Exercise in lockdown

When Boris Johnson locked the UK down, did we truly understand the enormity of what was happening? The advice was clear but it also begged a lot of questions. They might seem silly or flippant at first glance, but with an overwhelming desire to behave properly and adhere to the guidelines, it can be hard to know what’s right.

Just to be clear, though, a party for 25 with a groaning buffet table is totally wrong.

As things stand – and are set to stay in place for a few weeks yet – we can leave our homes to take part in exercise once a day. It’s not always clear what sort of exercise this is – a walk, a bike ride or a run – but what of kayakers or horseriders?

The rules may be in danger of turning the country into ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, where some people have access to wide expanses of countryside at their back doors, while others must stick to their local areas, which are built-up and have a lack of greenery. It’s no surprise that parks are facing influx of people, many of whom are trying to stay 2m apart, while others chance their arm at a doze in the sun. Sunbathing, it appears, doesn’t count as exercise so keep moving when you are out.

Good citizens

There has been evidence in the press that some people think joggers are selfish for huffing, puffing and showering sweat everywhere. It’s unlikely that joggers’ sweat or breath will reach other people, but it’s important to remember that people are just very scared at the moment. It’s a moral dilemma but, by a jogger going out of their way to avoid noticeably breathing near others, it shows wonderful community spirit.

Driving it home

Another good question for the collective conscience and one has that filled social media threads… Sometimes, to exercise away from people, it needs a car journey. Driving for miles has been clamped down on actively by many police forces and discouraged in general. The car parks of many public spaces have been closed, including common land. This means that you can enjoy it freely if you are in walking distance but prevented from accessing by car.

Exercising outside of peak times is also encouraged, but it’s unlikely that you will find yourself the only person anywhere. There are some basic hygiene standards to follow that might seem overkill in the middle of a forest, but we don’t yet know what we don’t know about Coronavirus and how long it lingers. To this end, avoid touching things, such as gates, stiles and latches when you are taking your daily exercise.

If you have managed to pick up some speed and work up a good sweat, it’s likely that you’ll shower upon your return home. If you didn’t manage to break into a sweat, you might be less likely to wash. However, remember to wash your hands as soon as you come into the house. This is a good practice anytime you come back into your home.

Get streaming

If once a day just isn’t cutting it, the digital world is bursting at the seams with streamed workouts for you to enjoy without leaving your living room. Joe Wicks has a daily PE class on YouTube. While it’s aimed at children, it’s open to everyone.

If you have always fancied looking like Thor, you might like to try Chris Hemsworth’s Centr app, which has a free 15-day trial.

And, as if they don’t already do more than enough for us, the NHS has an online fitness studio with videos to help you get dancing. You can try La Bomba or even belly dancing!