Lockdown workout tips


Here we are again with the least eagerly-awaited sequel since Police Academy 7, this year’s second national lockdown for England and a continuation of Wales and Scotland’s respective lockdowns. As gyms close once again and we head towards winter, keeping up a fitness routine is undeniably harder than ever. However, exercise provides so many benefits including improving cardiovascular health, boosting your immune system and keeping your bones and muscles healthy. It even improves mental wellbeing, and obviously, it can go some way to helping you lose weight too.

ActivBody, creators of the pocket gym strength training device Activ5, have shared their expert tips on ways you can incorporate bursts of exercise into your everyday life, without the need for a gym or fancy equipment.

The 30/30 desk challenge

It’s no secret that sitting at a desk for long periods of time does no favours for your physical health. But it can be easy to clock up hours at a time in front of your screen without moving, especially when working from home. ActivBody recommends setting a thirty-minute timer to remind you to get up and move around your house to negate the effects of sitting; you may notice your productivity increases too.

Give our 30/30 desk challenge a try: do two exercises (30 reps or 30 seconds) every half an hour. Some to try include:

  • 30 bodyweight squats 

  • 30-second march on the spot (or jog on the spot)

  • 30 wall push-ups (or on the floor, knees or toes for advanced version)

Stair workouts

If you live in a house and have a set of stairs, you can incorporate them into your workouts to add some variety. If you have a wooden floor, make sure you take your socks off or put trainers on so you don’t slip.

Some great ones to try include:

  • Stair push-ups – place your hands on the second or third step and do push-ups as normal

  • Step-ups – repeatedly step up and down on the bottom step, increase speed for more intensity and elevate your heart rate

  • Tricep dips – sit on the bottom step with your hands by your side. Lift your bottom off the step and bend your knees (or keep your legs straight for a challenge), then bend at the elbows so you’re lowering towards the floor. Ensure your elbows are pointing backwards as you dip. Keep your hips high and core engaged.

Circulation boosting exercises

Do you find you’re having to put the heating on because your hands and feet are cold when working from home? Before heading for the thermostat, try these circulation-boosting exercises to save money on your energy bills and increase your own energy levels!

  • Heel lifts – from a standing position raise your arms overhead while coming onto you tip-toes, hold for five seconds before lowering your arms by your side and heels to the floor. Repeat 10-15 times

  • Seated or standing punches – clench your fists and alternate punching out ahead with one arm at a time, keeping the other fist in a ‘block’ position in front of your chin. Repeat 30 times in total (15 each side)

  • Mummy kicks – stand straight with your arms raised in front of you at shoulder height. As you cross your arms over and under each other, kick one leg at a time out in front of you. Repeat for 30 seconds

Multi-tasking movements

If you’re really struggling for time in your day, you can incorporate short bursts of exercise while doing other activities. Why not try some of our recommendations?

  • Sit on the floor while watching TV to work different muscles, with your legs out in front to stretch out your hamstrings or place the soles of your feet together and gently try to ease your knees to the floor.

  • Pace around the garden or a room in the house while taking a phone call

  • Do some bodyweight squats while waiting for the kettle to boil

Don’t forget the outdoors

Although winter is associated with being cold and wet, we do still get bursts of glorious sunshine and there is something refreshing about those crisp winter days. Boost your mood by heading outside for a walk or up the anté with one of the below activities that are quick to set up if the weather changes:

  • Swingball in the garden

  • Attempt a trail run in your local countryside

  • Shuttle runs in the garden. Add a floor touch at each side to really work your legs.


About the Author /

jones@manvfat.com

MAN v FAT editor, writer, Pepsi Max addict.

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