Instead of being asked to dig for victory we’re being told to stay inside, this truly is a crazy and unprecedented time! Isolation can have a hugely detrimental effect on our mental and physical health - I know I for one have been finding it quite difficult. Moving our bodies in any way helps to break the endless cycle of netflix and left over Easter eggs and can instill a bit of energy and positivity into your day.
With the added challenge of having to spend most of our time at home, getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week can be difficult. Although rest days are very necessary, so is staying active. Granted, this can be harder said than done, so here are some easy ways to get active during lockdown.
1. Find Something You LOVE
I know it’s a cliche but it’s true - if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it. Take time to experiment with different types of exercise, if you’re not really into running, try cycling or an online workout or yoga class. There are a multitude of resources out there from youtube and zoom classes to apps and podcasts - there are no excuses for not discovering a form of exercise you absolutely love!
2. Make Time
Set a regular time to get active that suits you. Especially as we’re all stuck at home, it’s easy to be distracted by other stuff we need to do, by setting aside time to exercise you’re giving yourself permission to do something for you as well as creating accountability. I set aside 30-60 minutes as soon as I get up for my yoga practice, or a run, exercising in the morning always makes me feel good for the rest of the day. Getting moving in the morning wakes your mind and body while releasing endorphins, setting you up for a motivated positive day.
Have your kids, younger siblings or pets been pestering you for attention? Or looking at you forlornly while you’re working? Play with them! Rolling around on the floor, tug-of-war, playing catch, kicking a ball around and simply getting up and down from the ground is great exercise, and you're making someone happy - win-win!
You don’t need a youngster in your house to play. Why not have a dance party? Stick on your favourite feel good songs, maybe video call your friends, and dance the night away.
4. Sneak activity into your daily life
I often feel unwilling to set aside a big chunk of time to exercise, but there are lots of ways to trick yourself into moving. Whether it’s vigorously cleaning the house, walking to the shops (if you’re able to safely), doing some weights while watching TV or doing a five minute workout during each ad break there’s loads of easy ways to sneak a bit of exercise into your daily activities. As with everything, find a way that suits you.
5. Be Realistic
At the moment there’s a big push on social media to turn this lockdown into some kind of hardcore-dream-body-bootcamp, but it’s not that easy. Although this large expanse of freed up time is a great chance to finally start that couch to 5K you’ve been putting off, you’ve got to remember that this isn’t a fitness retreat, it's a PANDEMIC. Getting “beach body ready” is not the main goal of this lockdown.
It’s important to take it slow and go at your own pace: it’s not a competition. If running 5k is too much for you, start with 1k and build up. Or if doing a 30 minute ab training youtube video is a bit daunting, have a go at something simpler and more up your street. Maybe set yourself some achievable goals and work steadily towards them.
Try these easy ways to get active during lockdown and comment how you got on below.
Just have a go!
You don’t learn to do a headstand in your first ever yoga class, take it slow and steady, listen to your body and just do your best - nobody's watching!