Tips for outdoors fans while at home during Covid-19 lockdown
Everyone in the UK has been instructed to lockdown during Covid-19 pandemic. This means staying at home, only going out for essential trips, such as to food shop or collect vital medication from the pharmacist. These should be done as infrequently as possible.
We are told we can take one short outing for exercise each day and to stay in the local area. The exercise is not meant to be for training purposes but to ensure we all get some fresh air and gain from the mental and physical benefits of being outside.
Staying local means that you reduce the risk of accidents, such as those associated with driving cars and heading into remote or distance places on foot and cycling. Imagine if you fall or trip and injure yourself? You will have to get home on your own and without emergency services.
The advice from the outdoor industry as a whole is clear.
It is vital that you stay at least 2 metres from everyone when taking these short, essential trips. You can exercise with those you live with but do not meet friends under any circumstances.
None of this is easy but it is essential for reducing the impact of coronavirus on the population and health services. So what can you do if you are normally a person who loves to spend a lot of time outdoors, walking, running, cycling or whatever?
Stay-at-home ideas for outdoors fans during Covid-19
Virtual training sessions
There are plenty of virtual training sessions and yoga workouts that you can do indoors (some free and some paid for.)
Many gyms and instructors have set up on-line sessions, through apps such as Zoom, so they can help clients to stay in shape. I ma been enjoying yoga sessions with Kridaka Yoga and circuits sessions with HunterFit. I also plan to follow circuits sessions with my Glasgow Triathlon Club, as recorded by Fiona of E-Fitness.
Turbo training for cyclists is also a great idea. I know many who utilise Zwift for indoor cycle training, for example.
There are also plenty of mindful and meditation apps that will be useful for those who struggle to find any positives at being stuck indoors.
Adapt what you know: Think back to your circuits class or yoga session and try to remember what you do each week. You can replicate a lot of these exercises at home. If you do not own weights, for example, make use of items such as heavy saucepans or tins of food as make-shift weights.
Climb the stairs repeatedly for cardio exercise or take a skipping rope into the garden.
We need to go back to basics and remember how we used to train before the influx of modern gadgets, unless you are fortunate to have a full at-home workout set up.
At-home fitness challenges
A goal is always helpful for motivation. For example, while I was skiing for a month I had a goal of doing 20 press ups every day. I wanted to see if I could manage 20 good quality press ups in a row by the end of the month. I did. It is amazing what you can achieve when you repeat something daily or every other day.
Ideas for challenges: Press-up build up. Start with one press up and build by an extra press up each day.
Hold a plank for an increasing time each day.
Other exercises might include sun salutations, pull ups, squats, skipping for set duration etc.
It is important to define the goal and progression.
Enjopy your garden (if you have one)
You can spend time in your garden. Gardening in itself is god exercise and great for getting fresh air and daylight.
Set up table and chairs and eat meals outside if the weather allows.
You could even go for a camping trip in your garden. Hubby G and I plan to do this if the weather is fine. We are planning a mini wild camp, but only a few metres from the house.
Many sporty people are guilty of pushing our bodies too hard. Take this opportunity to allow a niggle or injury to properly repair or work on the physio that you should have been doing before but never seem to get around to. This will pay off in the longer-term.
Make adventuure plans
While we can’t go out on big adventures just now, we can make plans for new adventures when the time comes. Read about other people’s adventures on-line, in blogs and magazines, or look through the books you probably have gathering dust on book shelves.
Write a list of the top 10 places you would like to go and start researching plans for ticking these off.
Gather some friends for a “virtual pub night” (by Facetime, Zoom of HouseParty) and discuss your plans for travels, races and adventures.
Read inspiring books
I bet most outdoorsy people have a shelf of books that they have not yet read. These could be adventure books or any kind of general book. If you are like me, I do not usually have time to read because I am too busy being outdoors, or working.
You could also listen to podcasts and audio books if you run out of books to read. Some libraries offer access to a huge range of audio books, too.
If you need inspiration about what to read, ask your friends or the wider public on social media. People will have time to give you lists I think.
Read my “best of” my books list. You can buy for a Kindle or other digital readers, or on audio, if you can’t get hold of hard copies.
Repair and sort, wax and edge
Now is the time to sort your cupboard, shed or garage of outdoors equipment. Assess all items for wear and tear and see if you can do some repairs.
If you have wax and edge kit for skis and snowboards, get it out and get on with it!
Rewaterproof jackets and trousers and treat walking boots to a polish or clean.
Get you bike/s out and clean, oil, sort tyres etc. I usually lose a day or two to bicycle repairs and maintenance.
Sort and recycle: Consider what you need – and what you might put in a bag for recycling or gifting to an organisation that can make better use of the item. Keep a note of Gift Your Gear for when you need it.
I also wrote about a new youth mountaineering group that will be keen to take useful kit. They are based in East Kilbride, Scotland.
Sort and reorder: Put everything back in place in order. You will feel really satisfied with your efforts!
Web & blogs
If you run a website or blog, it could be a good idea to spend some time reviewing the site. Take a critical look at what it looks like and the various categories and elements.
Think about the direction that you plan, or have been planning, to take with this resource. It could be a good idea to ask someone to look through your website for you and critique it. (I do this for companies, if you are interested.)
A few things to ask yourself, include:
- Does your site need to be rewritten or refocused?
- Do you need to start a news feed or blog or update your blog?
- Are the links and photos all working?
- Does the theme or look need to be updated.
If you have been thinking about starting a blog as a way to market or promote your business or for improved SEO, now is the time. I can also help with this if you would like to discuss your ideas. See my writing and blogging skills.
Sort your photos
Many outdoorsy people take hundreds of photos and videos. They then sit in desktop galleries and in cloud storage.
Make sure you have photos backed up.
Sort through your photos, deleting those you do not need and sorting others into useful archive files. This will make them so much easier to find.
You could create a few “hard copy” albums making use of on-line resources such as Photobox.
It is uplifting to look through photos and remember what you have done before. Hopefully this will inspire you to do more in the future.
Stay in touch with people
We will all benefit from staying in regular touch with each other, whether on-line or by phone. If you know of people who suffer with depression or low mood, they will be very vulnerable due to the isolation of lockdown.
Think about the key workers, especially those in the frontline of the NHS. Make sure you stay in regular contact with them to check they are okay.
If you know that you suffer with low mood and depression yourself, make sure you tell other people so they will be reminded to stay connected to you.
Set up Whatsapp group, pick up the phone or send people a message on-line. There are so many ways we can stay in touch.
Does anyone else have any tips or ideas to get us through this Covid-19 lockdown?