Over the course of a few short weeks, this pandemic has upended lives and completely changed how we work, socialise, and interact. We have all had to slow down, stress is at an all-time high and we are having to spend more time at home. Exercise and movement are both great ways to promote wellbeing, calm the mind and relieve stress. So, what can we do to help stay fit and healthy whilst social distancing and self-isolating? Some of the following might work for you.
Whether you've got five minutes, or twenty, spending time stretching out and working the joints and muscles can be very beneficial for both the mind and body.
Here are a couple of "follow along" videos by Tom Merrick that could be a great start to your day. The first two routines are only five minutes long, the second is twenty minutes: https://youtu.be/1a7URy4pLfw / https://youtu.be/-tetoszaTTo / https://youtu.be/2wYQhJdv2oI
Alternatively, Olga at O'coach Fitness has prepared a series of short bodyweight workouts for the 'laptop bound'. These three 'Working from Home' workouts focus on wellbeing and health, are suitable for beginners and is safe to do in your living room:
Go retro and hark back to the ’80s and ’90s with some good old-fashioned workouts in front of the TV. Exercise led classes in front of the box are still a thing. Currently in the UK, Amazon Prime has a lot to choose from including good old-school keep-fit routines to yoga or Zumba. While you’re there, why not order a sweatband and leg warmers or a pair of fluorescent pink sweatpants to wear during your workout for that authentic 80’s look - Mad Lizzy style! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nov2tY1GSzw
While we are having to stay at home so much, why not kill two birds with one stone and get cleaning. You’ll feel so much better in nice, clean surroundings.
You can burn 150 calories in 30 minutes by cleaning the windows or up to 200 calories for 30 minutes gardening. Cleaning the whole flat can be the equivalent of a 5-mile run!
Even better, put on your favourite tunes, turn up the volume (I'm sure the neighbours will understand) and make it fun. Not only will you feel the benefit of moving around, but you’ll also feel a sense of pride at the hoovered floor and dust-free surfaces when you relax in the evening.
The call of the sofa might be strong, but see if you can resist Netflix for 20 minutes and try a quick workout instead. It might sound simple but even sitting down and standing up again 10 times in a row will work out your thighs, or placing two hands on the sofa while extending one leg behind you will get your muscles burning.
Why not try a Sofa Workout by Darebee (in collaboration with NHS choices) to help strengthen and tone, you can even do it during the ad break whilst watching your favourite show: https://darebee.com/workouts/sofa-workout.html
STAIRWAY TO FITNESS
Take your fitness to the next level step by step. You'll be surprised at what you can do with a set of stairs. Walking upstairs at a moderate pace can be just as effective as running on the flat, and two to three times more effective than walking briskly on level ground.
Whatever pace you do it, adding stairs into your fitness routine is an efficient way to increase cardiovascular fitness, heart and lung health, as well as improving balance, power and agility. Try these fun exercise variations to get the blood pumping: https://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/activities/stair-workouts
To develop lower body strength, muscle tone and cardio fitness try this Stairs Workout: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Documents/stairs-workout.jpg
Manager - Student Wellbeing Service