Although we wrote this article early on in the coronavirus pandemic, it might still be helpful for your family as things continue to develop.
By now, we’re all familiar with our new normal: extra hygiene measures of hand-washing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, disinfecting food preparation areas regularly and not leaving the house except for shopping for essentials, medication or once-daily exercise.
It’s that last one that could arguably have the largest impact on how we feel. It’s common knowledge that physical activity can help us not only feel better physically, but also mentally. It’s a great stress reliever, as the release of endorphins in our brain when we’re active makes us feel happier. Where once you might have gone for a run or walk, attended a gym class, gone for a bike ride or a swim to get that same kind of release, it’s important now to stay indoors to help flatten the curve of Coronavirus - and this means getting a bit more creative with how we manage our physical health.
There are lots of websites, youtube channels and Instagram accounts that are dedicating themselves specifically to encouraging people to keep active during the lockdown. We have brought together a range of resources from other sites here that are offering excellent resources, advice and workouts:
- Patient.info - With categories like low impact, body weight training and high-tech options, as well as a guide to staying motivated, Patient have covered lots of ground with their guide to home exercise
- Thisgirlcan.co.uk - This Girl Can explains why home exercise can be so beneficial, for both your fitness, your mental wellbeing, and your bank balance.
- Verywellfit.com - With plenty of links to workouts, music, games and apps for home exercisers, as well as ideas for body weight exercises, exercise routines, and online tutorials and classes, Very Well Fit provides an excellent resource.
- Sportengland.org - Sport England lists out a number of online classes, free resources, and ideas for exercising with the kids as well
- Joe Wicks is doing daily PE classes for the nation, including workouts for kids and that you can do your kids.
- Yoga With Adriene There are so many yoga channels available, and 30 Days of Yoga is a popular offering from Youtube instructor Adriene Mishler.
Youtube generally has a huge number of online workouts, so a simple search will return thousands of videos. Additionally, if you belong to a gym, many are now doing instagram workouts, so it’s worth checking in with them if you haven’t already.
While it’s all very well and good to know the resources are there, being motivated to participate in them can be difficult. Here are some tips to stay on track and make it a little easier to go from couch or desk to a healthy sweat.
- Scheduling workouts - trying to fit in exercise around working, parenting and
socialising (online!) can be difficult. It may help to set a time for yourself each day to get your workout in. Perhaps you can get up early before work, or use your lunchbreak. If you have little ones, their naptime could be a good opportunity for a yoga flow, or some resistance training for example.
- Block out time in your calendar - Especially useful for those working from home, blocking out an hour to exercise in your calendar may make it easier to treat it as just another item in your workday.
- Tune in to regular live workouts - Feeling like you’re just attending another gym class can increase your engagement and help you stay on track
- Meet friends for virtual workout dates - Where you might once have met up with friends to go for a run or a class, you can still align your fitness regimes to feel that same sense of community and encouragement. Organise to go out for your daily exercise at the same time, or tune into the same live workout!
One bright side to this unusual lockdown situation is that people are getting creative with their workouts, and trying new things. You might find you have a passion for yoga, or that vintage aerobics workouts on youtube are your thing!
In the end, no matter what it is that you do, the important thing is that you’re doing something. Move that body! Get the kids involved! Research shows that you’ll feel energised, happier and less stressed if you do - and those are all things to savour while we wait for this to pass.
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