5 ways to exercise

without going back to the gym

Written by Clare Elson

We’ve all changed our exercise habits one way or another since the first lockdown and for many of us, the idea of going back to the gym is still a step too far however here are a few ways we can all keep fit (and have some fun in the process) in the meantime.

1. Walking

According to the NHS, walking a brisk 10 minutes a day can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. Apparently we need 150 minutes of weekly exercise so aside from the benefits of getting outdoors, a quick walk every day will eat up 70 of those minutes.

2. Outdoor Swimming

The closure of public swimming pools over the last year or so meant that many people took to the open water for their daily exercise and discovered that wild swimming offers a number of health benefits.

Not only is swimming great for cardiovascular health but it seems that outdoor swimming also helps mental wellbeing. There are studies which suggest that cold water swimming may be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. It’s also completely free!

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3. Cycling for exercise

If there’s one industry which has benefitted from the pandemic, the cycling industry comes to mind. With sales up an additional 45% in 2020 (1 billion pounds!) cycling is also one the easiest ways to stay happy and healthy and chances are, most of you now have your own bike.

With an expansion of cycle routes in city centres and off road trails all around the UK, getting on your bike couldn’t be easier. Cycling for just 30 minutes a day will burn around 300 calories. It will also help cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and help improve your mood. Throw on your favourite Healthy Back Bag and off you go!

4. Exercise at home

When the pandemic hit, Joe Wicks emerged as the go to channel on YouTube with over a million viewers worldwide following his daily PE sessions from their living rooms. Since then, we can still workout when and where we like watching YouTube videos or using workout apps like Nike Training, PEAR Personal Fitness or Workout Trainer. All these apps are downloadable from the App store.

Easy to use and follow, you can choose your exercise, muscle group or instructor and follow a fitness programme without ever stepping foot in a gym again.

5. Borrow a dog!

Last but not least why not borrow a dog? With more people working from home, dog ownership went up by 10% over the pandemic to an estimated 12.5 million so it’s highly likely you’ll know someone to share walkies with!

At HBB HQ we have our very own new addition to the team in the way of Lola, a crazy bundle of fun, fur and amusement and a great excuse to get us out and take regular breaks from the desk. Neighbourhood dog sharing is also a fantastic way to get your doggie fix and a great excuse for walks and rambles wherever you live. Try www.borrowmydoggy.com for a network of dog lovers near you.

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