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BN1 looks at some simple, but effective, ways of staying fit and healthy while in lockdown with a guide to exercising at home

Exercising at home

It can only be a matter of time now before Joe Wicks, this national emergency’s equivalent of WWII’s Dame Vera Lynn (same hair and everything!), is made a Knight of the Realm.

He has managed to entice almost everyone I know to join him in his morning workout with his inimitable mixture of cheeky chappie charm and sheer enthusiasm. At 9 o’clock every weekday he offers his free workout class from his lounge whilst giving shout-outs to delighted members of the class from all over the world. And he is not alone in helping to lift the nation’s spirits through exercise and demonstrating that we can all keep fit even if we’re not allowed outside.

Of course, you needn’t follow a specific class or routine to keep fit, you can make up your own to suit your personal needs and the space that you’re in. For example, if you’ve a big house and a tempestuous partner, try insulting them and immediately running away. Use the resulting chase as a free, goal-oriented cardio workout. And if they start flagging and the workout isn’t intense enough, call them another name, and get your heart rate off the charts! Or if you’ve got kids, why not put them to good use with resistance weight training – using them as the weights. Hold aloft their favourite toy, and see how long you can remain standing whilst they attempt to scale you. You can even walk around the house whilst wearing them for that extra deep burn.

You’re probably beginning to realise that self-isolation has been cruel on me, and made me vaguely psychotic. If you’d prefer a non-confrontational workout that won’t result in couples counselling or your children being taken into care once this is all done, here are some alternative options.

NHS

The NHS themselves offer an easy-to-follow set of six 10-minute workouts, one for each day of the week, allowing a day off. There’s a cardio workout, a toning session, one for legs, bums and tums, one for a “firm butt” (NHS’s words, not mine – not being American, I’d go for “pert buttocks”), and a sci-fi-sounding “upper arm blaster.” These are all simply explained and have accompanying photos (some vaguely erotic) of a man demonstrating how each exercise should be done. This allows you to do it anytime you like, following your own schedule.

www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/

Brighton Natural Health Centre

BNHC aren’t letting the coronavirus stop them supporting the community in managing our health and well-being during this time. Normally the providers of a packed and varied timetable including yoga, Pilates, dance, and meditation amongst others, at their studio in North Laine, they are still providing a full daily schedule, but now in your front room! Carried out via Zoom, you can easily book a lesson at the link below, and prices are on a “pay what you can” understanding. With such a range of classes, they ensure there’s something for everyone.

www.brightonnaturalhealthcentre.org.uk/

TheBox

Created in 1992 by boxing coach Andy Wake, Boxercise has gained a huge global following over the years. Flexible and easy for beginners to get started, this is an ideal time to try it out and see if it’s for you. Brighton-based TheBox has put a detailed timetable online, offering 30-minute live classes with their trainers every day. Their signature boxing-inspired fitness class combines shadow boxing, body weight exercises and isolation work, improving speed, stamina, strength, footwork and mindset. They also offer a strength and conditioning class, or their HIIT class is described as a “full body sweat-fest” that’s great for calorie burning and all-over body toning. You can buy blocks of 10 or 20 classes, a month’s membership, or a £5 drop-in.

www.theboxfit.co.uk

Fitness with Cara

Another Brighton denizen offering her expertise to the fitness community is Cara Maker, a fitness instructor with real athletics heritage. From as little as £4, Cara Live offers a huge range of activities Monday to Friday, with classes called Fitness Pilates, Supple Strength, Get FIT, Easy Fit, Dance Fit and Legs Bums & Tums.

www.fitnesswithcara.co.uk/

Barry’s Bootcamp

Looking further afield, if you’re particularly hardcore about your fitness, why not follow the legendary Barry’s Bootcamp. Think less “Barry from EastEnders” and more “Barry the ripped Californian”, the founder of the original high-intensity interval workout that became a hit with the stars of Hollywood as much as regular schmucks like you and me. Known for pushing people to their absolute limits, they’ve set up a timetable of free, live-streaming classes on their Instagram account. Based in America, some of the timings might not be ideal, but most are doable and provide the ultimate test of muscle toning and fat loss – and all for free!

www.barrys.com/barrysigtv/

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