Here in the UK, we received the news last night that all gyms were to close their doors in a bid to fight back against the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. If you’re someone like me who goes to the gym regularly, there’s no doubt you would have been affected by this latest restriction.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why the Government has chosen to do this. If it is going to help us get out of this horrible situation faster, then I’m all for it. However, I was a little bit gutted when I heard the news. I was actually in the middle of a workout when one of the instructors at my gym came over and told me that they will be closing their doors from Saturday. For me, the gym is like my little sanctuary. I lock myself away in there if I’ve had a stressful day at work; it’s where I pick myself up again when I’m sad or it’s where I feel good about myself when I’m having a great workout.
If you never workout from home and have no idea how to sustain a good fitness regime now that your local gym has closed, here are some of my top tips:
- Research home workouts
As the world becomes more digital, now is the perfect time to look into which companies offer home workout programmes. For a subscription fee, you can benefit from real-time classes, personal training sessions and workout routines from the comfort of your own home. Whenever I can’t get to the gym, I love to do a Joe Wicks workout. Known as The Body Coach, he has loads of free HIT classes for all abilities on his YouTube channel. Two of my favourites are his legs, bums and tums class and his 300 rep ab workout. Other subscription-based companies that I haven’t tried but have heard good things about are Results with Lucy, the Bikini Body Guide with Kayla Itsines and Les Mills On Demand.
2. Walk the dog
If you own a dog, why not try going that extra mile whilst out on your walks? Rather than taking your pooch for a quick walk around the block, try walking into town, take a stroll along the river or jump in your car and find a tranquil country park. Walking is a great form of low-intensity exercise so you may find that you can go for miles without finding the workout too tricky. To up the burn, try turning that walk into a jog every time you come across an incline or a set of steps. Once you reach the top, slow back down to a walk. This way, you can introduce some interval training, all whilst exercising your four-legged friend!
3. Stick to a routine
Currently, we don’t know how long this pandemic will last. Hopefully it will only be for a few weeks but to sustain a regular fitness regime at home, make sure you stick to a routine. By creating a workout schedule, you are more likely to stick to your exercise regime as you know exactly what you should be doing and when. For example, I usually go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so I’m planning to stick to those weekday evenings now that I’m at home every night. I’ll be starting on Monday with a little Zumba taught by my old Zumba teacher, Caroline Anstead! Why not join in for her first virtual session over on Facebook? Click here to check it out.
4. Mix it up
So that you don’t get bored with doing the same kind of exercise again and again, why not mix it up throughout the week? Say if you’re aiming for three workouts a week, you could try a virtual Zumba class on one of those days, a HIT session on the next and a Yoga session on the third day. By constantly mixing it up, you will keep your mind active and will stop your body from plateauing. Whilst I’m thinking of Yoga, give Erin Motz’s 30-day Yoga challenge a try on YouTube. She’s a great teacher and her classes are quick so you can squeeze them in if you don’t have that much time or play multiple videos for a nice long Yoga session. Click here to get started.
5. Workout with a friend (virtually!)
With more and more of us self-isolating, it’s hard not to start feeling lonely. Why not arrange to work out with a friend? Of course, we need to take this social distancing policy seriously, but try arranging a Skype or FaceTime call with your friend, put your chosen fitness video on the telly and workout together! This is great for if you usually have a workout buddy in the gym, but also good for keeping that social interaction going.
I hope those 5 top tips are useful and give you a little inspiration for what you can be doing at home. I know that we are going through an incredibly tough time at the moment, but I really encourage you to keep exercising. I can’t stress enough how good exercise can be for your mental health. It won’t make Coronavirus disappear but it sure can help you deal with it.