Here we are, back again. The start of the new year has seen the country return to lockdown, which means that gyms, pools and sports pitches are closed for the foreseeable future, However, as the restrictions during the first part of 2020 showed, we’ve all got in us to keep going and stay active, just sometimes we need a little nudge. So, with the help of Decathlon PLAY (alongside a few others) here’s our selection of sports and activities to keep you moving during this lockdown period.
Get some fresh air
Getting your daily 10K steps
The stay at home message often means that afternoons and evenings turn into the same thing, and that alongside all your other responsibilities, working out every day isn’t the easiest thing to do at the moment. However, even if you don't do any other type of personal exercise, getting your steps in is so important. Many smartphones now come with step counters (meaning you can track your steps round the house), but it’s still great to get outside for 45 minutes or so.
Feel like 10K steps isn’t possible with your schedule? Here are two other ways of looking at it:
- 10 minutes of moderate intensity activity (dancing, active gardening, cycling) = 1,000 steps.
- 10 minutes of high intensity activity (jogging, cycling, circuit training) = 2,000 steps.
See yourself as a fast walker? Enjoy overtaking people on the sidewalk? You may have just stumbled upon your new favourite sport. First developed as one of the original track and field events in England back in 1880, Racewalking now has two distances contested at the summer Olympics (20km & 50km if you’re looking for targets). Feel like discovering something new but familiar? Find out everything you need to know in our PLAY article.
Kick off your new running regime
If you aren’t already in the rhythm, getting started with a running routine can be difficult at the moment. Keeping your social distance from passers by without taking on traffic, while finding a pathway that inspires you and keeps you going, might feel like more trouble than it’s worth. However, we believe that once you get going, that run could become the very best part of your day. If you're looking for a place to start (before your front door of course) our PLAY article will give you some great ideas.
Blue Plaque spotting anyone?
Given the way of the world over the past 12 months, there’s a strong chance you could find your way around the local area blindfolded (we don’t condone that you try this). Could the same be said about your knowledge of Blue Plaques in your area? For those that don’t know, Blue Plaques are a permanent sign installed in a public place that commemorates a link between that spot and a famous person, landmark or event, acting as something of a historical marker. Why not check out the blue plaques in your area here and start looking and see your surroundings in a completely different way. You may have a little bit of history right outside your door.
Get Active with the Kids
Fitness fun for all the family
We know that for many a big part of lockdown is added childcare. With helping with home school learning, household chores, working at your own job, not to mention finding the time to exercise, getting a balance can be tricky. So why not get the whole family involved with the exercise? Not only is it a great way to show them the value of a healthy lifestyle, there's a chance it’ll expend some of their endless energy meaning they’ll go to bed on time! Check out our ideas of how to keep the whole family activity in our article on PLAY.
It may sound a little unconventional, but why not get your baby involved with your exercises? Don’t worry if you aren’t sure of the best approach, our PLAY article has 7 easy to do exercises that aren’t just a great workout for you, they’ll help your little ones early development and give them the best start in life.
Yoga for Kids
As you may already know, Yoga is a fantastic exercise both for the mind and body. It has a wide range of benefits, including cardio and circulatory health, flexibility, improved athletic performance and stress reduction. So why not get your little ones involved with the practice too? Make the very most of your time at home with your kids by introducing them to the world of yoga, and get them hooked.
Fun games at home with your kids
Although exercises can sometimes be enough, kids can get bored of the repetitive nature of conventional exercises, and sometimes need a little bit more to keep active and entertained. From indoor cricket to fun football games and backyard camping, our article on PLAY has ideas for versions of sports appropriate for the home, which will keep your kids active throughout their time at home.
Looking After Your Mental health
Anxiety Busting Exercises
Whether you’ve suffered from anxiety in the past or not, the last year has been a testing time for all of us. While we can’t promise it will solve every stressful situation, fitness instructor Claire Cole has written a PLAY article which looks at exercises that can help ease these daily anxieties. Give them a go, they may make your lockdown that little bit easier.
Netflix mindfulness meditation programme
For many it’s already played a role as a time-killing saviour during the trials and tribulations of the past year, but did you know that Netflix also has its own meditation show, brought to you by makers the Headspace app? For those familiar with the tried and tested format, it may take a little getting used to, but for that aren’t, welcome to the world of meditation!
Take on the Red January Challenge
As part of our efforts to raise awareness of the role that mental health plays in sports and exercise, Decathlon has partnered with the Red January initiative. A big part of this is the Red January challenge, which encourages participants to do something active every day through the month of January, whether that be a run, a swim or a yoga session. Although there is a chance January may be over by the time you are reading this, why not take on this challenge, whether it be a lockdown month or when we return to the new normal. There’s never a bad time to give your mental health a boost.
WFH - Everyday Exercises
Start your day with a stretch
While it’s important you continue your daily schedule in a way that’s as close to normal as possible, it is also vital you spend a little bit of time stretching every morning. For the right way to start your day for both the mind and body, check out our article on both why and how you should stretch.
Screen time workouts
Of course it’s good to take breaks from sitting at your desk, but there are also little exercises you can do whilst sitting in front of your computer. Here’s several to get started with.
- Put your arms on a coffee table, chair or sofa behind you. Your legs should be in front of you (how far in front depends on your abilities - the further your feet are from your body, the more difficult the movement is).
- Bend your elbows until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Be careful to keep your elbows and shoulders aligned during this exercise.
- Start by doing 2 sets of 10 reps, gradually increasing the number of sets and the number of reps.
- Stand up in front of your desk, and keep your back straight.
- Stretch your arms backwards, keeping them as long and straight as possible. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Start by doing 2 sets of 10 reps, increasing the number of sets and the number of reps. When this becomes easy, introduce a resistance band.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and raise your arms extended straight out to sides at shoulder height.
- Rotate your arms in a small backward circle.
- As they start to feel heavy, increase the pace.
- Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend your legs until you’re just hovering above your chair.
- Don’t forget your body weight should be on your heels, your shoulders should not move forward as you’re lowering your body.
- Start with 2 sets of 15 squats. You can make it more difficult by increasing the number of sets and reps; but also by slowing down your pace as you go up and down.
- Start off by standing up behind your chair. Remember to hold on for support.
- Bring your heels up off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Hold for a moment.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
- Do 3 sets of 10.
Standing Rear Pulses
- Holding the edge of your desk to support you, bend one leg behind you, and flex your foot.
- Raise your heel a few inches, then release slightly and press your foot directly behind you.
- Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back.
Workout at home
Get active with live workouts
It’s a preference that has become a necessity during the closure of gyms and fitness studio spaces, and we’re happy to say we also offer live workouts on Decathlon PLAY. Whether it’s yoga, muscle conditioning and endurance training, we’ve got the online class for you. Either click here for our activities page, check out our pre-recorded exercises or follow us on Instagram for workouts straight to your phone.
Circuit training in 7 exercises
Want a simple circuit workout you can get familiar with? It’s not always about pushing yourself to find something new, especially if you have a hectic daily schedule. With our circuit training which focuses on 7 easy to do exercises, you’ll be able to burn calories and build muscle, whether you’ve got exercise equipment or not.
Missing your spinning classes? Want to go for a long cycle but dont have the time? The solution might just be an exercise bike. Whether you’re just looking for a new demanding route or you’ve already purchased one and you’re looking to get started, our PLAY articles about life on an exercise are certainly worth a look.
Use household items for your workout
An often intimidating feature to working out from home is not having the same equipment that features in the gym, and with them spending the best part of a year closed or at limited capacity, it’s understandable that you haven't been able to work out as you’d like. However, if we were to tell you there's a way to recreate some of your favourite workouts through the use of items found in your own home, would that perk your interest? It’s all on PLAY.
Couch to 5K
There’s a strong chance you’ve already undertaken the challenge that seemed to grip the nation (or at least everyone with social media platforms) during the very first lockdown. If it did, why not give it another go? See if you can beat your 2020 time? If you haven’t done your 5K, we’ve got an article to help you get started in the most relaxed way possible. As many people across the nation can and will attest, you’ll feel great once you’ve done it!
Stair climb challenge
Looking to do something amazing without leaving home? Although it is not advisable to anyone not living in a house with their own set of stairs due to current restrictions, this challenge is a fun way to stay active across your 2021 lockdown. By counting the number of steps you climb in a day, is it possible to tally them against the equivalent of climbing some of the world’s biggest mountains and buildings. You can even turn it into a group exercise. Click here for more information.
Dare to Do Something New?
Winter Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Both a pastime usually more suited to the warmer months, and a concept that will fill many with a sense of dread. However with the gyms and pitches closed, sports people are heading to the water for an activity that works the whole body and can help ease stress and anxiety. New to stand up paddle boarding? Check out our beginner article for everything you need to know about it (although remember you will also be doing it in winter).
Cold Water Swimming
Often done as a-once-a-year, Christmas-morning type activity, but this lockdown has seen a real uptake in swimmers braving the chilly conditions and diving in. Cold water Swimming has a wide range of benefits, including boosting your immune system, improving circulation, burning calories, reducing stress and giving you a natural high. It might just be our perfect antidote to lockdown?
Sports documentaries on Netflix
With the world of subscription streaming becoming ever more popular over the past decade, we’ve also seen a rise in popularity for sports film documentaries and series, especially over lockdown. From Michael Jordan’s final season at the Chicago Bulls to a documentary all about sport’s losers, there’s something for everyone in our article on PLAY.
Climbers’ Dream Streams on Netflix
Itching to get back out on the wall? Although we know it’s baby steps, we hope our guide to climbing films on Netflix, including the Dawn Wall, the Climb and Everest will keep you hanging on until you’re out doing the real thing.
Streaming ideas for ski / snowboard fanatics
Missing the mountains? Although the ski season has only just begun, we know that for many an upcoming trip the slopes are looking incredibly unlikely. That’s why in our PLAY article, we take you through the very best of skiing and snowboarding streaming videos currently available online. If you can’t enjoy actually being there, we are going to bring you the next best thing
Just have fun
Build an indoor mini golf course
A popular idea from the previous lockdown, and with the weather the way it is, it might be even more perfect this time round! Whether it’s with your kids, your partner, housemates or just by yourself, building an indoor golf course will provide you with hours of fun creating it, not to mention playing it. Check out our guide on PLAY now.