The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives almost overnight. For those of us who are used to being active, spending lots of time outdoors and having a busy social life, our daily routines now look very different, making it imperative to keep your body active – both physically and mentally.
Although our usual exercise regimes may need to change, we’re all learning to adapt – it’s better to change than to give up. Working out is vital for keeping your body healthy, which can contribute to keeping your immune system in good working order, too.
Why you need a home workout plan right now
At Garden of Life, we’ve always encouraged you to use the environment around you as your gym, whether that’s by climbing a nearby tree, working out in your local park, or even bouldering at the weekends. Although circumstances have changed, we still believe in making the most of the environment you’re in – even if it’s suddenly a lot smaller.
As long as social distancing measures are encouraged, home workouts are going to become the only option for many of us, but this doesn’t mean your fitness levels have to slide.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, try to get outside for your improvised workouts as much as possible to keep your body moving as you get a much-needed dose of fresh air and some natural vitamin D.
If you don’t have the luxury of an outdoor space for your home workouts, there’s still plenty you can do indoors to keep your body moving. It’s important to set small exercise goals to keep yourself motivated during this time – we all need to stick to a routine as much as possible to make sure bad habits don’t set in.
It’s easy to start a home fitness routine – the current situation means that you can literally roll out of bed and start your workout straight away. Exercising first thing in the morning can help to put you in the mindset for a day of working from home, or if you prefer to exercise after work, it can be a good way to stretch your body and let off steam.
What’s more, by exercising at home, you can be in full control of exactly how clean your environment is, helping to put your mind at risk that you’re doing everything you can to protect your health and wellbeing.
Home workout ideas
In a time of such uncertainty, it’s important to keep your spirits up as much as possible, and exercise can help with that. Physical activity releases endorphins around your body, which can give your mood a boost – something we all need at the moment.
Try to stick to your usual fitness regime as best as you can, adapting it to your current circumstances. Get in a leg day each week where you focus on squats and lunges, remember that push-ups can be an effective home workout for your shoulders, and do plank repetitions to work out your back.
Not got access to your usual weights? Try using bags of flour, hardback books or even full tubs of protein powder.
Most importantly, you need to keep your workout routine as fresh and interesting as possible. Whether that’s by involving your furry companion or by exercises on flashcards, shuffling them and picking a few out every day to keep your regime different every time, be as creative as you can to keep yourself motivated, fit and healthy.
How to keep your mind active
It’s important to keep your body mentally active for as long as social distancing advice remains in place, as without your usual exercise classes and social activities, you might find yourself feeling a little lost.
A good place to start is by making a list of all the activities you could do in the house with the resources you have to hand. A few of our favourite ideas are:
- Make a dent in your to-read pile
- Work your way through the back catalogue of your favourite podcasts
- Do as much batch-cooking as you can to see you through the next few months
- Declutter as much as possible – a tidy house is a tidy mind, and we all need clear headspace right now
- Start spring cleaning; many parts of normal life and seasonal activities might be on hold for now, but spring cleaning can be very therapeutic, and cleaning surfaces regularly can help to kill harmful bacteria that could affect your health
- Use the extra free time you have to learn new skills – these could be professional skills via LinkedIn Learning, different forms of meditation and mindfulness from YouTube or Instagram or a new language via a dedicated app
- Trying out different crafts, creative writing challenges, or finally learning to play that guitar you’ve had under the bed for years are all good ways to keep your brain active, and to take your mind off reality for a few hours – something that’s incredibly important for safeguarding your mental health
- Chat and connect with other people as much as possible, either on the phone, via WhatsApp or over video call; we might have to distance ourselves physically, but we need to communicate with each other in every way we can for the time being