During this current lockdown period, we’re only currently allowed one outing per day for the purpose of exercise (in the UK anyways). I don’t know about you, but every time I look at someone’s Snapchat story, people are always outside running and showing how many millions of kilometres they’re doing a day. If you’re like me and don’t like running that much to do it every day, here are some suggestions to keep active.
Go on a walk
Going on a quick walk can be so refreshing and can clear your head if you’ve been working hard at home. If you love nature like me, it can be a great idea to get yourself to the park and enjoy your surroundings. If not, just take a quick walk around your area and get those extra steps in that you wouldn’t have got otherwise.
Home HIIT Workouts
Possibly my favourite thing to do! I wasn’t a big fan of working out till recently, so having short, intense workouts works great for me – I’m working a sweat in a small amount of time (perfect for those who are especially busy!). My favourite home workouts are by Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach (not at all a shock if you’ve watched my Instagram stories) – I found his channel towards the end of 2019 and have been loving it since! He’s regularly updating at the moment with new workouts, so it’s definitely worth a try! If they’re not for you, HIIT workouts are very easily available on Youtube, so have a scroll and see what you like.
Yoga is a great way of exercising if you’re not into fast paced movement, but still want to feel the burn. Yoga is mainly great for improving flexibility. I’ve only tried this a couple times myself to help stretch my body, but I know people that swear by this. Again, yoga is very readily available on Youtube for all levels, but my university’s Instagram page is currently recommending Yoga With Adriene, and I’ve heard great things about Madfit, so maybe give them a try! The NHS Website has a few videos on yoga too.
Very similar to yoga, except the focus is on strengthening the body. I’ve tried Pilates once on the Blogilates Youtube channel (which I definitely felt the burn with!), but it just wasn’t my favourite, but again I do know a lot of people that love pilates. Do a quick search and see what pilates workouts are available for your level, then maybe when this is all over, you can see if there’s any pilates classes near you. The NHS Website has a great video on pilates for those with back pain, along with many other fitness videos you can follow.
Many individual people and organisations are currently doing live classes via Zoom, Instagram Live etc. to follow along too. Online classes are a great way to help you keep to a routine, as they’ll always be at a certain time during the day/week. My university currently recommends OurParksUK as a great online class, as well as providing their own (check if your university or work is providing anything similar), otherwise many fitness instructors and ‘influencers’ are providing their own, such as Gabby Allen (try checking out some smaller accounts too that have PT experience and help support them!)
Workout challenges can be really fun, and most importantly, really adaptable. I get a lot of my inspiration from social media challenges, such as the 100 Burpees a Day challenge (doing 100 burpees each day – it doesn’t have to be all in one go!), or going on Pinterest and finding routines with moves with a certain amounts of reps. The thing I like about these challenges is that you can adjust them to your level but push yourself to do more than you would usually do.
And finally…dancing! Who doesn’t like dancing? Have a little boogie in your room and get your heart rate up and going! It’s a fun way to release some energy and get you in a good mood, so stick some music on and have fun!
So these are my 7 ways to keep myself active during this time. Always remember to:
- Stretch before and after! Don’t hurt yourself in the process. It also lessens the muscle ache you may have the next day.
- Keep moving even after exercise. Think of it this way: doing 20 minutes to an hour of working out is great and all, but if you just sit down and do nothing for the rest of the day, you’re not helping yourself get to your goal. Think of it as a 20:80 scale. 20 represents the exercise you do, 80 representing the rest of the day. That 80 majority can’t be sitting down doing nothing the rest of the day! Keep moving – get up from your chair, walk around a little, do some tasks in the house, do anything!
And if you’re one of those people that does love to run or wants to get more into running, I would highly recommend the Couch to 5K app: I started using it and it changed my attitude to running completely. It helped me learn more about how to pace yourself, how to keep breathing during a longer run, and kept me in the routine of running 3 times a week. Give it a try if you want to start something new.