So far, 2020 has brought with it some challenges that absolutely no one saw coming, and for all of us, our lives have changed in some way for the foreseeable future with the Coronavirus pandemic. What does that mean? COVID-19 has brought us indoors.
While usually, the phenomenon of working from home, or having some guilt-free time off has us daydreaming of cups of tea on the couch or an 8-hour reality TV binge, it's fair to say that our current circumstances have our minds caught on bigger picture things.
In the face of such turbulence, it's essential to keep control of what you can and strategise the ways you are going to look after yourself, both mentally and physically.
Our number one sanity-saving tip? Exercise, exercise, exercise. Keeping a workout regime from your home will help you ensure you keep structure to your days, take a mental break from this continuous whirlwind, and prevent your body from forming part of the couch.
Think your place isn't set up to workout from home? We're here to help you see otherwise. And on that note, bring in our 10 top tips to establish an effective workout at home.
Form a routine.
Obvious, right? But very important. The usual out-of-home tasks, such as going to work, provide your structure, in which everything else, such as a workout, usually builds around. So when those cornerstones of routine are wobbly, it is even more critical to ensure you set yourself a routine or schedule. Block your time and make sure physical activity makes the cut every day to provide stability.
Rise and shine— get going early.
When there's no 7:48 am train to run for and just a small list of tasks to do each day, we get that the early rise is a difficult promise to keep. But getting up early and exercising is going to help you feel in control and motivated to do more with your day. Some time to clear your head and an early hit of exercise-induced endorphins in the morning will help you start your day on a productive foot.
Dial-in a friend for accountability.
So, our beloved in-real-life buddy system is definitely a no-go at the moment, but how good is technology? If there is one thing that's seeing the benefits of this COVID-19 lockdown, it's technology. Social distancing, as we know, actually means physical distancing, therefore digital socialising is a GO and so are video shared workouts.
Zone it up and strategise the space you have.
Strategise your space to ensure you and your fellow inhabitants know where to go for your workouts. Competing for space might be an issue during the quarantine, so finding a quiet, out-of-the-way area will increase your chances of a successful and uninterrupted workout. Communicating with your housemates or family when you want to use the space will help you here too.
Mix up your regimes. Use the opportunity to try something new.
Our usual daily variation is something we are going to be VERY grateful for VERY soon. While there's much monotonous activity on the horizon, your workout doesn't need to add to that trajectory. With so many options online, choices will be endless from your first Google search. Think online dance classes, YouTube yoga, circuit training (the confined space edition) and more. Need a revision on the sorts of training available? Our guide on training for beginners, here, is an excellent place to start.
Connect to a community.
Keeping connected is going to be a high priority during this time, so why not extend that to your workout? Joining a web-based health group will keep you motivated and accountable to others— a feeling that culminates a sense of purpose and conquers feelings of isolation. Want to stay connected with us? Hashtag #squadSCF on Instagram to keep us up-to-date with your quarantine workouts and embrace that community spirit.
Create competition with your fellow inhabitants.
Are you spending more time with people of whom you really wouldn't have chosen to spend so much time with? Are tensions creeping in? Create some physical and competitive activities that allow you to connect with your co-inhabitants, release that extra energy and mix-up your workout. Who can finish a set of push-ups fastest? Who can hold the plank the longest? Who can unpack the dishwasher the quickest? ... Actually, steady on the last one.
Use what you have.
Got stairs? Hand weights? Skipping ropes? A body? Whatever you have, use it. Look around your space for some inspiration and try to incorporate it into your workout. Chances are you are going to become pretty well acquainted with every nook and cranny and dusty old can of beans in your house in the next while. Everyday household items can find new purposes, and your workout is a great platform. Those wine bottles sitting yellow since you were eighteen? They’re hand weights now.
Keep your body moving regularly.
So your lunchtime stroll around the block or your race to the kitchen for a colleagues birthday morning tea might not be happening any time soon, but those little breaks are essential for clarity of mind and keep circulation happening. You'll need to be more conscious about it, but take a break every few hours to do something physical. Even if it is just a set of star jumps, burpees, a hallway lap of lunges— commit to it. Your friendly (but very serious) competition with your fellow inhabitants will work perfectly here.
Tackle those labour-intensive tasks NOW.
We bet you've got a list longer than aunty Jane's big toe of household tasks that you have no excuse to ignore now. Got a flower bed that could do with some replanting? A garage that needs clearing out? A flatpack piece of furniture that needs building? These tasks can be sweat-inducing and will provide you with the physicality requirement as well as a big fat green tick on your list. Two-in-one, yes, please.
So, there's no denying that times are tough right now, but looking from the other side, we've also all just inherited a whole lot of extra time that we can use for positive productivity if we so choose. Keeping active will help you keep your mind fresh and motivated, your body healthy, and your future self grateful for when we come out the other side, better than ever.