Get active – fun ways to stay healthy and happy
The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives; nearly a year of varying restrictions have had a profound impact on our daily routines and the things we do to stay fit and healthy. Being active can be beneficial to dealing with these difficult times, exercise is a great mood booster and can relieve stress (as well as helping to shift those extra lockdown pounds!). So, if you’re missing the gym, the pool or training with your team, here are a few fun alternatives for you to try.
P.E. WITH JOE
During the first lockdown, Joe Wicks (AKA The Body Coach) became a household name, keeping kids and adults active with his daily P.E. livestreams on YouTube. Joe’s full body HIIT workouts are quick, effective, and fun thanks to his amazing energy, quizzes, and occasional bloopers! The live workouts are back for lockdown 3.0 but you can also browse a huge back catalogue of previous workouts on his YouTube channel The Body Coach TV.
How many of you have kids that love a trampoline? Did you know that trampolining is fantastic exercise, as well as being lots of fun? Jumping on a trampoline gives your whole body a workout, firming up your legs, thighs, arms, hips and stomach. According to NASA, trampolining is 68% more effective than running! And it’s up to you how you use it; jump around freestyle to your favourite tunes or TV show, or try one of the many online trampolining classes available. You can either use an outdoor trampoline or get a mini trampoline or rebounder for your lounge (bonus: they fold and can easily be stored under or behind your sofa).
COUCH TO 5K
Believe it or not, running can be very enjoyable! There’s nothing better than getting outdoors and getting fit whilst taking in all that’s around you. What puts most people off is getting started. Thankfully, the NHS have put together an amazing training programme to help you do just that; Couch to 5K is designed to help total beginners discover a love for running and gradually build up to running 5km in just 9 weeks. Download the app to your phone and follow the guided training sessions which consist of a mixture of walking and running for varying intervals, until eventually you reach 5k! The only thing you’ve got to worry about is, once you get to 5k and you’re hooked, what’s the next goal? 10km? A half marathon? A FULL marathon?! There’ll be no stopping you!
Yoga is suitable for people of all ages. It can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. Our friend @rosiejunderwood recently filmed a class for us that was designed to release tension and reduce stress. And what’s best, you can try this all from the comfort of your own home! So if you’ve always wanted to give yoga a try, we highly recommend her video below.
When exercise is fun it doesn’t feel like exercise, but you still get all the health benefits. There’s so many possibilities, but here’s a few fun ideas to get you started – kids optional!
- Have a kickabout in the garden or the park.
- Play a game that gets you moving, such as twister or charades.
- Hula hoop, skipping, or handstand competition – who can go the longest?
- Race if you have the space – make it extra challenging by hopping like a frog or bear crawling!
- Throw a dance party and bust out those moves.
We’ve kind of gone the other way with this one, sorry! Chores are part of daily life and with more time spent at home, it’s important to keep your ‘casa’ clean and tidy. Some housework tasks, such as gardening, are physically demanding as they are - but we can do better than that can’t we? (YES!) Throw in a few lunges while you push the hoover around or make the bed. Perfect your form and squat whilst putting away the shopping or simply do calf raises (repeatedly standing up onto your toes) whilst doing the dishes. When you’re finished, your mood will be boosted from endorphins that are naturally released during exercise and you can take pride in a job well done.
HAVE FUN AND STAY SAFE
If you’re heading outside for exercise, please do so safely. Exercise within your limits and local restrictions, avoid heading to areas that get busy during peak times, and always observe social distancing.