How to keep active while staying at home

Although lockdown measures have begun to ease, gyms and communal exercise equipment are still unavailable for use. While beaches and other outdoor spaces are now open, we know that a number of our clients are still struggling with maintaining an active lifestyle from the comfort of their own homes. 

Current government advice has increased the amount of time that we are all allowed outside (six hours total per day) but not everyone is able to take advantage of that. In addition, unpredictable weather can lead to being more housebound than we would like.

To help you keep active during this time and beyond, we have put together a few ideas for how to introduce more movement to your days:

Video Workouts

Online workouts have seen a huge boom in popularity since lockdown began and they are a great way to really get the blood moving without leaving the house! If you haven’t explored this as an option, there is a great variety of different workouts available.

Yoga

If you are interested in building flexibility and creating a greater sense of calm in your life, yoga may be the workout for you. There are tons of great videos for learning how to do yoga at home on YouTube. 

One of the most popular channels is Yoga with Adriene. On there, you’ll find classes for all levels of yoga ability, from absolute beginner to budding yogi!

Pilates

Pilates is a fantastic way to create muscle tone. It focuses on endurance, core strength and posture. Popularised over the past couple of decades, pilates has actually been around since the 1920s. That’s nearly a century of introducing people to better health!

On YouTube, you can find hundreds of pilates videos, but the most popular ones are by Cassey Ho at Blogilates. She expertly pairs intense workouts with an upbeat attitude that will really help you push yourself.

HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is great for anyone who really just wants to get more cardio into their day. It uses fast-paced body movements with no equipment to get your heart rate up and keep you active.

Many of you will be familiar with Joe Wickes of The Body Coach Tv through either his workouts or his cookbooks. He is a fantastic resource for encouraging at-home health! He even has daily P.E. courses for anyone whose children haven’t yet been able to return to school. 

Home Activities

You don’t have to stick with YouTube videos and classes to stay active at home. There are easy ways to introduce more movement and activity into your life without putting on a video:

Gardening

Gardening has often been linked to a longer life and better health, both mental and physical. Getting out in the garden and really taking care of it can be a wonderful way to stay active without direct exercise. If you have a garden available and a sunny day, try putting on your gardening gloves and having a dig around!

For advice on how to get started, try this handy guide on the Royal Horticultural Society website.

DIY

Similar to gardening, keeping yourself active by giving you and your family DIY projects around the house can inspire a more active lifestyle while also improving mental health. By tackling projects you’ve been meaning to get to or by upgrading your home, you’ll feel more comfortable where you spend the majority of your time.

If you’re looking for ideas on projects for the house, this article on DIYjoy.com is a great place to begin.

Dance parties

You don’t want to garden, all of your home improvements are done, and you’re still looking for ways to be active at home. Great news! This can be as easy as turning on your radio.

Having a dance party at home (even by yourself) is one of the easiest ways to stay active! Turn on your favourite tunes and have fun! Dancing is a fun and simple way to get more movement in. 

Gentle movements

We aren’t all able to do the above activities, some of us have to be a bit more gentle with our bodies, and that’s ok! There are plenty of amazing ways to stay active, even when we aren’t able to push ourselves the same way as others.

Tai Chi

If you’ve never tried Tai Chi, it is a worthwhile endeavour. Tai Chi was originally a martial art from the 13th century but is better known today for the effects it has on relaxation and mobility. The NHS has a useful page about getting started with Tai Chi and many doctors recommend it for those with difficulty maintaining an active lifestyle.  

Should you decide that Tai Chi is for you, YouTube videos are a great way to start while at home. Leia Cohen at Taiflow has a fantastic introductory series available.

Chair stretches

Those of us who have trouble standing (and even those tied to a desk chair all day) can benefit from bringing chair stretches into the daily routine. These types of stretches promote flexibility and prevent muscles from straining or stiffening.

Bupa has a helpful article about basic chair/ desk stretches that you can do without having to stand up.

Standing & step counting

For anyone who is comfortable standing, but is less able to move their body around, there are still good options! Regularly taking a break from sitting to stand up where you are can help to alleviate a number of health problems that come from being too sedentary. 

You can also introduce step counting to ensure that you are being as active as possible. Take more breaks and be sure to walk away from whatever activity you are doing. Even a short distance repeated throughout the day can help.

Many people are concerned that they might forget to take a break. If that is you, try setting an alarm to remind yourself.

Further, if you have a wheelchair or mobility issues you can use the Parasport or NHS website to get ideas about how to stay active and healthy.

We hope that these ideas help keep you active and healthy during these difficult times. Should you have questions about your financial wellbeing, please do get in touch.