Count your blessings, put some tunes on and move your body – brightly coloured Lycra optional.
If you’re struggling to adapt to life in lockdown, there might be no better person to look to for motivation than Mr Motivator himself.
Real name Derrick Evans, the 67-year-old made his name broadcasting uplifting workouts in colourful Lycra on breakfast TV show GMTV in the Nineties. Now he’s back helping us stay healthy in our homes once again, with a daily live-streamed workout, called the Daily Dozen (12pm), on Twitter and YouTube.
In what’s a scary and strange time for everyone, Mr Motivator says: “We’re creatures of habit, and they say for something to become a habit we have to do it 21 times, so I think after 21 days of doing this, people may start easing up a little bit and feeling better about everything.”
So what’s his advice for staying positive and healthy amid the pandemic?
1. Practise gratitude
“The first thing is recognising and admitting where we are – for a long time we tried to say, ‘Let’s ignore it for a while’. But I think we [now] need to find a way of relieving the stress that’s been brought on by our situation.
“That means you’ve got to focus on the good things in your life. Start every day by just looking around or looking in the mirror and thinking of five or six reasons why you should be grateful. They can be simple things like just having a choice: what am I going to have for breakfast? Or will I walk out into the garden or not? Lots of people don’t have that choice, so that’s a blessing.
“And the other things we should think about more are: you can see, you can hear, you’ve got someone who loves you. And all of a sudden, that little black dot on the blotting paper doesn’t look too important.”
2. Find your own escape
“If you’ve not spent time at home during the day, and now you’ve got everybody around you, your own space becomes an issue. So you need to find a place you can escape to.
“It could be reading a book or it could be doing something you’ve actually always wanted to do, but never got around to. That gives you time out, because with the pressure of you all being in this box together, it’s important that you do think about moments like that.”
3. Play uplifting music
“Put music on in every single room of the house. Either the same music, or if the old man likes his head banging music, he can put his music on in one room and you can put Barry White on in your room.
“The faster the music is, the better. Music is a great leveller – if it’s dance music, you automatically want to dance.”
4. Resist the urge to spend all day in slippers
“Put your trainers on and walk around the house. Don’t walk around barefooted, or in slippers or socks.
“And because you’ve got your trainers on, psychologically you’re starting to think about movement – you’ve got your music on, you’ve got your trainers on, and it makes you want to move.”
5. Check your posture
“Because we’re all going to be sitting down a lot more; at the computer, watching television, on the couch or chair…
“Your reflection in the mirror is your friend! If there’s a mirror nearby, check your posture, and you’ll probably find you’re rounding your shoulders, or you’re lounging really badly. So set your alarm clock, your Fitbit, your phone to go off every 45 minutes, or 20 or 30 minutes – that is a reminder to check your posture.
“What you do is imagine there’s an orange between your shoulder blades, and you gently squeeze out the juice of that orange, and you hold that for four seconds. And then you release it, and then you do it again. Automatically what that’s doing is making you look at life very differently, it’s making you sit up straighter.”
6. Move – in any way you can
“When it comes to being active, you can do so much from sitting down. You can march on the spot, you can pretend you’re shooting a basketball into a hoop, you can work your pelvic floor muscles.
“You can get the kids involved by doing all kinds of crazy things with their arms. You can get them to sit down in front of you and say, ‘What’s your favourite word?’ and [get them to spell it out with their arms]. You could have fun with the kids with the alphabet or their date of birth.
“Go and kick a football [in the garden], go for a walk, the whole family can do it. Just keep away from other people whilst you’re doing that.”
Mr Motivator also be offering tips on the new HealthCheck UK Live, airing on weekdays at 10am on BBC One from Monday. You can also see him at Y Not Festival July 24-26 and Truck Festival July 31 – August 2.