Everybody knows that exercise is good for us but when consistently studying or working from home, physical activity is more important than ever.
Who is guilty of doing all of their uni work while slouched on the couch or wrapped up in bed like a human burrito?
It’s okay to do this every once in a while, but if it’s happening on a daily basis, you’ll start to notice aches and pains that you may never have noticed before.
Regular exercise boosts your immune system and helps maintain your physical and mental health, which is super important right now! It’s recommended you spend at least 30 minutes exercising every day - we need to move more, sit less!
If you’re not into fitness you don’t have to do this at one time, but why not try walking while you talk on the phone, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator, every little bit counts!
If you’re looking for some inspiration or someone to exercise with, below are some recommended sites and groups or check out the information we’ve provided below on how to set-up your home exercise program.
Exercise with a pro
Exercise from your bedroom
Go for a walk or run
Getting fresh air can help clear your head, just make sure to maintain physical distancing recommendations and wash your hands when you come back inside. Please note: you should not go for a walk or run if you have been advised to self-isolate or if you're feeling unwell.
Schedule your workout into your new routine
With reduced commuting you should have a little more time in your day for wellbeing. You can do this in small chunks or one longer workout. If you're finding it hard to get motivated, write it down in a diary, set alerts on your phone, enlist your friends (virtually, of course), or find an app to remind you!
Find a place to work out
Find a local park to work out in, ideally one with outdoor gym equipment. If you are using shared equipment, use caution and disinfect it before and after use. Small outdoor group workouts are now permitted so long as you can stay 1.5 metres away from each other.
You can also create a safe space at home to work out in. It might help to create this AWAY from your study space when you're spending more time than usual at home.
Set realistic goals
Always wanted time to perfect your crow pose or complete Couch to 5k? Now is the time to focus on you! But don't expect too much too soon. Start with something a little easier and work your way up!
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
Feel time pressured, but keen to improve your health? Get the most bang for your buck with a HIIT or high intensity interval training which involves short periods of intense exercise followed by gentle exercise repeated a few times. Each session lasts between 10-30 minutes. Check out this evidence-based program.
HIIT isn’t for everyone, so if you’re new to exercise or a little unsure check out what the experts say and maybe try something gentler to start.
If you have underlying health issues reach out to the UNSW lifestyle clinic who will help you to design an exercise program which is suited to your individual needs.
Try mindfulness-based activities to reduce anxiety
No gym? No problem. Put those heavy textbooks to another use! Or turn that bottle of wine into a dumbbell or bag of rice into a kettlebell.
Sit less, stand more
Shake it off!
Put in your earphones, turn up the music and dance around your kitchen. It will help you stay fit and shake off some stress!
Be gentle with yourself
This is a stressful time so don’t beat yourself up if binge watching Netflix was all you could manage today; tomorrow is a new day.
If you are new to exercise, have an existing injury or feel pain when you try some of these home programs, stop and try something a little more gentle or contact the UNSW Lifestyle Clinic for a consult with an accredited exercise physiologist.
Don't expect to do everything a fitness instructor can do on you first session! Getting outside and going for a walk improves your cardiovascular fitness and mental health and is a GREAT place to start.