How to get fit during lockdown
We all know how tough it is at the moment to stay in shape. In a bout of post-lockdown optimism, we garnered the courage, bit the bullet, and bought a gym membership (or started attending The Studios Gym, free for all residents!). And then – ‘Lockdown 2.0’. The gyms are shut, and we are, yet again, feeling hopeless and like there is nothing we can do… but there is! There are countless ways that you can stay fit, within the law, and without leaving your studio. The magical world of YouTube, Amazon, and Zoom have opened up endless possibilities and unlimited ways of keeping us on track with our goals. So, here are five easy ways to get fit this lockdown, without going to the gym.
Calisthenics is a great way to work out, as it relies entirely on your own body weight, meaning you don’t need any professional equipment at all (although using some regular household items like bottles and books can be useful). There are hundreds of different exercises you can do that can all be found with a quick google search, and you don’t even have to leave your bedroom; ideal in a studio flat! Based on a highly scientific approach to effectively build muscle in all the main muscle groups, who needs dumbbells or a leg press?
Here are some great calisthenics articles and workout plans:
Often overlooked as just a form stretching, do not discount the wonders of mat-work Pilates; there really is no better way to get abs. Based on Joseph Pilates’ original 34 exercise routine, this is the ultimate all-rounder workout – core strength, cardio, flexibility, and deeply therapeutic and mind-centring. You can either read Joseph Pilates’ book, ‘Return to Life through Contrology’, which is incredibly straightforward and gives you each exercise step-by-step so you can teach yourself the routines, or you can find loads of video classes and demonstrations on YouTube, which are completely free!
Here is a link to Joseph Pilates’ book and some great YouTube tutorials:
This form of workout obviously needs no introduction or explanation – Probably the oldest form of cardio, going for a run is not fancy, advanced, niche, or complicated, and we all know it as one of the easiest and most efficient ways to lower our heart rate and burn fat. We all loved it as children, but for some reason we seem to do it less and less as we grow older. However, it’s a great way to get fresh air, be with nature, clear your head, and release some endorphins, all while getting in a good workout. Plus, with the new restrictions, it’s completely legal, and often a great excuse for going out!
Here are some great tips to get you started, and the NHS’s ‘Couch to 5K’ initiative:
Resistance bands workouts are a cheap, incredibly easy-to-use solution to all the complications of gym machines. You can get a set for under £10 on Amazon, and you can use them for all sorts of workouts, like calisthenics, Pilates, stretching, or as an alternative to weights. They’re also very useful for HIIT, the ultimate extreme cardio workout, which you can do either by yourself or with one of countless, free classes on YouTube. Incredibly versatile, and great for both muscle-gaining and fat-burning, these small bands of joy mean you’ll never want to leave your room for exercise again!
Here’s a link to buy your own resistance bands and one for a great resistance band HIIT workout:
Zumba is the perfect intersection between fun and cardio. It’s incredibly easy, you don’t need to be a pro, and you don’t need to leave your room – you might annoy your downstairs neighbours though! The best way to bring back all the excitement of dancing on a night out whilst also working out, you can do Zumba online, or, once you pick up the exercises, you can just do it yourself. To be frank though, you don’t really need to know the specific routines; just blast your favourite music and dance around for a bit – you’re guaranteed to burn some calories!
Here’s a link to the official Zumba website, and a great free class on YouTube: