home work

Keeping active at home

frustrated home workerIf you're a home worker or your indoors with your family, staying active will help your health, boost your mood - and save you from throwing your laptop at the wall in frustration . And best of all you can wear what you want and get as sweaty as you like! 

Whether you're working home alone, someone in a vulnerable group or a parent, check out the ideas below and share yours with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

You'll find other ideas on Sport England's 'Stay In, Work Out' pages too. Just remember, if you do get ill, resting completely will speed your recovery so don't try any of these until you're well again. 


Live / daily video workout sessions

Providers are responding in all sorts of ways to the need for people to keep moving. Here's a quick list of some of the most popular weekday daily broadcasts that you can access - all free. (If you're new to Facebook Live, 'Like' and follow the page, and you'll be alerted in your News feed - or go back and watch it later.)

Over 65's 8,12,4 Make Movement your Mission YouTube
Families 9am The Body Coach: PE with Joe Wicks YouTube
Families 9am Jump Start Jonny live YouTube
Home workers 10am Our Parks 20 min cardio HIT  Facebook Live
Families 11am British Cycling's daily tips to help kids learn to ride YouTube
Over 65's 2.30pm Move It or Lose It  Facebook Live 
Families 3.30pm Our Parks kids' superheroes workout Facebook Live 
Adults & teens 7.30pm Our Parks yoga flow sessions  Facebook Live 


Get some green

part with treesIt's no secret that being outside lifts our mood, giving us a change of scene and fresh air. And even with having to abide by the '2m distancing' and other potentially life saving rules, we can still use up our single daily exercise slot to go out for a walk, jog, or hop on a bike . (If you need some advice on cycling with the family or looking after your bike, a good place to start is the Bikeability site.)

If you're working from home give your day some structure by scheduling a lunchtime or post-work walk in the open, if you're allowed. Make sure you give the kids a break from screens too - even the most ardent gamers or YouTube addicts will benefit from getting out. Just make sure you all wash your hands as soon as you get back inside.

  • Brisk walking is a great form of exercise. Join almost a million people who've downloaded the free Active 10 app from Public Health England and hit those deserted streets.
  • IF you can walk to them, get out onto the the Surrey Hills or other wide open spaces where you can avoid contact with others.
  • Teach your children (and remind yourself!) how to use a compass, or get inspiration from Ordnance Survey's Get Outside site
  • You know that resolution you keep thinking about starting, where you take up running? Now's your ideal chance - Couch to 5k app
  • Try hopping on your bike for a local cycle ride (just do the NHS a favour and wear a helmet). Even just bimbling around your neighbourhood will mean you keep your distance and stay fit. 

Home workouts for home workers

women tying shoelaceIf you'd normally use public transport to travel to work or have an active commute you'll be missing out on the exercise that you normally get. Sticking to some sort of schedule can also help your mental well being so if you can, put some time aside each day to move more.

Get up from your chair at least once an hour; many people set timers on their phones and get up for a few minutes every half an hour. Use your daily exercise slot to go for a walk at lunchtime, or hop on your bike when you finish at the end of the day. If all else fails or you're not meant to be out, check out the daily videos above, or use the free ideas below - just remember to start slow and streeetch: 

Easy exercises for execs

Recorded video workouts for virtual workers (or just bored adults...)

...and don't forget to check out previous transmissions of the daily workouts listed at the top of the page.

Free trial apps

Missing your gym buddy and fancy an online workout against them instead? London Sport are collating a list of free trials from tech startups and online providers who can offer something new during the current lockdown. 



Parents: ideas to keep kids active

young girl viewing laptopA big part of what we do is working with schools to help their pupils meet the Chief Medical Officer's "60 minutes of activity per day" target. You might like to check out this pdf which we originally created for schools and has activity ideas for children - it's got loads of ideas, from entering our Olympic cultural competition to further links for videos and exercises aimed at children from 4 and up.


Over 65? Stuff the sofa...

the green goddessMaintaining strength and balance when we're older is as important as ever. Gardening and housework will help keep you fit and busy, but for a home workout whenever you want, try popping some cans of food into a shopping bag to use as makeshift weights. And try getting into the habit of getting out of your chair for a minute whenever the ads come on the TV (we've all seen them before anyway).

Depending on your age and current advice you may be able to head outside once a day but if not, below are some free ideas to get you started - and don't forget about the daily Later Life Training on YouTube.

If you want a break from the small screen, our friend Diana Moran (the Green Goddess) is broadcasting her exercises on BBC Breakfast at 6.55am and 8.55am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Not in the right mood to get active?

Even at the best of times it can be difficult to motivate ourselves, but  scheduling some time to stay active everyday really will help. If you're feeling low or are worried, check out the NHS Every Mind Matters website for advice on boosting your mental wellbeing. And make sure you're feeling physically well before you attempt any sort of activity listed here. 

Parents will know that children need a lot of reassurance and that may be even more important now. If your child is reluctant to go outside for a  'safe' walk or a bike ride it may be because they're worried. See the Goverment's guide on mental health for children.


Do let us know what you're up to as you #StayInWorkOut