Over lockdown I have had to get creative with my workouts since the gym has been closed, and by doing so discovered that I won’t be renewing my membership. The variety of activities you can do from both the comfort of your own home and the fresh outdoors, outweighs the exercise machines crammed into a room for me. The health benefits from being outside, such as increasing your vitamin d, lowering your blood pressure, along with the overall sense of freedom seemed to also make my workouts less strenuous.
So, what exercises can you do?
- Skipping – let’s throw it back to one of our childhood favourites
Simple yet effective and won’t burn a hole in your purse, the jump rope is a quirky alternative to get your heartbeat racing. With lockdown still looming over us, this lightweight and portable rope is ideal; you can use it in your garden or even find a nice spot somewhere to do a quick 30 minutes, which can burn up to 300 calories. By using the balls of your feet, you can ensure that your joints stay protected, and having full control over the rope allows you to go at whatever momentum suits you best. Engaging and strengthening your legs muscles, arms and brain will help to increase your muscle mass and improve your coordination.
- Roller Skating – who wants to stroll when you can roll?
Now this one may require some practice if you’ve never done it before, but it’s never too late to learn a new skill, especially as we all have some extra time on our hands at the moment. A casual skate around for 30 minutes can burn up to 250 calories, and it can be enjoyed with family and friends to increase the fun. Roller skating allows you to build up your leg muscles and work on your balance and stability, all whilst being easy on your joints. Just remember to wear a helmet!
- Rock Climbing – reaching the top both physically and mentally
This doesn’t have to be some crazy outdoor cliff…unless you want it to be! Using your mind to get creative and solve your pathway to the top, is both physically and mentally challenging, and once you reach your goal this can be a real confidence booster. Climbing gets the whole body involved by forcing you to stretch out your arms and legs and use your strength to lift your body weight. Strength training is especially important to reduce the risks of osteoporosis, and this activity will help you to build up and maintain your bone density. If you need some assistance you can always get a friend to help out with the ropes, or you can add a little competition to see who can climb to the top first!
- Open Water Swimming – open water, open mind
When you enter the cold water and get the sensation stinging skin and a quick loss of breath, your brain releases the natural painkiller (endorphins) to reduce it. As a result, this also heightens your mood and gives you a sense of contentment, relieving stress. In addition, it triggers the part of your nervous system (PNS) that repairs the body, this relaxes your entire body making it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep. Swimming freely in a body of water is great for putting a pause on hot flushes whilst still building up your muscle, and the more muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn. The benefits of cold water are extensive: exfoliating your skin, increasing heartrate, boosting circulation and your metabolism, strengthening your immune system and many more.
- Hula Hooping – get into the swing of things
In just 6 weeks this fun exercise can help you to lose up to 3.4cm around your waist and 1.4cm on your hips! You control how intense you want the workout to be by opting for a weighted hoop or not, then engage your core and watch your body transform. With low-impact on your joints, whilst increasing strength in your hips and legs for better range of movement, it’s a no brainer really. Making sure you’re staying in the zone and focused on not letting that hoop fall will also help to stimulate and focus your brain, reducing stress and anxiety.
- Sock Sliding – no equipment, no problem
This fun workout requires two simple things: a pair of socks and a nice smooth surface. Making sure you are focused on every movement by keeping your mind and core engaged will help you to stay balanced, and allow you to get the most out of this strength training exercise. Depending on what YouTube video you decide to follow or if you make up your own routine, you will be able to get the whole body involved by targeting some key areas, such as arms, abs, legs and bum. A popular 10 minute sock workout YouTube video is by Pamela Reif, she promises abs of steel and clean floors!
Still not convinced?
How about if you could bring the gym to you? Oliver Green PT, a regular Rejuvage contributor, offers rented gym equipment at an affordable price. More and more people are getting on their spin bikes or rowers at home, you can even use them while watching Netflix! Find out more