How to get out and get active during lockdown

Sian Hacketton 26 November 2020
woman on a hike

Exercise ideas to help you maximise your wellbeing and stay active during the winter lockdown.

Lockdowns can get pretty boring, pretty quickly. The last one was bad enough, but this time things are even colder and wetter. Throw in the fact that gyms are closed and you’d be forgiven for wondering what you can do to keep active.

But, it’s important that we still do our best to keep fit. Exercise is so important for not only your physical wellbeing but also your mental health. In a time where all of us could use a bit of extra self-care, we’ve put together some exercise ideas that can keep you healthy during lockdown.

1. Long walks and hikes

This is the easiest lockdown workout to practice. It might seem like all you've done this year is walk, walk, walk, but have you taken the opportunity to explore somewhere new in your local area? Try walking somewhere green, whether it’s your local park, the woods, or the nearest National Trust area (find yours here), nature will lift your mood.

Still not convinced? The leaves on the trees are still turning, so it isn’t too late to go snap some Instagram-worthy pics.

And if pretty leaves aren’t enough to tempt you, keep an eye out for cute animals instead:

A cow on Ditchling Beacon, near Brighton

2. Cycling

Do you have a bike that’s been sitting in the shed for years gathering dust? If so, there’s never been a better time to get reacquainted with it.

The roads are quieter than usual, so why not use the opportunity to cycle the routes you might usually drive down. It feels like a completely different journey and it’s so empowering to know you’ve taken yourself there by using your own strength.

If you’re in the mood for something more adventurous, find your nearest wooded area and try mountain biking. Don’t wear your favourite workout gear though, it’s bound to be muddy at this time of year.

Remember to stay safe and don’t forget your helmet.

3. Running

Whether you’re a track and field pro or a self-declared couch potato, getting out for a run is a great way to escape the stresses of your day. Get those trainers on, hit the road, and benefit from the endorphins you’ll get!

If it was the heat that put you off running in the first lockdown, now is the perfect time to try again. The crisp mornings are perfect for keeping you cool and the dark evenings are great if you want to hide the fact you might not know what you’re doing!

Need inspiration? Try the NHS Couch to 5k if you want to challenge yourself.

4. Outdoor workouts

Spice up your home workouts by doing them outside. The fresh air will make you feel great and, if you do it in a public area, like a park, you get the added bonus of dog-spotting.

Check out YouTube fitness channels such as Pamela Reif and Chloe Ting, for content that’s tailored to people from all levels of experience.

5. Yoga

Yoga can be practised inside or outside, meaning it can be tailored to your needs that day. Yoga has many physical and mental benefits, making it the perfect way to start or end your day, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk studying.

If you’re in need of inspiration, apps like Down Dog are currently offering free subscriptions for students. There are also plenty of great channels on YouTube, such as Yoga with Adriene, who does a brilliant 30-day yoga challenge.

It might tire you out, but at least you can finish your practice with a lie-down.

Lockdown is hard for everyone, and sometimes it might seem overwhelming, but getting outside and moving your body can sometimes be just the thing you need. If the weather is putting you off, think of the expression, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Wrap up warm and get out there!

If you’re struggling please reach out for help. Here are some mental health services that can help you during difficult times.

What’s your lockdown workout routine? Join our panel today and let us know. You’ll get a free £10 Amazon voucher when you sign up.

Sian Hacketton 26 November 2020