How to exercise at home and stay active

Updated: May 23



In a week in which the UK government has asked people to stay away from school, workplaces and gyms they have also asked us to stay active either indoors or outdoors through social distancing.



At the moment I have recognised that I am physically doing less and out of boredom eating more processed foods. But the power is in the recognition and insight. I know this so now I can address those barriers that I have put up for myself. For me it's about reestablishing habits. We spend a lot of our day doing things automatically, one action after the next without much conscious effort. I need to be mindful and bring my attention to going against the automatic habit and make decisions on a minute by minute that will help me get my body moving.


If everyone found it easy to be active on advice my work would certainly be quieter. Here are some challenges and how to overcome them:




I don't know how to exercise:


  • Versus arthritis have some fantastic information about how to exercise whilst managing pain.

  • The NHS have put together a nice range of workouts to suit people with health conditions or getting active for the first time. Print one off and have a go.

  • There are lots of videos on Instagram and YouTube of exercise videos that don't cost anything to view.

  • DareBee is a fantastic resource of free workouts if you are feeling bored or want variation.

Dare Bee Lockdown Workout

  • If you want something more personalised and tailored to your needs I offer my services within your own home or via a video call through your smart phone or computer. Contact me to have a chat to see if my service is a good fit for you.



I am out of my usual routine and am remaining in my house:

Our brain's are fundamentally lazy, we create routines and habits so that we don't have to put mental energy into doing every single task in a day. When our routine is disrupted everything can seem harder to do.

  • Each day sketch out some sort of routine so that you are eating and sleeping at roughly same time.

  • Before you go to bed prepare for the day ahead. Maybe place your exercise clothing on the radiator so that they feel like the nicest option to put on when you get up; or set a space in your diary for movement and put a reminder in your phone.

  • Use the change of routine to your advantage and take it as an opportunity to create some new goals and try some new activities. That untouched list of projects and "I will get around to's."... the one you mentally hold on to...Sit down with a pen and paper and break them down into small chunks, map out how you can make it happen.

  • Do your usual chores with a little exercise thrown in.



My Gym is off limits

  • Many gyms will be putting steps in place such as video link ups or Facebook support. Tap in to your usual support at a distance. I am streaming some of my sessions on facebook live. many other instructors will be offering similar.

  • If you are using a cross trainer and exercise ball as a laundry dryer, then tidy up the area and start using it.

  • You can do pretty much any level of workout with just body-weight but for variation you may wish to get some simple pieces of gym equipment online. I would recommend a set of dumbbells and a resistance band as you can do many things with them, they are cheap, easy to wash and disinfect and they don't take up much room.

  • If you are local to me in Solihull There is a local business in Oak farm that supply a large range of used gym equipment from in home equipment to more commercial machines. Stock includes weights, treadmills, cross trainers, rowers, dumbbells, multi-gyms etc. Our warehouse is based on Oak Farm. All the equipment is fully cleaned before leaving the warehouse. If they can be any help at all please call Adam on 07568 742935 or Laura on 07718382544.

  • I have previously blogged about how to exercise without joining a gym.



I am working and don't feel I have time.

  • If you are a frontline member of staff or involved in distribution of goods chances are you are on your feet all day and fatigued by the time you get home. Rather than doing something high impact. Try something that will ground and re energise you. My favourite Yogi currently is offering a short daily yoga practice and mediation. Find out more on Helen's Facebook page.

  • If your job is administrative and you are hunched at a desk or checkout, chances are that physically moving your body will help you sleep well and challenge mental fatigue.

  • If you are using a cross trainer and exercise ball as a laundry dryer, then tidy up the area and start using it for short blasts. 10 minutes of raised heart-rate is all you need to have a positive impact on stress and heart health..

  • You can do pretty much any level of workout with just body-weight but for variation you may wish to get some simple pieces of gym equipment online. I would recommend a set of dumbbells and a resistance band as you can do many things with them, they are cheap, easy to wash and disinfect and they don't take up much room.

  • Attach the activity to something that you usually do. When you brush your teeth do some stretches, when you put the kettle on a few squats.


I am caring for others and don't feel I have time.

  • If you are able to, get the children or adults you care for involved. Play games, dance move your body make it fun.

  • Delegate what you can by asking for help. Many communities are mobilising to support each other.


I am feeling low anxious or depressed and this is stopping me from being able to exercise.


  • Spend a moment really visualising the benefit of being more active.

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge and accept how you are feeling.

  • Break what you need to do down into tiny chunk. For me the first time I got active was walking to a local postbox. If you are staying indoors it can be to put on one song and go up and down the step in time to the music.

  • Don't wait for the motivation to come. Move because you have no motivation, it can jump start

  • If you are struggling, when someone reaches out be honest about how you are feeling. If no one will reach out, reach out to support.

Mind has an infoline: 0300 123 3393

Email: info@mind.org.uk Text: 86463 Post: Mind Infoline, PO Box 75225, London, E15 9FS


Whatever you're going through, you can call Samaritans any time, from any phone for FREE 116 123 or email Jo@samaritans.org


Sarah is an Occupational Therapist and personal trainer who is passionate about helping people flourish @MoodLifterPT She is always happy to be contacted if you want to find out more.


#exercise #personaltrainer #mentalhealth #socialdistancing


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