Sat. Sep 19th, 2020
Three friends rollerskating in the park

Fitness fanatics may still be fuming about the news that gyms are closing as part of the government’s response to coronavirus. However, even if you’re stuck at home in isolation, there are plenty of ways to keep fit that don’t require a gym. Here are some top tips for exercising throughout the pandemic.

1.“Dust off that forgotten bit of athletic equipment and get out there”

Now that a lot of us have more time because we’re not travelling to and from work everyday, this is the perfect moment to make use of any unused outdoor toys. Be it a frisbee, a diablo or a skipping rope, the pandemic could be your opportunity to pick up an exciting new hobby. We spoke to three friends, Eva, Julian and Becky, who were out rollerskating in Downhills Park. “We’ve all just got a pair of rollerskates and we are trying to hone our skills,” said Eva. “But it can be anything that you’ve got lying dusty in a cupboard like a skateboard, or a scooter, or a hoolahoop. Just dust off that forgotten bit of athletic equipment and get out there.”

2. Hire a personal trainer

A couple pose during a workout in the park
Couple Sharon and Derrick like to workout together with their personal trainer. Photo: Blyth Brentnall

Many personal trainers are happy to accompany their clients to the park to lead your workout. The advantage is that they can offer you tips tailored to you, your goals and your body type to ensure you reach your optimum and don’t injure yourself. Local couple Derrick and Sharon enjoy exercising together under the supervision of a personal trainer. Sharon says: “We are very fortunate that our house backs right onto the park so we can run or have access to people like Tarrell, our personal trainer, who obviously keeps at a two metre distance from us. It’s important to keep active because otherwise it’s quite easy to watch Netflix all day.”

A man works out in an outdoor gym
Max recently discovered his local outdoor gym after his usual indoor one closed. Photo: Blyth Brentnall

3. Make use of your local park’s outdoor gym equipment

Around Haringey most of the parks have outdoor gyms where you can use the equipment to tone and strengthen every part of your body. Locations include Down Lane Park, Ducketts Common, Finsbury Park, Chestnuts Park, Lordship Rec, Downhills Park and Markfield Park. In Lordship Rec we meet Max, who decided to make use of the facilities there after the gym he usually goes to was closed down. “The best thing about it is it’s free, you’re outside and pretty much everything you can do to get fit you can find in this park,” he says.

An outdoor gym
Outdoor gyms can provide a great full-body workout. Photo: Blyth Brentnall

4. Run in the outdoors and explore the area

This might seem like an obvious idea but running or walking is a great way to keep fit and explore the local area at the same time. You don’t only have to run in circles around a park. Great local routes include along the River Lea, where you can enjoy the idyllic views of narrowboats, or around Walthamstow Wetlands, as long as you are careful not to disturb the wildlife living there. 

5. Follow fitness videos at home

There is a great range of fitness videos available on Youtube. Popsugar’s channel is good for dance workouts and Yoga with Adriene features yoga practices for every level. You can also subscribe to websites such as fitnessblender.com, where husband and wife team Daniel and Kelli offer a range of strength-building workouts. Another good one is sweatybetty.com, which includes exercise routines suitable for people of all fitness levels.

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