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Meeting physical activity / exercise guidelines under lockdown

Updated: May 29, 2020

The following information is general and may not be suitable for your current health status, see my previous disclaimer post. I'll give exercise guidelines relating to some of the more common medical conditions in later posts, but for now let's keep you going and help you maintain the fitness improvements that you've already achieved with me at my classes, personal training sessions, or other classes you may have attended.

I know it's difficult, everyone's normal routine has just gone under the present situation and I also know, because so many people tell me that it's, for some, extremely difficult to exercise on your own. So a few ideas to help you. Now you don't have to do planned structured exercise to increase energy expenditure over resting levels and reap fitness benefits. Activities of everyday living such as housework, washing the car, gardening, diy, walking to the shops all contribute, walking probably being the most pleasurable and rewarding. As good as they all are for you, alone they don't meet the recommended guidelines for older adults. So a few more ideas to include planned structured exercise. If you're attending any one of my online classes with the exception of the core stability / flexibility class you're meeting half of the weekly minimum recommendations for physical activity for muscular strength, balance and coordination.

I can't stress enough and it's ultra important to always include warming up, cooling down and stretching in your own sessions. I'm going to give the rationale for warming up, cooling down and post exercise stretches in a future post. In fact my normal warm up and cool down that you do in my classes would be a good little cardio training session on its own, followed by some stretches.

Equipment you may have at home and could use for your resistance workouts could include: fit balls, mats, resistance bands or tubes, hula hoops and dumbbells. Resistance bands / tubes and dumbbells are the most useful. If you don't have any, tins of baked beans etc or any container that can be filled with water and held comfortably makes a good substitute.

Do your resistance exercises to challenge all of the major muscle groups and to avoid musculature imbalances which would pull your body out of alignment work opposing muscle groups. As an example, if you did sit ups to strengthen your tummy and didn't do dorsal raises to strengthen your lower back then you could end up with short, tight, strong tummy muscles and over stretched, week lower back muscles, leading to poor posture and lower back problems.

You don't have to do all of your resistance exercises in one go. You can make it more manageable by doing upper body one day, lower body abs and core another.

My favourite is a Fitness walk, similar to a health walk but at another level and of far more benefit. All you need for this is a resistance tube as I use in class, they cost around £9.50, and your imagination. During your walk you could put in some effort and recovery using any landmarks such as lampposts, trees, benches, hills etc.This is a fantastic and time efficient way to increase cardio respiratory fitness. Benches / seats can be used for sit to stand, standing press ups, seated rows and step ups. Lampposts, trees, play park equipment can be used as an anchor for your resistance band for standing rows or chest press. Your body can be used to anchor your resistance band for upright rows, shoulder press, chest press, lateral raise, bicep curls, triceps extensions and of course you need nothing other than your body to do squats, calf raises, lunges and balance. So there you go, a home gym, a fantastic workout, I know because I do it, other than I run as well as walk, all for £9.50.

I hope that helps and gives you some ideas. Your physical and mental well being is important, probably more so now.

If you would like a personal exercise programme designed to take into account your current health status, using what ever equipment you may have, contact me with your requirements using the contacts page.

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