Top tips for how to make the most of exercise during Covid 19

Posted: Tuesday March 31 2020

By: Natalie Jackson and Emily Freeman

Exercise during Covid 19. At the time of writing we are in an unprecedented crisis, the likes of which we have never experienced before. The world is battling Covid-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, and that means restricting the activities we might previously have taken for granted.

Life might be seeming a little (or a lot) out of your control. What can you do to make the most of exercise, both physically and mentally, in times like these?

The health of you and others is paramount, and wherever you are in the world you should follow the local guidance on what to do and not do.

In the UK, despite a virtual lockdown, the guidance (currently) still allows one form of exercise per day, such as a walk, a run or a cycle, if you are well enough and as long as you are alone or with members of your household. Remember, whatever you are doing, follow government advice on social distancing, stay at least 2 metres from others and stick to hygiene guidelines.

These are our 10 top tips and things to remember;

  • Exercise during Covid 19 is really good for you

Exercise has so many benefits, both physical and mental, and at a time when your physical and mental health may both be under threat, it is important to remember that exercise might well improve both. (If you aren’t used to exercising, you should seek the go ahead from your GP before doing more than you’re used to).

  • Make the most of what you have

If you’re staying in, use what you have – walk around your house or make use of tins of beans or toilet rolls (if you have them) to help your exercise routine. If you are used to going to the gym, you may be able to do body weight versions of your usual exercises around the house – be creative. Definitely check out Sport England’s #StayInWorkOut campaign, full of ideas to stay active at home. Joe Wicks is popping up on our YouTube screens at 9am daily with high intensity workouts, and campaigns like #ThisIsPE are giving us lots of suggestions for working out indoors.

  • Stay hydrated

Whatever you’re doing, make sure you drink enough water. In the UK and USA health authorities commonly recommend six to eight 8-oz glasses, or between 1 and 2 litres, of water a day. If you’re looking for a more specific recommendation, you should try to drink 0.5oz (around 14ml) of water for each pound you weigh. So if for example you weigh 154lbs (or 11 stone) aim for around 2.1 litres (or 74 fl oz). If you weigh 126 lbs (or 9 stone) aim for around 1.9 litres (or 67 fl oz).

  • Stay local

If you’re heading outside (guidance permitting) make sure you don’t stray too far from home and stay away from anywhere you might struggle to follow the guidelines. Explore your locality and see what you can find. You might find a walking, cycling or running route you’d never have thought of before.

  • Look around

Getting outside can be a great way to get fresh air and a fresh perspective on the world around you. If you are getting out and about, make sure you take a moment to appreciate your surroundings. You never know, it might just lift your mood for the rest of your day!

  • Don’t do too much

If you are unwell or have coronavirus symptoms, you should not be exercising. If you have been unwell, make sure you return to any normal exercise routine very gradually. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Even if you are well, make sure you aren’t doing too much more than you are used to. The last thing you’ll want is to pick up an injury due to overtraining that leaves you injured and unable to continue.

  • Warm up and cool down properly

Preventing injury is important, and warming up and cooling down properly will help you do that. If you are outdoors running, start with a walk or gentle jog to get your body moving.

  • Find a friend

Buddy up with a friend. Unless they live with you, you might not be able to do this physically, but you could do it virtually. Tell each other your workout plans and keep each other accountable. You could go for virtual walks, runs or cycles together and report back. Just because you can’t exercise together doesn’t mean you can’t share your experiences, and help keep each other on track.

  • Plan ahead

Planning your activities can give you motivation and a sense of purpose to your workouts. If you are thinking about taking your daily walk to a run why not check out our Desk to 5k online training plan, designed to take you from your Desk to completing a 5k. If you are already at 5k but want to stretch your daily exercise a little further, we have Desk to 10k to take you through the next 8 weeks.

  • Stick to the guidelines and keep yourself updated

Make sure you keep up to date with the guidelines wherever you are. The UK Government is updating it’s guidance regularly at


exercise during Covid 19