Quarter of Fitness Fanatics Report Depression During Lockdown

  • Two thirds say they are eating more junk food during lockdown
  • 29% say they have found it hard to keep on top of alcohol consumption
  • Over half say they do not feel as fit

This weekend, hundreds of UK athletes should have been leaving for the Tokyo Olympics, with millions more sports fans set to tune in to the action in the coming weeks. But rather than looking forward to the global celebration of sports, over a quarter of sports and fitness participants across the UK (26%) are instead feeling depressed due to not being able to participate in their usual activities.

The study, conducted by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), found that nearly two thirds of physical fitness fans (62%) say they have eaten more junk food during lockdown, with half (49%) saying they have found it hard to maintain a healthy diet.

In addition, nearly a third (29%) say that they have found it hard to ‘keep on top’ of their alcohol consumption during lockdown. As a result of all of this, 55% of those in the survey say that they feel less physically fit.

Looking more closely at diet, just 17% say that they are managing to incorporate protein into all their meals, with over half (54%) admitting to taking a more relaxed approach to their diet. As a result, 51% say they are simply eating more and 38% say they are ‘treating’ themselves more frequently.

However when it comes to seafood, just a third (37%) say they regularly eat it during the week – due to a variety of reasons. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they don’t know which fish they’d cook and 21% have an issue with the smell. Meanwhile one in eight (12%) admit to not knowing how to cook seafood. Fish, in particular, can provide a simple solution for sports players and athletes as it provides high-quality protein that keeps, both, muscles and bones strong and healthy, which is especially important as we enter our third month in lockdown.

Alaska Seafood is working with former Olympic athlete and Celebrity Masterchef contestant, Colin Jackson, to promote the value of eating a healthy, satisfying diet as well as keeping moving during lockdown. Colin Jackson said: “For people who are used to being active or playing sports, lockdown is particularly tough. Not everyone is a fan of running and many will be missing the camaraderie that team sports offer. It’s therefore not a surprise that missing out on the physical and emotional benefits of sports is leading to many feeling depressed.

“It also makes it that much harder to resist the temptations most of us have in our home. Boredom is a factor for many and it’s no surprise to see that some are reaching for junk food or alcohol more than usual – but that makes it no less worrying. I would encourage people to try and adapt their exercise as much as possible as some is better than none. For example if you play football, whilst it may not be the same as a game down the park, 20 minutes of keepie-uppies in the garden, followed by a video chat with a team mate, could still really benefit you. But remember that exercise and diet go hand in hand and maintaining a protein-rich diet is still really key. One of my firm favourites is to cook up Sticky sesame Alaskan salmon with corn taco, smashed avocado and Asian slaw. It’s a quick, easy dish to cook up and is packed with protein and amazing flavours”

Sticky Sesame Alaska Salmon, Corn Taco, Smashed Avo, Asian Slaw

Serves 4


2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tsp finely grated ginger

4 x 125g fillets of Alaska salmon; sockeye or keta

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 ripe avocados, to garnish

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt flakes

4 corn tortillas

Fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Sliced red onion, to serve

Black sesame seeds, to serve

4 lime wedges, to serve

Tomato salsa, to serve

Asian Slaw

½ head purple cabbage

3 medium carrots, peeled

1 bunch spring onions

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime, zest and juice

A handful of coriander leaves, to serve

Toasted sesame seeds, to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
  • In a shallow dish, mix together the chilli sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger. Lay the pieces of salmon (skin side up) in the marinade and leave to one side for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the salmon pieces from the marinade, place on a baking tray (skin side down) and spoon over a little of the marinade. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. 
  • Peel the avocados, remove the stones, scoop the flesh into a bowl and smash with a fork. Add the lime juice and season with a little salt. Leave to one side.
  • To make the Asian slaw; remove the core of the cabbage, shred the leaves finely and leave to one side. Peel the carrots into long thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler and thinly slice the spring onions. Mix them all together in a bowl and season with some salt and pepper. Leave to one side.
  • Mix together the chilli, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, chilli sauce and lime zest and juice. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Just before serving, sprinkle over the coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Heat the corn tortillas in a dry non-stick pan until hot on both sides. Place on a serving board and top with some Asian slaw, fresh coriander leaves and sliced red onion. Place a piece of salmon on top, top with some smashed avocado and sprinkle with some black sesame seeds.
  • Serve with lime wedges and fresh tomato salsa on the side.