5 Ways To Work Out That Won’t Make You Hate Exercise
Well, here we are again! Lockdown part two is well and truly underway, and gyms have once again packed up the weights, switched off the treadmills and closed their doors.
Admittedly the desire to stay in shape does start to slide as the winter months roll in, with the colder weather demanding we bury ourselves in clothes and Christmas snacks starting to appear in abundance, but it’s still important to get some form of exercise throughout lockdown.
Even if you’ve never been much of a gym-goer, the closure of non-essential shops and restrictions on meeting up with friends will likely have an impact on the amount you’re moving day-to-day, as there are less reasons for you to leave home and get out and about.
As such, we need to try and make up for that lost activity in a lockdown-friendly way. Now, as I mentioned earlier, we don’t have the blessing this time around of warm – well, by England’s standards – weather. Being challenged to run 5k is bad enough in the sunshine, but with bracing winds and lashing rain, it’s not even worth thinking about.
Instead, UNILAD has compiled a list of workouts that are actually somewhat bearable, and, dare I say it, even pretty fun.
1. Online zumba or dance workouts
I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase ‘dance like no one is watching’, but while we’re in lockdown, you actually can. Draw the curtains, lock any partners, roommates or family members out of the room and find a YouTube workout to step, clap and spin your way through.
There are dozens of dance workouts to choose from depending on your preferences – you could opt for a sassy pop video and pretend you’re bouncing your way through a music video, or maybe try something new with a bit of salsa or hip-hop. Who cares if you can’t quite master the steps? If it gets your heart rate up, it’s working.
You’ll have no trouble finding a video if you search ‘dance workout’ on YouTube, but if you’re looking for recommendations then the PopSugar Fitness page is a good place to start, with a fun range of videos including ‘Latin Dance Workout For Your Living Room’, ‘Sexy Cardio Dance Vixen Workout’ and a Bollywood dance workout.
2. Challenges with friends
We might not be able to see our friends during lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with them. To help stay connected and encourage communication with friends, you could try setting up a challenge you all have to complete by the end of lockdown, or battle against each other in a bid to become the best at a certain type of exercise.
You could challenge each other to find the most unusual homemade ‘weight’ – though please don’t put any cats, dogs or fragile items in danger while doing so – or maybe do some Zoom races to see who can run around the house and collect a list of random items in the shortest amount of time.
Make the games more interesting by adding in something you can all look forward to at the end of lockdown, like a night out where the winner is awarded a few free drinks.
3. Exploring new places
Unlike the first lockdown, this time around we have the luxury of unlimited exercise time. Use the freedom to your advantage by getting off the beaten path and exploring more of your local area.
You could plan your venture ahead of time by researching hidden gems online, or simply stock up on water and snacks before heading out and seeing where the world takes you.
It might take some time to find somewhere scenic or peaceful, but at least you’ll be getting your steps in and, let’s be honest, there’s not much else to do! Plus, you might just find your new favourite spot.
4. Video games
No matter how much our parents might have complained back in the day, there’s no denying that video games have their benefits. The rise of fitness games means that it’s no longer all about sitting on the sofa and staring at the TV screen; there are plenty of games to get you up and moving.
Games like Just Dance, Wii Tennis, Nintendo’s Ring Fit or fancy new virtual reality games like Beat Saber all encourage exercise, but playing a video game helps you forget about the fact that you’re actually working out.
Of course, this workout option comes with a price tag, but so does a gym membership! If you think you’re going to prefer working out at home full time, then buying these kinds of video games is really an investment. At least, that’s the argument you can use with anyone in your household who might be against the idea.
5. Bike rides
What’s better than walking? Cycling! Not only does it get your blood pumping and help you go further on your adventures, but you can also enjoy the feeling of soaring like an eagle down any hills you might find yourself at the top of.
A lot of people enjoyed riding bikes when they were younger, zipping up and down the streets with friends and showing off about whether they could do it without holding onto the handlebars, but for some reason bike riding dies out for a lot of us as we get older.
Lockdown is the perfect opportunity to rekindle that love, and online second-hand sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace are the perfect place to start. Try getting your hands on a cheap bike, do some research about good cycling routes, and the world is your oyster!
Again, this type of exercise requires an investment – unless you’re lucky enough to already have a bike – but it’s definitely one that would pay off in the long run!
Lockdown certainly isn’t where we’d like to be at the moment, but unfortunately it’s unavoidable, so the best thing to do is make the most of it. Trying out some of these workout ideas could result in a new hobby that will last a lifetime, but at the very least they will help you stay healthy!
Not to sound too much like an overly-peppy trainer, but come on guys, we can do this!
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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