Wee Toon Warriors’ Fiona is keeping people active

Fiona demonstrates sumo squats with a lift, using make-shift weights.

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Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current coronavirus pandemic, can be scary and have a massive impact on people’s mental health.

There are many ways to manage well-being during stressful times like these and exercise plays a major part in this.

Rather than looking at lockdown as a negative experience, Fiona Irwin, the woman behind Wee Toon Warriors, is urging people to turn it around and make it something positive by creating new daily routines that prioritise looking after their health.

She said: ‘Make a daily schedule and in it mark out ‘me time’ to either read, do internet research, exercise – or do all three.

‘If you exercised before lockdown, using Google or YouTube search something new you can do at home. The fitness industry is reaching out and providing home exercise.

‘If you have always been meaning to start exercising, this is the perfect time. There are many workouts available online for you to build up confidence in the comfort of your own home.’

Fiona says many people admit they are frightened to go to the gym or take part in a class because they feel they won’t know what to do or think everyone is looking at them, adding that now is the time to get on the health and fitness bandwagon with a home fitness workout.

Fiona has had to close her gym at Machrihanish Airbase Community Company for the time being but she is making and uploading videos to YouTube every weekday so her clients can continue to train from home.

She has shared one of this week’s videos with the Courier, a Tabata challenge, below, which will only take four minutes to begin with, and can be built up from there.

A bent over barbell row, using an improvised weight.
A bent over barbell row, using an improvised weight.

She said: ‘The video has six Tabata sessions for people to try. They can try them all together or split them up throughout the day or week as they please.

‘This is suitable for beginners. All the moves can be scaled by difficulty and intensity so people should give them a go. They never know, they might feel better.’

Fiona performs a side plank using a water bottle weight.
Fiona performs a side plank using a water bottle weight.

Fiona added: ‘Well-being is defined by the government as being a positive physical, social and mental state. There is no single definition but well-being can also be described as the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, such as coping with challenges and making the most of opportunities.

‘When events such as we are experiencing occur, our body’s defence system kicks in creating a stress response that makes us feel uncomfortable and puts our emotions all over the place. This also results in us not being able to sleep properly thus affecting our well-being.

‘Physical activity has huge potential to be effective in relieving such stress and having a positive impact on our mood thus leaving us better equipped to deal with the challenges we are facing.

‘At the end of this all, when we come out the other side, what will you say you did?’

Visit Fiona’s step-by-step Tabata training session here: