We completely understand that things have been uncertain and potentially unsettling over the past months as we are all trying to find comfort in this new, ever changing reality. There are, however, some potentially beneficial opportunities we can take advantage of in these ever-changing times including taking better care of our physical health. Most of us are working from home more now so this is a great opportunity to set fitness goals and discover new, enjoyable ways of moving and improving our physical health.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial for your health in a multitude of ways. It’s beneficial for your heart, your bone density, your muscle tissue volume and helps you feel more energised and happy. This, in turn, improves your cardiovascular health, helps prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis and sarcopenia and can help you manage or improve your anxiety and depression too. No medication will ever be able to provide you with all of these benefits in one so it is really worth investing the time and energy into improving your physical health.
Getting started may seem daunting but the most important thing to keep in mind is that this is all about you. The way you choose to exercise should be something that is enjoyable for you and something you can see yourself doing for life. Also make sure you start at your own personal fitness level – every improvement is fantastic, no matter where you start from.
Are you new to working out? Do you enjoy going for walks? Schedule in a daily 1-hour walk, put on some music or a podcast, wear some comfortable clothes and go for a nice brisk walk. You can also leave your electronics at home and take in nature if you would like to unwind and switch off. If you have always wanted to take up running, this is a great opportunity start and, for example, download a free app that helps you gradually and safely progress like Couch To 5K. If you are an already established runner you can set new goals and share your progress with fellow runners with free apps like Strava. Wherever you’re starting from, this is a great opportunity to progress and improve.
If you’re not comfortable with working out outside, there are a lot of fantastic free workouts on YouTube you can try out for free to see what you might enjoy doing more of. If you would like to gently stretch and get in some calming exercise, try out a Hatha yoga flow. For a more fast paced, agile workout that combines yoga, pilates and dance, try out a Barre class. If you would like to improve your strength, try out a bodyweight or dumbbell strength workout from the comfort of your own home. If you would like to combine both strength and cardiovascular fitness try out a HIIT routine. If you enjoy dancing, jumping rope or mini trampoline, try out routines and see what keeps you motivated and energised. The options are seemingly endless and right at your fingertips. You will likely find something you enjoy if you give it a good try. Always remember: the right workout for you is the one you can stick to.
If you would like to try a good, full body workout, grab a towel, throw on your workout clothes and try out this no equipment workout 3 times a week:
No Equipment Workout
12 push ups (on your knees for beginners)
12 tricep dips (knees bent for beginners)
12 sit ups
12 leg raises
Most importantly, enjoy having the time to improve your fitness, know that all of this uncertainty shall pass and be kind to yourself. Every step you take towards improving yourself is incredibly valuable.