Staying at home doesn’t have to mean staying still. While there are some fantastic home workouts available (like PE with Joe) and a wealth of great exercise apps, we’ve also come up with some ideas of our own to keep active in lockdown.
If you’re tired of the treadmill or feel like something different to your regular yoga app, here are some tried and tested alternatives.
Keith Walker, managing director
‘Low impact’ workouts have become the norm for me in lockdown. Not because I struggle with burpees, star jumps etc. but because I live in a top floor flat and the neighbours downstairs don’t appreciate ‘squat jump’ reps on their ceilings at 7am…
Cat Ellis, fitness and wellbeing editor
My regular running club has been replaced with a virtual one on Strava, and our pub socials are now weekly Zoom chats (bonus points for having a collection of medals in the background). I set up a virtual Land’s end to John O’Groats run on My Virtual Mission, thinking it would easily last until the end of lockdown, but it turns out I vastly underestimated how long a pandemic might last.
We’ve all been taking part in virtual races too, where you log your time with a fitness tracker and receive a medal in the post. It’s been great, except for the Easter run where the organizer sent everyone chocolate eggs, which arrived smashed to pieces and tasting of envelope glue.
Tom Bedford, staff writer, phones
My gym closing turned out to be a blessing in disguise – while a treadmill encouraged me to run the same distance in better and better times, I’ve found running outdoors pushes me to see how far I can go, no matter the timing. What began as a quick run to see how long the queues were in my local shops, when lockdown started, has quickly grown to a 10km dash every other day just to get out, and of course I’m using Strava to boast about it all too.
Mark Wilson, cameras editor
After picking up a lockdown running injury, I’ve had to resort to the distinctly less preferable home bodyweight exercises and dreaded foam roller. But this had led to one positive – me and my girlfriend now have a column each in a Google Sheets exercise tracker. This is working well, because neither of us want to suffer the humiliation of breaking our streak. I’ve also been enjoying Sky’s Fit in 5 workouts, mainly because the guests always seem to be as knackered as I am.
Samuel Roberts, senior entertainment editor
I bought myself an Ultrasport F-Bike back in January, because I know I’ll never, ever be motivated to join a gym (also, I’m too cheap for a monthly membership). I’ve loved using it, and I cycle 11km on it per day, on an average of six days a week. I only burn 250 calories per go, but the mental health benefits are obvious.
Since I have to write about Netflix and Disney Plus for this website on a near-constant basis, too, putting the bike in front of the TV is a great way to catch up on shows I haven’t seen yet.
Mackenzie Frazier, deals editor
Since I can no longer go to a pilates class, I downloaded the Melissa Wood Health app. She has hundreds of guided workout videos and meditations – the best part is you don’t need any equipment, you use your own body weight. The workouts are short – 20 to 30 minutes, and I look forward to doing a class every day. I plan on sticking with the app even when gyms open back up.
Henry St Leger, staff writer, home tech
Oddly, lockdown has me exercising a lot more than usual! I used to stagger half-heartedly to the gym once a week, with the odd jog to get some fresh air, but with my local gym closed – and not much else to do – I’ve taken to using my excursion to get a good 30-minute run in a few days a week.
I’ve found evenings better for not running into other people on the sidewalk (or in local parks), and will take the opportunity to run in windy or wet weather for the same reason – but I wouldn’t blame anyone for sticking to short runs at sunny times too.