Published: 4th NOVEMBER 2020

How to stay active during lockdown this autumn

Finding the time to stay active can be a struggle for many of us. With so many things needing our attention it can be tough to prioritise our wellbeing. So we've put together seven quick and easy tips to help you stay active, even if you don’t have much time.

walking on a path under autumnal trees

Exercise can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Often the last thing we want to do after a day of video meetings and tackling your emails is to go for a run – especially now the days are getting darker, wetter and colder.

Even a quick 10-minute walk right after work or at lunchtime to break up your day can make a big difference to your mental and physical health.

The NHS recommends around 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise. This can be anything that gets your heart rate up, such as walking, cycling, or even raking leaves.

Exercise has many health benefits, beyond the obvious. In fact, by building in 10-20 minutes of exercise a day you can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

It can even improve your brain long term, by reducing your risks of dementia and depression.

Here are our seven tips to help you stay active, even if you don’t have much time.

  

1. Get outside

Make the most of the daylight and get outside first thing in the morning before you start your day.

It can be a great way of waking up and staying refreshed for longer.
  

2. A new commute

If you used to commute to work, there’s no need to lose it completely.

Instead, try going for a walk during your lunch break, or after you’ve finished for the day. This can provide a great mental break between home and work mode while staying physically active.
  

3. Use those spare minutes wisely

Waiting for the kettle to boil or brushing your teeth? Don’t just stand there, use this time to move.

Do some squats, jumping jacks, or even some stretching, to loosen your muscles and keep your body moving.
  

4. Walk to the shops

You may not have the daily commute any longer, but if you’re still heading out to the shops, use this journey to get moving.

If you live further away from a supermarket, look into local shops, like greengrocers, for those in-between top-up shops.

A stroll during lunchtime to pick up some essentials, or run some errands, is a great way of incorporating all these healthy habits.

Don't forget to follow your local Covid guidelines on travelling and social distancing.
  

5. Make the most of the school run

If your children are still off to school, consider walking, cycling, or even scooting the journey.

Switch from a stressful car trip to a time for being active as a family.
  

6. Put on a timer and move every hour

Bum going numb while working from home? Get moving.

In between meetings and video calls, stand up and stretch. By being aware of your body throughout the day, you can keep any achey backs or sore eyes at bay.

Put on a timer so that every hour you either stand-up and jump up and down for 30 seconds.

Or for a longer break, go make a cup of tea or coffee and move about whilst you wait for the kettle to boil.

Not only will this keep you active, but it can also warm you up during the winter months too.
  

7. Dance while you cook

Pop on some tunes and groove your way around the kitchen while cooking. Or blast your favourite songs while doing chores for a fun cleaning dance party.

By keeping exercise fun, you’re more likely to want to continue doing it.

Combining moving around with a common task like cooking, your brain will eventually automatically link the two together. Before you know it you’ll be dancing on autopilot.

  

Looking for more ways you can keep active? Give bike riding a go with our beginners guide to cycling.

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