With increasingly more time being spent indoors and less time being able to go outside it must be emphasised how important keeping fit and active is for both your physical and mental health, now more than ever. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer by 50% and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression by 30%.
Each person is different, and we all have our different ways of increasing our activity levels and meeting training goals. The restrictions imposed through this lockdown to our daily activities and lifestyle may lead to greater difficulty in fulfilling our daily activity goals. We have already learned how to adapt other areas of our lives. We must also adapt so that keeping physically active does not fall behind.
While this lockdown is just as important as the first in protecting the NHS from becoming overwhelmed through the COVID-19 pandemic, it must be noted that there are a few significant differences between this and the last. The most noticeable perhaps being the weather. The month of November brings with it colder temperatures, rainy days and less daylight hours all of which can lead to decreased motivation to participate in training and physical activity.
Here are our top tips for staying active at home during lockdown 2.0.
- Have a dedicated workout space and time
Our first tip is to have a dedicated area to workout in your home. This does not have to be a huge area but large enough to be able to safely workout. It can be as simple as a roll mat next to the coffee table or a bicycle set up on a stationary trainer. By having this area readily available, we can remove excuses of having to clear an area and constantly moving furniture around the house. It is also a great idea to have whatever home gym equipment you have available in this area or in an easily accessible nearby cupboard.
Setting a routine is also really important for mental wellbeing and doing workouts or exercise at a set time each day can give your mind the focus it needs to complete a workout.
- Use items around the house
Not everyone has flash gym equipment at home, but this should not deter you from working out. There are some great items around the house which can help you add resistance to your workout. Tins of beans are great for hand or light resistance weights. Used milk bottles filled with water are great as they have handles to hold onto. Alternatively, heavier items around the house can be packed into a back pack to create a greater resistance. There really are so many ways we can creatively solve the problem of having limited home gym equipment.
- Invest in some gym equipment
Now, we know this might sound like a complete contradiction to our last point. HOWEVER, we do recommend investing in some home workout equipment. Having good quality equipment will be incredibly beneficial with the uncertainty around the opening/closing and restrictions still placed on gyms this pandemic.
This website offers some great equipment for under £30
Buying second-hand equipment through sites such as eBay can also be a fantastic way to find a bargain on what would normally be expensive equipment.
One of the most cost-effective pieces of equipment is resistance bands as they are really versatile and can be used to increase the resistance of most exercises.
Investing in equipment is investing in your health and wellbeing!
- Join a virtual group workout
Joining a virtual workout can give you the both the structure of a workout class and the social interaction you would otherwise miss out on working out on your own at home. So many fitness professionals who would usually be busy in gyms are turning to leading online virtual classes. There are so many around but if you are stuck finding the right one, we can help steer you in the right direction!
- Take the time to work on your weaknesses
Time away from normal training and workouts can be a great time to focus on weaker areas. For example, this might involve working on different aspects on technique to help improve performance or reduce risk of injury. If you’re unsure take the time to get someone to check your technique and give you feedback or film yourself. (We can help with technique analysis!)
Alternatively, this is also a great time to work on the different areas of fitness including strength, speed, aerobic fitness. Just make it specific to you and your goals to make you a better, more rounded athlete!
- Get moving – It all adds up!
The best and perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give during this time is to KEEP MOVING! Spending more time at home means we are missing out on the many small moments we have to get up and move around during the day. Walking to the car, climbing the stairs to the office, walking from the car to the house, walking around the shops. Its still so important to keep your body moving and not just making the short walk from the home office to the sofa! You can set timers to get up from your desk every 15 mins or so, go up and down the stairs every time you walk past, make time to go out of the house for a breaktime walk. Remember it all adds up!
It is so important now more than ever to MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY! Don’t put off your exercise, keep motivated and stay safe and well!
How will you be adapting your physical activity this Lockdown? Let us know!
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