With gyms and outdoor exercise equipment closed, it’s important to remember that maintaining a physically active lifestyle supports a healthy immune system and prevents long term illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
If you and your family are well and not self-isolating, you can still exercise in your neighbourhood while adhering to social distancing rules. While outdoor public exercise equipment is closed and not to be used, other outdoor activities like walking, jogging, running, bike riding and strength exercise using bodyweight or resistance bands are all good ideas. (Remember to wash your hands when you get home, even if you didn’t interact directly with anyone else!)
If you’re required to self-isolate or wanting to avoid public areas, there’s many exercises you can do in your own home. Don’t have dumbbells or resistance bands? Use cans of food, milk bottles filled with water, or load up shopping bags.
Couches, walls and chairs can be used for squats, push-ups and dips. Can’t think of cardio exercises? Try star jumps, burpees, running on the spot, or if you have stairs walking up and down them repeatedly.
Are you a gym-goer and don’t have weights at home? Many online fitness outlets are still operating where you can purchase or hire equipment, and have it delivered for a home gym. A spare room or garage is a good spot to set this up.
Even if you don’t regularly exercise, now is still a great time to start. Exercise improves mental health and physical wellbeing. Start at a low intensity and gradually build up your capacity. Speak to a professional like an Exercise Physiologist before you commence any new exercise.
Remember, your exercise needs to be enjoyable, so exercises you like and will continue are most important while social distancing measures remain in place.
If you need motivation or inspiration, try one of these apps, Facebook or YouTube channels with free exercise classes to get you started:
12 Week Body Transformation – Michelle Bridges is giving away a number of free online workout sessions on her 12WBT Facebook page.
Keep it Cleaner (KIC) – Australian duo Stephanie Smith and Laura Henshaw are offering free virtual gym classes on Facebook with equipment-free workout classes at 7am on Wednesdays and Fridays. These can also be watched back later if you don’t make it in time for the live stream.
Nike Training Club – Get fit with free bodyweight-only workouts on YouTube. From strength and endurance to mobility and yoga, these workouts are led by Nike “Master Trainers”.
Planet Fitness – Planet Fitness offers free workouts or “work ins” via Facebook Live, which can also be viewed after the live stream. On occasion these are led by celebrities.
The Kids Coach – If you’d like the kids to get involved, Western Australian Jamie Jones specialises in workouts for children aged 4-12. Join along with your kids using the free videos on their YouTube channel. You can also subscribe to the app.
P.E. With Joe – Joe Wicks of “The Body Coach” fame is holding P.E. classes for kids who aren’t attending school. The classes are live streamed on YouTube then saved so you and the kids can re-watch and participate later.
Yoga with Annie Belcher – For those after a dose of stretching and mindfulness, Melbourne yoga teacher Annie Belcher provides free audio classes. Not quite yoga, Annie declares they’re more “body centred mindfulness with psychological techniques and yogic philosophies as tools to observe and manage thoughts, emotions and sensations”.
Yoga with Adriene – Find What Feels Good Yoga is an online space for yoga practice and growth. Host Yogi Adriene provides a wide array of tools, claiming it’s “your one stop shop for yoga, creativity, wellness, and all things FWFG”.