Current government rules state you can only go outside for exercise once per day and must stay local, meaning we may feel the need to get creative and reinvent our lockdown walk/exercise routine a little. They say variety is the spice of life, so walking around your neighbourhood everyday may impact your motivation levels to get moving. However, with rising rates of the virus across the county (and country), it’s essential we continue to follow the rules and protect each other. Staying active is important for our wellbeing and getting outside can help us feel connected to the world beyond our households. So, whether you walk, run, cycle or skate, we have some ideas to make your local exercise routine more interesting…
See your walk in a new light
While your local area may feel a little too familiar by now, it’s likely there are areas you’ve not explored before. Try taking a different route, finding a handy shortcut and seeing where you end up. Be sure to avoid anywhere that is busy and make sure you always carry your mask and hand sanitizer.
If you tend to go out and exercise at the same time every day, try mixing up your routine. Instead of going for a walk around the neighbourhood on your lunch break, head out early and catch the morning frost. Seeing your local area through a different lens may reduce the familiarity and motivate you to get out and explore in the fresh air.
Give your walk a new focus
Why not use your time exercising to tick a couple of things off your to-do list? If you are craving company, or have been meaning to call a loved one, you could take a walk and catch up with them over the phone. You could also listen to an audio book as you walk. This can be a great way to engage your mind and your body in activity while also adding another dimension to your local walk. The library have free audiobooks to keep you entertained and expand your horizons.
Exercise with the four-legged variety
Don’t have a pet? Why not help a neighbour and offer to walk their dog for them? This is great way to stretch your legs and support those in your community who are shielding but have dogs that need walking. Spending time with animals is also known to decrease stress levels and anxiety, giving you just the boost your mental health needs right now.
Embrace the rain
With an average of 16 days of rain in January, it may be time to embrace the weather. While most of us would pick a bright sunny day over a grey wet one, the UK wasn’t blessed with nice weather. Instead of wishing for the spring to hurry up, why not wrap up warm, grab your raincoat, boots and umbrella and revel in the freshness of winter. If no one’s around, you could even jump in some puddles. Alternatively, if you’d rather not brave the elements, you can exercise at home instead and vow to head out next time the sun makes an appearance.
Remove the pressure
When it comes to exercise, it’s easy to get caught up in tracking our workouts and beating our personal best. However not everyone responds well to pressure, especially during a global pandemic when stress is already high. Putting pressure on ourselves can sometimes crush our motivation meaning we end up doing less. Remember: you are not in a race so slow down, take a deep breath and be gentle with yourself. If a gentle wander to the end of your street is all you feel able to do today, that is okay. All movement is valid.
Do you have any creative ideas on how to reinvent your local walk or exercise routine during lockdown? Lets us know in the comments.