Like lots of us, you’re probably missing getting out and active in our forests during this current lockdown period. Following the latest government guidelines, we are encouraging everyone to stay local and only leave the house for your daily exercise. But if you don’t have a forest near to you, don’t worry, as having to spend time outdoors close to home or limited space indoors doesn’t have to stop you getting or keeping fit.
We’ve put together five ideas to help you stay active whilst spending more time at home!
Forests give us so much space to be active in all sorts of ways, but being at home doesn’t have to restrict you. Take a look around your home or garden and think about how you can best use it to achieve your fitness goals.
Is there a way you can adapt your routine or activity to fit the outdoor space you have available? Or if you lack outside space, could you use stairs, chairs or anything else as part of an indoor workout, safely of course. Be creative and with a bit of thought and imagination, you can still maintain and improve your fitness routine while staying at home.
Setting yourself a challenge can be a great way to focus your exercise, no matter what level of fitness you have. For example, if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, the NHS Couch to 5k programme will support you to go from walking to running in your local area. Download the weekly podcast to get started - you can even choose to be coached by celebrities including Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sangeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
If you’re already a seasoned runner, challenge yourself to explore the area near your home by finding a new route each time you go out. Or start tracking your runs on our Strava club and compete with other runners and share your experiences. It doesn’t matter what it is, set yourself a personal goal and go for it! Remember that any kind of exercise has a knock-on effect on your mental wellbeing, so go on and give yourself a boost.
From HIIT classes and dance-based fitness to yoga and Pilates, there are plenty of exercise classes and activities available online so it’s the perfect opportunity to try something new. Cross-training is a great way to keep up your fitness levels and shake up your usual routine.
Not sure where to start? Sport England has a list of suggestions. There is something for everyone, whatever your level of fitness or ability, including things to do by yourself and things you can do with your family.
Now is a great time to focus on strength training or conditioning workouts. They’re easy to do indoors and will keep you fit and strong, ready to return to your regular outdoor exercise after the lockdown ends. There are lots of videos online to support you, from all-round workouts to more specific ones tailored for cyclists or runners.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any equipment – there are lots of simple exercises you can do just by using items around your home or without anything at all. This Girl Can has put together a useful list of exercises to get started at home, from tabletop press-ups to living room wall sits – and they’re great for people of all fitness levels.
If you’re using your time outdoors to exercise, why not take the forest with you? Or let it into your home while you stay active indoors?
It could be a playlist of songs that remind you of being in our forests or a woodland soundscape to provide a peaceful backdrop to your activity. It can be something to get your heart pumping or something to provide a bit of calm – whatever works for you or suits the activity, whilst helping you connect to the forest.
Check out our favourite nature-focused podcasts for inspiration.