Okay, okay, we know we need to move away from the table where we’ve spent Christmas and New Year… the same table that is now our work-from-home office. We literally haven’t moved for the past month. But the thought of even attempting exercise makes us feel sick to the core. How can people possibly even think about doing pilates in the living room or running when it’s arctic weather outside? If only there were ways to exercise that were just a bit more fun…
Well, lucky for you we’ve done a bit of research and found some activities that will make you feel less dread than a 5k sprint around the park.
1. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
I have two left feet and I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Samba, Rumba or a Foxtrot… however, when the music gets going there’s nothing like a good boogie. And with your favourite tunes blaring out to annoy the neighbours, what’s stopping you? And all that jumping up and down will definitely have some good benefits.
Why not try a few classes with At Your Beat Studio? The studio is normally based near Elephant & Castle, but they’re running online classes for a fiver. You can shake your booty like you’re at carnival, strut around to Britney, or smoothly roll those hips to jazz beats… or just look like a twerp in your PJs… but, hey, there’s nobody to see you do it!
2. Laugh It Off
There’s nothing like a good chuckle. But what do we have to giggle at these days? Well, quite a lot according to laughing guru Dr Madan Kataria of the Laughter Yoga University. He takes hysterical laughter very seriously. He’s based in India, but you can log in via Zoom sessions to join handfuls of people around the world grinning into their computer.
The classes take place three times a week at 12.30pm UK time… and the best part? It’s free! According to the laughter guru, laughter is a great form of exercise. Intentional laughter turns into genuine guffaws – basically you can fake it ’til you make it. And it has positive health benefits too… improving your mood, confidence, brain function and immune system. And you can easily fit a session in during a work lunch. What’s not to love?
3. Play A Video Game
I know what you’re thinking – World of Warcraft isn’t exactly an aerobic workout. It’s true, it isn’t. But there are plenty of other video games that will have you up on your feet and raising a sweat without even knowing it.
There are so many to choose from we don’t know where to begin. Try a Zumba session with Zumba Burn It Up for Nintendo Switch or turn the heat up with a little boxing with Fitness Boxing 2. Alternatively, if neither of those are for you, add Ring Fit Adventure to your Nintendo Switch collection of games. Dash through virtual worlds defeating monsters, all the while building up those abs.
I know what you're thinking – World of Warcraft isn't exactly an aerobic workout. It's true, it isn't. But there are plenty of other video games that will have you up on your feet.
There's still some way to go before we see city commuters using skateboards as their favoured mode of transport. But why not give it a go?
4. Skate Like Avril Lavigne
Ah, remember the good old days of Vans trainers, wide legged trousers and hoodies? Well, whether you’re turning 16 or 30, skateboarding is an option for you. If you’ve never done it before, you can also add it to your list of New Year’s Resolutions.
It has become more and more popular over the years for adults to be taking part in this trend. Although, there’s still some way to go before we see city commuters using it as their favoured mode of transport. But why not give it a go? Put on your woolly layers and venture outside, just make sure to invest in a few knee pads, arm pads and body protection. You need to look the part after all.
Try some out for size online at Slick Willies, a skateboarding shop normally open just off Hyde Park. They have rollerblades and skates to choose from, too, if that’s more your thing.
5. Turn A Walk Into A Hike
If you’re already on your way to Sainsbury’s, why don’t you just go on a little further? When things are back up and running you can try some of these professional walking tours to boost your aerobic heartbeat as well as your knowledge of the city. But in the meantime, you can make do and mend with your own version.
We came up with a list of 8 inspirational solitary walks to get you started (when it was lockdown 1… look how far we’ve come). Also, we’re still allowed to exercise with a friend in this new tier we find ourselves in, so pick your bubble and take them along too. Chatting and walking will hardly feel like exercise, but it sure is.
6. Cycle Around Town With Abandon
A few things put me off cycling when I first started: the Lycra and the cars. Once I realised it was unnecessary to wear so much activewear, it was just the traffic that bothered me. But now we’re in lockdown (can’t remember which number), we can cycle around the city without a worry.
It’s the perfect time to get to grips with a new bike or to test out a Santander one for a snip of the price. There are some great cycling routes available from Strava if you’re happy to get out of the city on a long trek. Or alternatively, stick to TFL’s maps for some smaller roads around town on what they call “leisure routes”. By the time you’ve seen all the sites, you won’t even know you’ve burnt 1,000 calories.
7. Learn Martial Arts
While the nearest I’ve ever got to martial arts is watching Kung Fu Panda, going out of your comfort zone is always a good thing. Over at Tiger Kane Kung Fu, they’re doing online courses for a range of levels.
The club, which is normally open in Angel, is running online classes in Kung Fu and Tai Chi. Not only will you be getting fit, you’ll also be learning how to build up a range of self-defence moves for when the mean streets of London are open again. It’s all about learning to control the mind, body and spirit – which provides a helpful mindfulness boost during these challenging times. So whether it’s just you, the kids, or anyone else in the family, log in and limber up!