Working Out When You're Locked-In

Well, here we are again... Lockdown 2.0! Hopefully only for a month this time though. It’s going to be tough, but we managed to get through it before and we can do it again. 


I really want to stress the importance of keeping your mind and body healthy during this time and one of the ways you can do this is through staying active in whatever ways you can. Whether it be bingeing Netflix, reading, gaming or going on walks around the block. 


However, in this article, I’m going to focus on exercising at home and how it’s helped me to maintain my fitness and a positive mental state during lockdown, without any trips to the gym.


Last year, during my first year at uni, I didn’t really exercise at all – the extent of it was going on occasional walks which, looking back now, definitely wasn’t enough considering the amount of food I was eating in catered halls! When lockdown had been announced and I was back at home towards the end of March, I realised just how unhealthy my lifestyle had become and I was determined to change it. 


I have never really been a gym-goer and I was lucky enough to have a parent who exercised regularly. This meant that my mum was more than happy to purchase an exercise bike that we could both use and this is what I started with. I went on it for about 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, for about 2 months. I noticed results very quickly and not only had I lost the stone I had gained in that time, but I also toned my leg muscles which I had always wanted to do. Without making it seem so easy, losing the weight really wasn’t an issue for me due to the fact that I also kept an eye on what I ate, cutting down the snacks and treats and eating a lot more fruit and vegetables. Having the determination to be fitter and healthier whilst also being realistic about how much time you can commit to exercise in a day is the key to success.


Once I had lost the weight, I decided to cut down how often I used the exercise bike to around 3 days a week and try other cardio exercises such as skipping and carrying out a medley of YouTube workout tutorials that targeted different areas of the body. I would alternate between the bike and these home workouts in order to fill up the week and I kept this up until late August just before I returned to uni for my second year.


I was worried that I wouldn’t keep up the exercise living with my uni mates but I was so proud of the progress I had made. I was also reluctant to join a gym during this pandemic, so I knew the solution for me was to carry on completing the YouTube workout tutorials. So, since September up until now I have been working out for around 20 minutes, mainly focusing on my core and then trying to go for a 40 minute walk every other day to get a bit of fresh air too. 


For me, exercising has made me much more confident in myself and body and has stopped me from moping around or staying in bed all day during lockdown. It’s really worth giving it a try and for those of you that are feeling demotivated, I hope that this has given you the kickstart that you need to be more active and look after yourself more. With that being said, exercise is only one way of staying active and if it isn’t for you, there are many more activities that you can take up to stay happy and smiling. Stay safe everyone!