Don't let the strict lockdown level 4 exercise rules turn you into a couch potato. Here are some tips to help you get and stay fit at home…
According to the lockdown level 4 exercise rules, you may exercise outdoors between 6 am and 9 am, but you have to wear a face mask and you may only do so within a five-kilometre radius from your home.
It's no surprise that social media is abuzz with photos of overcrowding on popular walking and running routes while members of online neighbourhood groups are moaning that many people either don't wear masks or wear them incorrectly.
With gyms closed, limited time for outdoor exercise and the colder weather setting in, everyone's resolve to exercise is being put to the test. But now is not the time to quit since exercise is known to help boost mood as well as immunity.
If exercising in your neighbourhood is not an option for you, here are some ways to get fit at home:
1. Create your version of a gym at home
The first step is to create a space to work out. You don't need a spare room or expensive equipment – all you need is a space where you could easily complete a workout. It could in the middle of your living room, your bedroom or in your garden.
The key to making this work is to ask yourself where you are most likely to get a workout done. If you're more likely to do a workout while watching your favourite series on Netflix, your living room may be the perfect spot for you.
For quiet, calming workouts like yoga or Pilates, you might be able to roll out your mat in your bedroom and squeeze in a quick workout before the rest of your household wakes up.
Quick Pilates workout for anxiety (under 10 minutes)
2. Dust off old exercise equipment
If you are fortunate enough to have exercise equipment tucked away in your garage or in cupboards, now is the time to dust it off and make it accessible.
Equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells and an exercise mat are great because they are small enough to be easily hidden in your chosen gym area using storage ottomans, attractive baskets or the space under beds or sofas.
How to create a home gym in a small space
3. Use what you have
If you don't have fitness equipment, exercise some creativity and make your own.
You can fill two equally sized water bottles with water or sand to make dumbbells, look for a piece of rope to use as a skipping rope and a kitchen step stool as an aerobic step.
If you have stairs in your home, you can work a stair-climbing workout into your routine and if your kids have a trampoline, try jumping – it's a great cardiovascular workout and its fun (however, be careful because trampolines can be dangerous – especially when more than one person is jumping on it).
4. Make it social, make it fun
You may not be able to work out with your friends, but you can challenge friends and family to follow live workouts together – like PE with Joe – or look for a daily fitness challenge to complete together on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. The Internet is full of great workouts to try.
Exercise should also be fun so make it a family affair by playing active games with your kids, like garden tennis set, soccer and playing catch-catch. You could also throw dance parties with your immediate family or with dance-loving friends via Zoom.
Toddler-approved family workout
5. Schedule and monitor it
If you haven't created a daily sanity-saving schedule, create one and add exercise to it.
A schedule can help you maintain a balance during this intense homebound period. It doesn't have to be fancy – a simple handwritten schedule taped to the fridge could be all you need to help ensure that you stay on top of your work while still carving our enough time for family, self-care and exercise.
Success breeds more success so monitoring your exercise may be a helpful way to maintain momentum.
You could use a fitness tracker watch, an app or simply cross off workouts on a calendar. You'll have an instant kick out of ticking off a workout and, when it feels like so much is beyond our control, there's an undeniable benefit of working towards a self-determined goal – even if it is only to move your body for 30 minutes a day.