My Top Tips to Keeping Fit at Home
Sitting in my wee southside Glasgow flat, looking out the window at an absolutely gorgeous March day I’m daydreaming about what I’d rather be doing. Normally on a day as nice as this I would be planning a jaunt out to the nearby Kilpatrick hills after work or even further afield to Loch Lomond but sadly the reality is, because of the government-imposed lockdown we’ve got to get a little bit more creative to get active with keeping fit at home.
With Sports Union activity brought to an abrupt halt and Strathclyde Sport closing its doors for the foreseeable future it’s hard to find the motivation to stay fit and active. However, there are solutions to this lockdown and exercise doesn’t have to be hard work!
Using Your Time Wisely Outdoors
The first thing to remember is that we are still allowed to go outside! Whilst this may change if the pandemic worsens it’s super important to take advantage of this freedom while we can. We’ll get onto more specific exercise in a moment but the first thing to take advantage of is your local area! Government advice allows you to go out once a day either walking, running or cycling (plus there’s currently no limit on how long you can be out for). This could be the perfect opportunity to get to know your local area better and find some valuable green space which has known benefits to your mental wellbeing.
Take a Walk
Glasgow literally translates into “dear green place” and we are incredibly lucky to be situated in a city with such a huge number of parks! Some of my particular favourites and definitely worth exploring are good old Glasgow Green, Ruchill Park, Bellahouston, Queen’s Park, Pollok Park or Kelvingrove (even if it is in GU territory). The Glasgow canal (beginning right behind Townhead) can also be a lovely place to wander along with great views across the city. Most of these parks are no more than a 30-minute walk from the city centre and a quick search of google maps will show you the way. So why not look up your favourite podcast or playlist (or try a totally new one) and get your daily steps in?
Plenty of Running Options
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious or want to improve your cardio fitness (heart and lungs) over this lockdown period why not try a wee jog? You can build it up gradually day by day and you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll build up the miles. The “couch to 5k” programme is a fantastic resource for those just getting into running. Alternatively, if you already feel you have a solid base of fitness you could check out the Strathclyde Harriers social media where they have posted their usual training schedule for you to do on your own or with your flatmate. Who knows, when all this is over you could even enter a race with your new found speed?
Got a Bike? Take a Ride!
If you’re lucky enough to own a bike you could really make the most of your daily exercise allowance. You could cycle as far as you want up or down the Clyde (both ways have perfect cycle paths for miles) or the canal from Townhead as previously mentioned, eventually loops back to the Clyde and is a near perfect 10-mile circle. If you don’t have your own bike the Glasgow Next bikes are still available to hire and Strathclyde students get 50% off rates. If you download the Nextbike app it will tell you where all the bike hubs are and once, you’re finished with the bike you can just drop it off again at the nearest hub.
Get a Bit of Variety with Les Mills Online
If the great outdoors is too stressful right now there’s plenty you can do at home. With Strathclyde Sport closing it has provided all it’s members with a free online “Les Mills” membership which has everything from weighted workouts to yoga to HIIT and much more. Gym member should have received a link through their emails to this. If you’re missing your favourite Strathclyde Sport gym instructors don’t fear, you can see them every lunchtime when they will be streaming live workouts through the Strathclyde Sport Instagram account (@strathclydesport) from 12.15pm-12.45pm. They’ll also be doing a range of workouts like HIIT, circuits and yoga – no fancy equipment required.
Benefits to Keeping Fit at Home
At this tough time, it’s well worth finding some kind of physical activity that gets the blood pumping not only for the physical health benefits but also the mental health benefits. Anxiety and low mood can creep in easily when you’re not in your usual routine or seeing friends and family but physical activity is the most powerful remedy for this. You could even set up workout zoom/skype calls and get your friends and family involved that way. Getting yourself in a routine of working out or moving your body will be a hugely valuable tool in looking after your wellbeing at this time. Lots of online platforms are running set time workouts which can be good to tune in to together or get your whole household involved. One of my personal recommendations which has helped me get into a routine is Joe Wicks’s P.E (@thebodycoach) at 9am every morning and is suitable for the wee yins right up to the auld yins.
Just now is also a great time to work on any injuries or weaknesses you may in your body, whether that could be tight hips (common desk based injury), a sore back or anything else; a quick google or YouTube search will provide you with the tools to help yourself. A few of my personal favourites are Shona Vertue (@shona_vertue) for yoga and pilates, MoveU (@moveu) for correctional movement or Gee at Motion Medicine (@motionmedicine) for ballet and barre related strength.
This is an amazingly innovative time for the fitness and sport industry and we’re beginning to see a huge emergence of new and exciting ways to look after our minds and bodies. So, find something you like, something that makes you feel good and something you can build into your new routine!
Stay safe Strathys and we’ll see you all back at it stronger than ever soon!