parts of our being, our mental wellbeing is inextricably tied up with our physical. So intertwined are they that vigorous physical exercise can trigger a more relaxed and calm mental state in us.

Psychologists are well aware of this phenomenon, and they even have a name for it. They call it The Exercise Effect.

2. Improve Your Sleep

Stress and anxiety are two of the leading causes of poor sleep. When we are worried and anxious are thoughts tend to run away from us. We propel ourselves needlessly into a hypothetical future of disasters and catastrophes, triggering our bodies to produce damaging stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the process. 

Not only that, but we deprive ourselves of the rest and relaxation so desperately needed to help us manage the increasing pressures we endure in our daily lives. 

Have you noticed how much more reactive and irritable you are when you’re tired? Sufficient sleep is essential for effective stress management. 

Fortunately, physical exertion has been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Exercise is also credited with raising our energy levels throughout the day, ensuring we can cope in even the most trying of circumstances.

3. Enhance Your Cognitive Function

It’s one of life’s cruel ironies that it is when we most need to think clearly that it is the most difficult for us to think at all. 

Proper mental functioning is essential for effective stress management, but this can seem an impossible task when the pressure is on.

Exercise helps us gain that much-needed clarity by increasing blood flow everywhere in our body, including in the brain. 

This extra blood flow means more energy and oxygen to boost our mental performance when we need it most.

4. Increase Your Self Esteem

Sticking to an exercise routine will give you back a sense of control over your life. You will regain that essential sense of being the master of your own fate. The very thing that has been stolen from us in the current climate.

Personal autonomy is a crucial aspect of our self-esteem. Exercise can give this back to us.

Every weightlifter knows about hypertrophy. This is the process whereby muscle fibres are stressed just to the right point to force them to grow thicker and stronger. 

Physical exercise teaches you to build resilience and develop the inner strength required to emerge front these stressful times as a stronger and more robust individual.

Staying Positive in the Uncertainty of Lockdown

The uncertainty of our times is perhaps the most significant challenge we face.

The stop/start nature of the seemingly unending series of lockdowns can test the mettle of even the most optimistic among us.

So, how can you maintain a positive outlook when the cloud of ever-recurring lockdowns looms heavy overhead?

Is it even possible?

Yes. Not only is it possible, but it is essential. 

Let’s look at a few powerful practices to help keep a positive mindset in these testing times.


If you want to get your mind right, get your body right first.

Vigorous exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream. These ‘feel-good’ chemicals act as pain relief and help produce a feeling of well-being in the brain.

The mood-boosting effects of exercise will help you avoid getting bogged down in the mud of anxiety and depression.

Get moving and keep moving.

Cultivate an Optimistic Outlook

Optimists live longer. According to recent research, up to 15% longer on average. 

A shift in your outlook doesn’t only improve your health and longevity. It makes your life more enjoyable too.

Easier said than done, though, right?

Optimism is about the cultivation of a positive mindset. Try to focus on the positives of any given situation.

Stuck in lockdown? Be grateful for the extra time it affords you to work on your goals.

Miss your friends and family? Take a moment to nurture these relationships by letting the important people in your life know how much they mean to you.

Find the silver lining in every cloud; this is the mission and the mark of the optimist.

Limit Social Media Use and News Consumption

24-hour news cycles and social media are a combination dangerous to our mental health, particularly in times such as these.

We’re hardwired to focus on danger and the signs of trouble. 

It’s an evolutionary impetus that has kept us in the game since the earliest times. However, our instinct for focusing on the negatives and the threats in our environment can also be our undoing.

Sure, you might need to know the latest restrictions to keep yourself on the right side of law enforcement, but do you really need to check Facebook every 15 minutes?

The constant torrent of information and counter-information can get exhausting and demoralising.

Consume the media sparingly – don’t be wholly consumed by it.

Embrace Nature

The regenerating power of nature is undoubted. Ideally, spend some time in the park or your garden.

However, if this isn’t possible, there are still options.

Stand on your balcony and soak up some fresh air first thing in the morning. Even open a window, sit near it for a while, and listen to the birds.

No birds? No problem. You’ll find recordings of birdsong easily online. Simply close your eyes and allow your imagination to generate the natural world for you.

Unquestionably, these are challenging times. But, as the old Persian adage has it, This too shall pass. Don’t lose sight of this simple fact.

Remember to check in with yourself throughout the day. 

If you find negativity is swamping you, take a moment to gently guide your thoughts towards those things in life you are grateful for – and there are plenty of things worthy of your gratitude.

Remember too, that it is only when faced with resistance that we can grow stronger. 

See the opportunity in the difficulties that lie ahead and seize it.

What I Learnt in the World’s Longest Lockdown

“The Obstacle Is the Way.” 

From the Buddhists of the East to the Stoic philosophers of the West, each culture has some version of this wisdom.

The unprecedented lockdowns that have marked the past year and a half are ongoing for many of us. Undoubtedly, they’ve thrown a huge, pandemic-sized spanner in the works for nearly all of us. 

But, these various obstacles that lie in our path have also created unprecedented opportunities for those who gain the perspective to see them.

As in Muay Thai, in lockdowns, angles are critical.

The clinch begins where boxing ends. In that tight, cramped, and claustrophobic space, the untrained struggle against a feeling of suffocation and helplessness. 

Kicking and punching are no longer options.

For the Muay Thai fighter, though, the clinch offers a world of options not available to the mere kickboxer – elbows, knees, sweeps, tosses, or the application of unrelenting pressure, to name but a few. 

In this close-quarter world, the Nak Muay doesn’t focus on what he or she can’t do, but on what they can.

So, ask yourself, what openings for attack can you spot in the 50/50 clinch of these seemingly endless cycles of restrictions? 

How can you metaphorically advance your position to the Thai plum, where you can smash this lockdown into a final, bloodied defeat?

Look no further.

First, Get Organized

Do you remember the pre-lockdown world? Did you get around to everything during those blue-skied days of freedom? 

I doubt it.

Lockdown is the perfect time to get your stuff together finally. Have you struggled with your diet but have always been too busy to set up those healthier eating habits? 

Now is the time to get the recipes and skills you need to take your diet up a level.

They say, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. With the silence that lockdown offers, get strategic. When the heavy weight of these strange times lifts (and it will lift!), you want to hit the ground running. Get organized now.

Sharpen the Blade

When a swordsmith forged a samurai’s katana back in the day, the sharpening of the blade was no joke. Many, many hours were spent honing the blade against grinding stones. Often, years were spent on a sword before it ever saw battle.

Likewise, though training with your teammates may not be an option right now, self-training is always an option.

Whatever your sport, you can improve your fitness in all areas during a lockdown. You need no special equipment or huge spaces to increase your cardiovascular fitness, strength or flexibility.

Not only will this make the transition back to the gym easier when things reopen, but you will maintain (and indeed, improve) your mental and physical help despite the challenges.

Add to Your Skillset

Learning doesn’t stop when we leave school. The real path of the fully-realised human is that of a lifelong learner.

Online learning has taken off at an exponential pace. High-level education is no longer restricted to those who can afford to pay the exorbitant prices unis charge.

These days it is possible to learn almost anything, often for free, virtually. 

While the world sleeps – master a new skill.

Create a Business Plan

If the lockdown has forced you to work from home and you’ve always had aspirations to start your own business but never found the time, this is the time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was any worthwhile business venture. This is the perfect opportunity to do the market research, sort schedules, check out the competition; in fact, any of the million and one little things required to make an ambition a reality.

But, as with so many things in life, start with a well-thought-out, strategic plan.

Don’t Lose to the Lockdown

Whatever you decide to do with this gift of limited distractions and unlimited time that lockdown offers, think like a fighter. 

Stay in the fight, exploit the openings, and when the final bell rings, you’ll surely see your hand raised.

Getting Back Training in a Post-Lockdown World

These strange times have thrown us all for a loop. But, with society beginning to reopen again, the call of the gym can be heard over the endless pessimism of the daily news cycle.

For many of us, the prospect of getting back training stirs mixed emotions of equal parts excitement and anxiety. Momentum is all about getting that ball rolling. Let gravity do the rest.

Overcoming Anxiety

Get the mind right, and the body will follow. Mercifully, for most of us, our primary battle isn’t with the coronavirus but rather the mental toll of the lockdowns and other restrictions. Here are some tried-and-tested methods of getting your head into a suitable space to get restarted.

  • Breathe Right to Feel Right

When we’re anxious, we tend to hyperventilate – often without being aware of it. Hyperventilation can trigger the sympathetic nervous system causing the stress response. This makes us anxious, which increases our hyperventilation which in turn increases our anxiety. And the vicious cycle continues.

To reset your nervous system, try this simple breathing method. It’s backed by the weight of scientific research.

  1. Breathe in through the nose for a count of 4.
  2. Breathe out through the nose for a count of 6.
  3. Repeat for 10 minutes or more.
  4. Do this 3 times per day.
  • Check Your Thoughts

Your mind is where you live. If it is a toxic environment, you’re in trouble. One way to whip your thought patterns into shape is to fact-check your thinking. Don’t let negative thoughts about yourself and the world around you spiral out of control. Layout your thoughts in front of your objective self and analyse them rationally.

Getting through the Gym Door

The first session back will be the hardest. But you’ll remember what it’s like. Halfway through the session, you’ll be wondering why you had to fight with yourself to get here. There’s no reward like the reward you get for putting in the work. But, first, you need to get your butt through the door.

  • Set Reasonable Expectations

Jumping into two-a-days may not be sustainable for you – at least not yet! Starting from a cold start, you’ll want to set yourself up for success by aiming for an attainable number of sessions your first week back.

  • Build on Your Accomplishments

Once you gain a little momentum, set yourself a challenge. Can you add an extra class per week? Define your goals. Is it three classes per week? Five? Twice a day? Your exact target will depend on your circumstances, but you need to set it regardless. Remember, you can’t hit what you can’t see.

  • Harness the Power of a Partnership

“Two shorten the road,” goes an old Irish saying – and for a good reason. Having a training buddy who can hold you accountable is a powerful tool to help you reach your goals. If you’re lucky enough to have such a relationship with someone, leverage it for the benefit of both of you.

Once you’ve shown up, the hard work is done. Just be sure to warm up thoroughly and drink plenty of water. Respect your body’s need to recover and you’ll be back in the swing of things in no time!

Know Your Why – In Muay Thai and Beyond

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. 

Napoleon Hill

Most of us know what we want to do. Often, we have a long to-do list to remind us. Unfortunately, for many of us, the items on this list will forever remain undone.

That’s because, though we might be clear on what we want to do, we haven’t drilled down into why we want to do it.

Finding Your Why

Getting to the heart of what motivates you requires self-awareness that can only be gained through reflection. Take the time to uncover the reasons why each item has earned a spot on your list.

For example, one item might be to make it to Muay Thai class three times per week. Your reasons might be losing weight, learning self-defence, and building self-confidence. This same process can be applied no matter what aspect of your life you are examining.

It’s so much easier to fail at your goals when you don’t know your true purpose. 

There are many reasons that it’s essential to define your purpose in all aspects of your life. 

Let’s take a look at the most important of these.

Live a Life Aligned to Your Core Values

Your life takes the shape of the meaning you give it. 

When you know who you are and what you stand for, it is so much more difficult to get blown off course. The decisions you make and the actions you take will express the essence of who you are. 

Develop a Laser-Like Focus

When you know your purpose, distractions fall by the wayside, and all that remains are the things that matter the most in your life. By cultivating a single-pointed focus, you will find a clear path through life’s obstacles towards achieving your goals.

Achieve Clarity

Life is filled with noise. Like a half-tuned radio, it can sometimes be difficult to make out the music. When you know where you are going and why you are going there, your mind will achieve clarity. Your actions will soon follow. The white noise of futile effort will quickly give way to an exquisite melody that will make sense of it all.

Develop Resilience

It’s easy to lose your way, especially in these unprecedented times. Doubling down on your purpose helps you bounce back from those inevitable setbacks that life will throw at you. Fighters aren’t fighters because they win. Fighters are fighters because they don’t lose sight of their desire to overcome obstacles. When the going gets tough, the tough double down on their why.

Live Longer and Prosper

Of course, results may vary! But, we all know stories of people in seemingly perfect health, only to die soon after losing a much-loved partner. There’s a wealth of research out there that has shown that having a clear purpose in life helps us live longer — sometimes, knowing your why can be a matter of life and death.

In the Final Analysis…

Success in life requires hard work and discipline, but none of this is sustainable without a powerful emotional attachment to your purpose. 

Know your why. Make it the engine of your achievement.

What Happens When the Motivation Wears Off?

How to create good habits and develop the discipline to keep training in Muay Thai

There’s no doubt, motivation is a powerful force, but it will only take you so far.

Maybe you decided to train Muay Thai three days per week for fitness and self-defence purposes. Then, lockdown hit your area, and that knocked you for six. 

But there’s always home training, right? Be honest. How long did you manage to keep that up?

You might think your problem is motivation. This is a common mistake.

If you still want to get fit and learn self-defence, you still know what you want to do and why you want to do it.

Lack of Motivation Isn’t the Problem

The real problem with motivation is that it relies too heavily on your mental state. And, like your emotions, your mental state can ebb and flow like the ocean tides.

The real engine of improvement is not motivation. It’s habit. 

Habit will drive you to places inaccessible to mere motivation. Habit is motivation automated and on steroids.

To get your Muay Thai training back on track, start by building powerful habits. 

Here’s how to do just that.

  1. Start Small

Walls are built one brick at a time. The harsh truth of substantial transformation is that if you try to do too much at once, you’ll set yourself up for defeat. 

Minor changes are easier to automate, and they compound over time. From a cold start, get to class once a week and build from there.

  1. Stack Your Habits

One of the most effective ways to create a new habit is to tie it to an existing one. This helps reduce the friction and resistance that works against you.

Think of the shape of your existing day. When do you get up? Commute? Eat? Identify the shape of your day and slide your new habit into a suitable space in that pattern.

Tethering your new habit to an established one is a powerful way to anchor it quickly into your day.

  1. Choose the Middle Way

Buddhists teach the avoidance of extremes in self-indulgence and self-denial. But, you don’t have to be a devotee of the Buddha to learn something useful here.

There’s a viable balance to be found somewhere between degenerating into a Tim Tam-munching couch potato and evolving into a high-octane clone of Jocko Willink.

Choosing the middle path ensures you keep moving forward on your journey at a sustainable pace that also gives you the time to enjoy all that life has to offer.

Build Habits to Avoid Decision Fatigue

The real power of habit lies in that it frees us from the energy-sapping decision-making process. 

Habit helps remove the resistance that waits to ambush us on our way to achieving our goals.

If motivation provides your why; let habit provide your how.

How to Stay Resilient During Lockdown

Resilience is a key determinant of survival. 

Like so many virtues, resilience is as much a skill as it is a trait. During lockdown, not only can you maintain your reserves of resilience, you can build upon them too.

Here’s how!

1. Cultivate Positive Relationships

No man is an island, entire of itself.”

John Donne

Solitary confinement is frequently considered a cruel form of punishment for good reason. Even the most introverted among us need to maintain relationships with others.

It’s no surprise the recent spate of lockdowns has landed a heavy blow to public mental health.

Luckily, it is still possible to maintain healthy relationships and build upon them and forge new ones, especially with the wealth of technological tools at our fingertips.

This is unchartered territory for many of us. Take the initiative and check in with friends and family members. Join online interest groups. Texts, email, and phone and video calls are all great ways to keep in touch. 

Let the people in your life know you are still there, and you still care – even if you won’t be able to visit for a while. 

2. Get Your Mind Right

Your relationship with yourself is as important as your relationship with others. Take time out to get your mind straight. 

A positive attitude starts with your thoughts. Avoid watching endless hours of doom and gloom on the news. Find the time to meditate – there are a ton of available apps to assist.

Breathing exercises are another great way to calm your central nervous system. Breathe in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds to slow your breathing rate to six breaths per minute. Repeat this for five minutes per day.

3. Stay Strong

I get it. The gyms are closed, and even the public park may be out of bounds, but that’s no reason to let all your muscles atrophy. 

It’s never been easier to work out at home. You don’t even need specialist equipment. Bodyweight workouts are all the rage for good reason.

Shadowboxing, stretching, pushups, and planks are also great ways to keep your body strong during lockdown. 

You’ll find a wealth of useful resources online to help you put together your own tailored programme. Maybe your lack of flexibility has been holding you back? Check out a yoga channel on YouTube. 

When the gyms open again, you’ll be high-kicking like Peter Aerts in his prime!

4. Rest Up

Look for the silver lining. In a lockdown, you’ll likely have fewer demands on your time – take advantage!

Rest is essential to maintain optimum physical and mental health and preserve your resilience. Early to bed, early to rise, and you can’t go wrong.

These four elements will provide a shape and predictability to your day to optimise your sense of control during uncertain times. They will help you not only emerge refreshed from these difficult times but ready to get stuck back into life’s fray, all the stronger for the experience.

For more online training content follow me on instagram: @philliplaimuaythai