Social Distancing. Self Isolation. Whichever way you look at it, the reality is that we’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home in the immediate future. This is an anxious time for a lot of people, and for those of you who like to relieve your stresses with a good workout, you may have found that your gym has recently closed or your running group has decided to postpone your next jog until further notice.
Thankfully all is not lost, as there are still plenty of ways to stay fit and active in the comfort of your own home (or your garden now the weather is getting better)! This can also be a great opportunity to try new ways of keeping fit and build a routine to keep you sane and safe throughout the next few weeks:
Practiced in India for thousands of years before going global in the last couple of decades, yoga has countless, well publicised, health benefits. It is known for increasing flexibility, improving cardiovascular health, as well as helping to manage stress.
Normally practiced in a studio, there are now loads of videos, apps and online courses available for free that will give you easy, step-by-step instructions to have you ‘warrior posing’ in no time! If the weather is good, you can take it outside, for the added benefit of some fresh air.
There is also seated yoga, which can be done sitting down, either at the table or during ad breaks when watching the TV.
If you want something that will get your heart racing a little more, you might want to try circuit training.
Circuit training involves combining six or more bodyweight exercises into a circuit with a short amount of rest in between. This could involve 40 seconds of exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest, repeated until the circuit is complete.
The intensity of the exercises can be quite overwhelming for beginners, therefore is only recommended for those with some prior training experience, however you can alter the rest duration or the exercises to make your circuit as difficult or easy as you like!
Okay, hear us out with this one, there’s a reason boxers do it! While many people probably associate skipping with the school playground, it can actually be a serious workout. It works lots of different muscles groups and is a great way to get your heart rate up. We’d recommend doing this in the garden as you might need a bit of space and if it’s too tough, mix it in with your circuit training to give yourself a break!
Entertain the kids!
Now that schools across the UK have closed for the foreseeable future, chances are that if you have younger children, they’ll be climbing up the walls by the end of the week! One great way to get your heart rate up and let them blow off some steam at the same time is to organise some fun, energetic activities with them. This could be anything from playing football in the garden, building a fort or putting together an obstacle course.
In addition, active video games such as the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox Kinect are a great way to get your kids and you moving and for a ‘no screen’ option, you can always put on some upbeat music and get everyone dancing.
You probably aren’t going to be spending this much time at home again in a while, so why not make the most of it and have a good spring clean. Take it as an opportunity to put on your favourite tunes and get all those household chores done that you wouldn’t have time for otherwise. By the time you’re done tidying, you’ll have definitely worked out a good sweat, with the added bonus that your house will sparkle!
There are loads of other ways to be creative and stay active, if you have a treadmill or a stationary bike at home, then jump on and go for a run or ride. If you are used to using dumbbells at the gym, they can be replaced by filled waterbottles at home. Of course, there are plenty of exercises that involve no equipment, such as press-ups, sit-ups, burpees, star-jumps and squats, that can be done anywhere in the house whenever you like. Just make sure you’re warmed up first!