Self-isolating? Here are five lockdown exercises to keep you fit, focused and sane

Funny how when you can’t do something, it’s suddenly all you pine to do. And in these strange and disquieting times, exercise can provide much-needed solace. So for habitual runners, or footballers, or gym-goers, or pilates devotees, the prospect of cancelled games, races or classes is sad, and the temporary loss of the community that goes with them perhaps even worse.

Around the world, communities are either in total lockdown or partial social isolation. Some can still get out and run – the lucky ones – but plenty can’t. People who are really desperate to exercise will usually find a way – I’ve seen some brilliantly creative videos of people running in the bath, read stories of people jogging 60,000 times round their dining room table. This is magnificent lunacy which I can only applaud. But really, most of us aren’t as adaptive or creative. But we all need to exercise.

When I say all, of course not if you are ill or have health concerns. But if you are healthy, just stuck indoors, then I beg, in fact implore you to keep exercising. Or start! Sure, it’s good for your body and your physical health, but perhaps even more importantly, at least in the short term, it’s good for your mind.

It’s 2020, so if you have internet access, you have an entire world of free online workouts, many of which require nothing more than a small amount of space. Youtube has a video for every exercise niche – but the sheer choice can be a little overwhelming. So to start fairly simply: the NHS here in England has a really good site with 24 videos, from 10-45 minutes a piece. If you find something you really like then you can explore that in more detail, using the countless apps and subscription sites – or even face-to-face ones with an instructor over FaceTime or Skype.

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