For those of us who have been working from home since lockdown, we may have noticed that our physical wellbeing has taken a hit. It’s easy to take for granted how much our walk to the station, lunchtime trip to the cornershop or browsing around shops kept us active.
It’s completely normal for us to be less active than we were before the coronavirus outbreak - the restrictions in place and closure of gyms and leisure centres makes it hard to keep fit and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for that. However, it is important that we adapt to the new circumstances and find ways to exercise at home so we can maintain our physical wellness and remember the importance of exercise.
There are many benefits of exercise that go beyond just physical health, in fact, exercise is linked to increased mental wellbeing which, given the current circumstances, may be in need of some tlc.
Fortunately, as a result of lockdown and gym closures, we’ve seen a boom in the online fitness industry with gyms trying their hand at online workouts either for free or for a small cost. Additionally, there are an abundance of apps that can help us stay active and track our progress during this time.
We’ve compiled a list of these online workouts and apps that you can use to exercise at home, or in an open space like a park or garden to help keep you exercising during lockdown. Just be sure that when you’re exercising outside of the house you continue to keep social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of yourself and others:
Run, jog, walk
Running, jogging or walking is completely free - all you need is a pair of trainers and some outside space. There are plenty of free apps you can use to track how far or fast you’re going such as Strava, Nike Run Club and MayMyRun - you can also use these apps to search for run routes in your area.
Or, if you’re more of a beginner and need help to get you running, you can download One You Couch to 5k which will help you build up to running a 5k over eight weeks, this app is also free.
Cycle, skip, rollerblade or hula hoop
You may find that lying around your house you have either a skipping rope, rollerblades, bicycle or hula hoop - each piece of equipment might not be seen as a piece of exercise equipment but can certainly work as one.
Hula hooping is a great ab workout whereas cycling, skipping and rollerblading are excellent forms of cardio. What’s even better is that if you have these pieces of equipment and use them for fun, it will hardly feel like it’s exercise!
If you’re lucky enough to have a trampoline at home, either mini and full size, having a bounce certainly counts as cardiovascular exercise. Additionally, if you have a mini trampoline, also known as a rebounder, this is in fact a new exercise craze that’s been exploding over the past few years and as result, there are a bunch of workouts you can follow on YouTube.
Since lockdown, Instagram live workouts have absolutely blown up. Gyms have turned to social media to keep their community fit and healthy through free, live workouts. The beauty of Instagram live workouts is that you don’t always have to be present for the exact time the video is live as most accounts will save them to their IGTV for you to complete at a later date, allowing you some flexibility around when you can do them.
Here are a few of Satchel’s favourite Instagram accounts that offer live workout videos which helps people to exercise at home:
- Psycle [@psyclelondon] - offer four different types of live classes, cycle classes for those with exercise bikes at home, barre, yoga and hiit
- Barry’s [@barrysuk]- a range of hiit classes, mainly body weight but include equipment options and provide some treadmill training
- 1rebel [@1rebeluk] - a range of hiit classes that can be carried out at home
- Move Your Frame [@moveyourframe] - a range of fitness classes including dance cardio and 80s aerobics - they also have an online timetable on their website where you can sign up for classes (includes a fee)
- Fly LDN [@fly_ldn] - a range of fitness classes including yoga, barre and pilates
- Courtney Black [@courtneyblackapp] - a range of workouts including low impact hiit, full body and circuits
The benefits of yoga are endless - it can help ease anxiety through helping to regulate our breathing, improve flexibility & strength and can help to clear people’s minds, also, for those of us who are working at a desk all day it can get rid of tension stored from hunching over our laptop.
There are endless flows on YouTube you can try, as well as yoga teachers opening up their teaching to online classes - either via their Instagram or setting up online classes via Zoom (some of these classes do incur a cost, but given the current circumstances most are donation based so you only pay what you can afford). For a starting point try Cat Meffan on YouTube or Sarah Malcolm on Instagram.
Youtube & P.E With Joe
Whatever your level, mood or requirement there will almost definitely be a workout for you on YouTube. Whether it’s a hiit workout, yoga flow, stretch or dance sequence there are thousands of free workouts waiting for you that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
But perhaps the most famous YouTube workout at the moment is Joe Wicks’ P.E With Joe. Every weekday morning at 9:00am UK time, Joe Wicks hosts a live workout on YouTube - it’s aimed at kids but is suitable for all ages. Each live workout is saved on his YouTube channel where you can also find a whole host of free workouts you can follow.