Posted by Kate Jackson & Paul Mills

Posted 29 March, 2020 OBI BLOG

We’re all fully aware of the importance of exercise for both its health benefits and mental wellbeing. During all of this uncertainty that we’re living in at the moment, doing one form of activity a day can help to keep our minds in check and improve our mood, energy levels and sleep quality which in turn will help us work more efficiently whilst being isolated at home.

Here’s some of our top tips on how to stay active during isolation:

– Once-daily exercise – Make the most of your ‘get outdoors once a day’ allowance and soak up some fresh air, especially now the weather is getting warmer. This could be as simple as a brisk 10-minute walk to start the day in a positive light – you could even challenge yourself to do a little more every day and before you know it, you’ll be running 5km!

– Set yourself workout goals – this could be aiming to complete a strict push up (or 10!) or hold a plank position for a full minute. If you don’t achieve your goal, keep track and aim for a 5% to 10% increase next time you do the same movement. Now is the perfect time to get working on our weaknesses and turn them into our strengths.

– Try out yoga – this is an ideal form of exercise to perform in the comfort of your own home or garden which will be a huge benefit for both your mind and body. There are thousands of videos on YouTube for yoga workouts that you can follow along for free. We recommend looking at Lululemon’s YouTube channel for some great options.

– Equipment – The chances are that you won’t be looking to break the bank in creating a state-of-the-art home gym! Thankfully, exercising at home requires minimal equipment. Our recommended essential item is an exercise/yoga mat. This will provide for a comfortable and safe workout. Dumbbells or kettlebells are also essential for building muscle and gaining strength. If you’re weights aren’t heavy enough, switch it up to unilateral exercises such as single arm shoulder press or single leg Romanian deadlifts. Other ‘cheap wins’ include resistance bands (great for warming up and adding additional resistance to body weight work outs), foam roller, (great for recovery and mobility), jump rope (also known as the old fashioned skipping rope!) and push up bars.

– Create a routine – Like developing most good habits in life, you’re going to struggle to stick to them if you don’t plan and keep track of your progress. Pull out a pen and paper and write down your weekly exercise routine to keep you motivated and on track. Have a look on Instagram for some #homeworkout inspiration.

– Simplicity is key – There’s plenty of both good and bad fitness content online that can become confusing and potentially overwhelming. Choose a programme or workout that most aligns with your goals. If you’re not bothered about a set programme and just simply want to follow a different workout each time you exercise, FitnessBlender on Youtube provides a great, extensive range of home workouts.

– Don’t be a couch potato – Staying active doesn’t have to mean getting up and doing an intense workout every day. Even cleaning the house or nipping outdoors to do some gardening will be enough to get your heart rate up and keep your mind active.