Grangers Active Isolation
After another lockdown has been announced (set to last 4 weeks) and gyms are being forced to close yet again, a lot of us are fearing for our mental and physical health over the next month, with the gym being an escape from reality. The rules say that we can exercise outdoors with one other person from a different household. Which suits some people well but with the temperature falling, some people are hesitant to go outside. We’d like to share some tips on how you can remain active both indoors and outdoors in this troubling period of time with room for app and programme recommendations.
Firstly, we still realise how important it is to keep going outdoors, even in the cold weather. Mentally, this is a tough time for people – stresses and worries of infection, losing jobs, money and loved ones are far from helpful for the overall wellbeing of the mind. So, we ask that you please still find time for outdoor adventures to escape the harsh reality of this pandemic, even if it’s just briefly. Plus, there is evidence to show that getting outside in nature is efficient in decreasing anxiety and depression, in turn lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
Not only can getting outdoors help your mental health, but physically your health can also be improved. Breathing in fresh air and walking around the landscapes this wonderful world has to offer will keep you fit and healthy, whilst giving a fighting chance against any possible virus attack. Due to the worries and stresses of the virus, you may be losing sleep, which further harms mental and physical health, luckily moving around during the day can also help you to sleep at night by forcing your body to rest.
Please remember to stick to government guidelines when you’re out walking and ensure that you only go out to exercise once a day. Keeping a distance of 2 metres away from other people who don’t live with you. Following these steps means that you are lowering the risk of infection whilst still getting vital exercise. If you do have symptoms or are in a period of self-isolation, make sure to stay at home to allow for recovery and to prevent the spread of germs. If you’re unwell then save your energy for fighting the illness and worry about returning to an active lifestyle upon recovery.
Exercising at Home
Whether you’ve been forced into self-isolation, don’t fancy facing the cold weather or you’re just social distancing but are well enough to work out, exercising at home will still keep you fit and well and there are plenty of ways you can do it. We understand, ourselves, the difficulty for motivation when exercising at home. It seems a whole different workout compared to the gym and there are far more distractions to stop you from getting a proper sweat on. It is, unfortunately necessary that we workout in our homes and if you haven’t already, now is the time to get into exercising at home, so we’d like to outline some tips.
Most importantly, stretching is vital for warming up your muscles to prevent injuries and can also help to reduce pain in muscles and joints which may arise from symptoms of an illness. If you have equipment at home such as kettle bells then kettle bell swings, deadlifts, high pulls or squats will do the job of what any other weight training would, of course using any form of weight-based equipment is perfect too if you have these at home.
Not having this equipment at home isn’t an issue either – using your sofa for exercises such as squats, dips, push-ups, sit-ups and crunches and push-ups can be done on the floor. Exercising from the comfort of your own home will keep you active for the time being. Even climbing kitchen cupboards (as long as it’s safe) as some people have done on social media means that you’re able to get a full workout even without equipment in your home.
We believe that you’ll be able to keep to these exercises and keep an active body to maintain your health during this awful time, but if you’re struggling, it’s always good to outline a routine or plan so you can keep your day as close to normality as possible. If you’re working from home, try to wake up at the same time as you do for work if you can, set aside your usual travelling time for a workout (up to an hour) and follow your own pre-determined workout or alternatively, follow our tips and tricks in the other pages within this blog. We’ll be covering Workout Apps, Programmes and Tips for Walking and Cycling.
There are many paid and free, highly-rated smartphone apps available for both home and outdoor workouts. They are excellent for people who need guidance in their routine or for people who’d like to try new exercises. Apps such as Home Workout – No Equipments, Seven – 7 Minute Workout, 5 Minute Home Workouts and 30 Day Workout Challenge contain in-app purchases but are free to download and use.
Some of you may not mind paying for apps and may already be using items such as Fitbits to compliment and keep track of your physical activity. The following apps are perfect for workouts at your fingertips. Fitbit Coach doesn’t require a Fitbit to be used but allows you to connect your device to it if you do own one. There is a free option of this app as well as a premium subscription.
You’ve probably also heard of Strava. Although it’s not an app which provides workouts as such, it allows the user to track their performance stats whilst comparing with friends and taking route ideas too due to its social interactivity features. It is perfect for walking, running and cycling but please remember to observe the government guidelines in your country whilst out exercising even if it means changing your familiar route, this app can show you where your friends are exercising, so you can take inspiration from them. Another reason to use Strava is the ability to share photos with captions of your journey and see images your friends have shared too.
Although it’s important to get outside, at times like these a good home workout plan is vital, in case you have to self-isolate or are observing stricter guidelines. Les Mills On Demand boasts access to over 800 workouts, 13 programmes and provides 3-week to 12-week workout plans to suit you. There are workouts for those of you who have equipment at home and workouts for those that don’t, so everyone is well covered by this service. This app has a favourable rating on Google Play, Apple App Store, Roku Channel Store and Amazon App Store. There’s a free trial available, with no commitments and the service can be cancelled at any time during the free trial period. There’s also an online global fitness group on Facebook where users can motivate and engage with each other.
Exercise videos are heavily present throughout the internet, there are some excellent videos on YouTube for an equipment free workout. Take Joe Wicks, for example, who got national attention for streaming P.E. Lessons during the first lockdown, has already posted a 7 Days of Sweat home workout series, Home Fat Burner videos and Ab Blaster videos. In the hope of getting everybody involved, Joe has released a video of home workouts for seniors, so vulnerable older people who are less likely to be safe even taking a stroll in the local park can keep those muscles moving. All of the videos are on YouTube.
The streaming platform, Amazon Prime, has got a range of workout programmes available to stream, including Davina 30 Day Fat Burn, 30 Days of Yoga To A New You, Charlotte's 3 Minute Belly Blitz, Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventures and for those of you who are pregnant and self-isolating, there’s Pregnancy Workouts! Safe Fitness Classes for Prenatal and Postpartum | DanceFit with Monica.
The NHS and all of its staff are serving us so well throughout this awful period and we can’t display enough gratitude to them. They have also given some workout advice on their website which is suitable for everyone. There are sections of six 10-minute workouts, the NHS Fitness Studio which has fitness, aerobics, strength and resistance and Pilates and yoga videos. There’s also getting fit for free with tips and exercise ideas, guidelines for tips, easy exercises and a 12-week fitness plan.
Cycling is a great form of exercise – it’s of a high intensity and there are some excellent trails and views to be explored whilst out riding. Unfortunately, as you well know, the options for exploration at the moment are pretty low. The routes that quietest are obviously the best to follow at this point in time and we want to show you some of our favourites on this page to make your Active Isolation as enjoyable as possible.
Considering the government advice to stay local to your home when exercising, which we wholeheartedly agree with, we can’t recommend specific cycling routes to our readers (this is normally something we like to do). We can, however, recommend a medium that allows you lovely lot to view the best cycling routes in your area and can be narrowed to any distance you’d like to cover. The SusTrans National Cycle Network displays routes throughout the country and their key facts such as distance, duration for both walking and cycling and even the percentage of asphalt within the routes. For those of you who already have a predetermined route you want to take and want it to be unique to you, Cycling UK has a Journey Planner on its website for which you can enter a start and end point and discover the time of the journey, the distance, the calories burned and what volume of traffic you can expect to encounter. Although for the moment this may not be accurate, but we would like to think that when everything returns to normality, people will still be as keen to explore cycling routes.
Of course, riders over 70 and people with underlying health conditions are advised to stay indoors, which we wholeheartedly agree with but that doesn’t mean you can’t cycle. Though we are an outdoor brand and we always encourage those who can to get outside, we understand that some of you can’t and so usually we wouldn’t endorse this but using an exercise bike or turbo trainer is as good as cycling outdoors, for the moment.
At times like these, keeping your hands clean is vital (even more so than before) but you must also do the same with your clothing. If your garments or gear have come into contact with the virus then touching them may infect you. Studies show that the virus can live for at least a couple of days on most surfaces. So, at this time, please make sure that surfaces are regularly cleaned, your hands are washed, your clothes and gear are cleaned but also ensure that you still get the exercise and fresh air you need for the sake of your health.
It isn’t advisable that you put your cycling gloves in the wash with your garments but keeping them clean and odour free is simple with Odour Eliminator. There’s also often the issue of smelly kit which people have a tough time with getting rid of. Even though you aren’t encountering people, you still have to put up with the stink. Active Wash works to remove the odours from your gear instead of masking them with perfumes. With Grangers you can keep your gear clean and odour free!
Is there anything better than a good walk to clear the mind and stretch your legs? It’s an easy workout which yields great results, an hour’s walk can burn 300 or more calories and gives you an opportunity to truly take in the breath-taking sights this country has to offer, something you may not be able to absorb as much whilst riding a bike.
Usually, we like to encourage people to travel as far as possible to explore the country they live in but, of course, it’s currently not possible so traversing landscapes you are already familiar with is the best way to enjoy your time outside. It’s vital to stay 2m away from everyone from outside of your house and make sure to walk in open spaces to give you the best chance of achieving this. Remember that you’re allowed to exercise with members of your household, so why not take the opportunity to spend time with each other, something that has been overlooked throughout the 21st century.
We’d like to help you find you nearest outdoor space that’s suitable for walking in, our usual favourites such as the Peak District and the Lake District are out (unless you live locally) so we’ll point you towards a site tailored to pointing the best walking spots near you. Thanks to Walking Britain you can see walking spots that are within your area, the very maximum we would advise to travel to walk is 10 miles. It is advised that the time spent walking is far greater than the time spent driving to the destination, so it should be in your locality. The government insist that visitors aren’t allowed to travel to the most popular areas of the country to protect the local residents from the virus.
Since the start of this pandemic, the advice from the WHO has been clear, keep your hands clean, wash them every time you enter your home, before you eat and after you sneeze or cough to slow the spread of the virus. As a business, we understand the need to keep everything clean from your hands to your clothing. We have now introduced Hand Sanitiser to our range in the aim of helping you to stay fully protected on all of your adventures. Keeping your walking footwear clean is also included in this and means that it can do its job properly – removing dirt stops the boots from absorbing excessive water and prevents the fibres from being damaged. Proofing your footwear will also help keep them in use for longer, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them now that some shops are closed, and you’re protecting the investment you have already made in your footwear.
So that’s it for our tips for keeping active during the second lockdown. We love to see the creative ways that all of you are either keeping to your usual active routines or even trying something new. If you fancy getting involved on social media, please use #grangersactiveisolation and #withgrangersyoucan. Some of our followers engaged with this during the first lockdown, on all social platforms and we’d love to see more of your self-isolation and lockdown adventures. Stay safe – take care of yourselves, your loved ones and each other. Don’t forget, we can do this together!