With lockdown 2.0 in full swing and the nights drawing in, it can be difficult to feel motivated, especially when it comes to keeping fit.
The closure of gyms has left many people and their fitness routines at a loose end. But specialists in exercise science are encouraging people to keep active through lockdown and the rest of winter.
Tom Cowan is an exercise physiologist. Originally from Lincoln, he now works on Harley Street, London which is home to many private healthcare clinics and is the world-famous centre of medical excellence.
He said that exercise can benefit us physically and mentally. It is an effective way to improve your mood, de-stress, reduce anxiety and reduce the risk of depression.
He also said: “Exercising at a moderate intensity can optimise immune function, boosting white blood cells and especially at this time of year helping us fight off colds and potentially even COVID.”
Tom specialises in the rehabilitation of cancer and cardiac patients. Specially designed programmes help them to regain their strength after treatment.
Since the first lockdown, Tom and his patients have moved to online sessions which means some clients have had to be creative.
He said that you don’t need to invest in equipment to be able to exercise at home. There are household objects you can use such as tin cans or even filling a bag with tin cans to make the weights heavier.
“There are also exercises you can do with your body weight such as squats and lunges which don’t require any equipment.”
The NHS recommends that we do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week. This includes activities such as a brisk walk or a jog.
The Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth have also taken the plunge into online classes. They provide free exercise classes on their Facebook page and due to their success in the last lockdown, they have decided to do it again.
Adam Dalton, duty manager, runs a twice a week class in full body workout. He says it has been well received by members and newcomers.
He also said: “We want to keep engaged with our members and keep the community active. We just want to keep everyone a bit healthier physically and mentally.
“We are running as many classes as possible such as pilates and yoga fusion and we’ve added some new classes that we haven’t done before. It’s been really good to hear people telling us that they are trying classes that they haven’t tried before.”
Adam wants to remind people that even when facilities are closed, exercise is just as important.
Watch this video for more tips from Tom on moderate intensity exercise.