When the UK went into lockdown and closed all the gyms I was left with a mixture of feelings from fear and anxiety, to curiosity and a new sense of freedom. Since 2013 I have pretty much spent time in a gym like it was my second home. Instead of sulking, and trying to obtain all the equipment my gym offers, I choose to see it from a different perspective about how I can switch up my ‘gym’ goals. In the gym I would be focusing more on strength training so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to switch to cardio based sessions, lots of core work and mobility and flexibility.
I have thoroughly loved running up and down Armley 160 steps (known as 161 killer steps), which are located 5 minute walk from home. Although I’ve done these on a few occasions before lock down, re starting them initially was so hard! Much tougher than the stepper machine in the gym! At first, I struggled each time I got to the top, gasping for air and needing to sit down for recovery. However, with consistent effort and listening to my body, and doing the steps at least 3 times a week I have noticed a massive improvement with my cardio fitness, I recover much quicker and no longer need to rest at the top and overall can do more sets. This got me thinking about how liberating it feels to get out into the fresh air, and make the most of the environment to improve my health.
What is around your area which you could start to make use of? Do you have lots of stairs you could go try climb up and down? Do you have a nice park you could jog around? Do you have access to calisthenics bars you could go hang from and do some pull ups, dips?
Not attending the gym has allowed me to listen to my body more, rather than it being a habit to just go anyway, regardless of how I felt, this led to soreness every single day of my body. I never realised how much of my training involved a social aspect too.
What I also have fell in love with is the abundance of online live classes, taking away any travel constraints, it is now been easier than ever to join a class straight from your living room! Granted it is not as good when the instructor cannot see your form to physically correct you, they are still so amazing. I recently done a yoga class and I was so emotionally moved as if I was sitting in the studio thanks to Susi Wick (IG- @susiwick) Flow to the beat. I also got super sweaty and tired from a 30 minute online calisthenics class (with Sudden Movements Gym – check mindbody app to book!) and also done an amazing movement class with Ben King (IG- @brking89) which left me feeling so good, moved and connected.
So instead of making the excuse that your gym is closed, so you cannot workout – accept that your life is different, your routine has changed- but how incredible does it feel to know that you could actually improve and become a fitter healthier version of yourself without relying on the gym?
Please comment below to share your experiences of lockdown when it comes to exercise? Have you noticed any improvements?