Oli Prior, Head of Physical Activities at Kent Sport gives us his top 10 tips on how to stay active during lockdown…
1. Start Lightly
Whilst it is always tempting to start the new year with high intensity activity this is a sure fire way of making it unsustainable as you will likely give up in a few weeks or worse – injure yourself. Whatever you start doing, start lightly, if you’re doing Joe Wicks’ morning PE for the first time, just do half of it or take the low intensity options, don’t go straight out for a run, start with a fast walk or walk up-hill.
2. Find an Exercise Buddy
Training on your own is hard, stay motivated by finding a like-minded friend or colleague who can train at the same level as you. Current government guidelines permit you to exercise with either other members of your household or support bubble or one other person (so long as you keep your distance and stay local) so rope in your partner or children or your like-mined neighbour or colleague in your new exercise routine
3. Lounge ‘Hi Lo’
Since the first lockdown there’s been plenty of online content available bringing the gym studio to the nations’ living rooms, with so much choice where do you start? Why not ease yourself in with a familiar face on screen and check out Kent Sports ‘Stay Well at Home’
4. Walk This Way!
Walking is one of the most accessible forms of physical activity and has great wellbeing benefits as well as the obvious physical ones. Just getting up from your desk and doing a lap of the office/house once every hour will aid circulation and engage muscles. We are permitted to go out once a day so make sure you are walking, getting some fresh air and enjoying local surroundings.
5. I want to Ride my Bicycle
This is the last music pun I promise! If you prefer to get out on two wheels instead of two feet then cycling offers many training benefits. If you’re already a regular cyclist then virtual platforms like Peloton or Zwift bring the pro-cycling world to your living room but if you’re not quite ready for the Lycra, you can follow online workouts at home with any stationary bike or invest in a turbo trainer (device that attaches to your real bikes back wheel).
6. Get a ‘Virtual Pet’
This is not an invitation to go online and buy a Tamagotchi, but rather imagine you have a dog to walk every day. It’s easy to look at the drizzle on the window and stay inside, but by donning your rain-mac and going out regardless of rain or shine to walk that ‘Virtual Pet’ you will establish that habit mentioned previously and reap the benefits of daily activity.
7. Create a Power Playlist
We all have our own taste in music, but my next tip is to use this, as it is proven that music makes a difference when you exercise. Nowadays, you can build by voice command on your smart speaker or explore one of the many digital radio stations available on your smart phone.
For low intensity or holistic workouts a podcast can help provide structure to a training session or great company on a brisk walk – again it is so easy to download these to your device – many sports stars have turned their hand to these in lockdown with fresh episodes every week.
9. Park & Ramble
While many of you remain working from home, if you are still commuting to campus I challenge you to ‘Park & Ramble’ as you did before the pandemic. Why not allow an extra 15-20 minutes on your morning commute and park as far away as possible on campus and walk to your desk. Our campuses are great for walking all year round so explore a new route each day if you can.
10. Stay Well at Home
The final tip is a reminder to access Kent Sports Stay Well @ Home platform, there is a breadth of content to help you stay active and engaged whilst facilities are closed or you are working from home. We look forward to seeing you all again soon, but for now from all at Kent Sport, stay well and stay active.