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No Gym? No Problem!

Health & Wellbeing

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The regular walk to and from work, the class that you take 3 times a week, the gym membership you’ve been loyal to for years, even the walk to the other side of the office – in a climate where we must stay home to protect ourselves and those around us, these moments of movement (however brief) may no longer be an option.

Instead, your ‘commute’ is now walking downstairs from your bedroom to your kitchen or, for many of us in apartments, walking across the hall. Not only that, but you are always in alarmingly close proximity to your fridge, or your cupboard and your eating schedule of 3 square meals a day is starting to look a bit more fluid…and really, are any of us choosing carrot sticks over chocolate right now?

In essence, you have substituted regular intervals of exercise (planned and incidental) for a significantly more sedentary set-up and are quite possibly eating more than you would in your average day, so it’s not hard to imagine that after a couple of weeks most of us will lose muscle mass and see an increase in body fat – most notably the harmful fat around the abdomen associated with long-term health issues.

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Space

The first thing a lot of us will say when told to work-out at home is ‘I just don’t have enough space!’ and this might be true for a rare few but for most of us we should have plenty.

Think of how much room you actually take up in your yoga, pilates, dance or gym class – usually it’s the size of a single yoga mat with room to have your arms spread out my your sides, sometimes even less than that.  Even in the pokiest apartments, you should manage to clear the equivalent space.

THANKFULLY, whether you just hate exercising in front of people or are self-isolating, we live in a time where working out at home has never been easier!

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Equipment

The next obstacle you might face is whether or not you have the appropriate equipment to hand. Chances are you have a pair of dusty dumbbells somewhere that you can blow the cobwebs, but if not don’t fear, two cans of beans (or something similarly canned) will do the trick, as will two bottles filled with water.

Most conveniently you also carry your bodyweight with you everywhere you go, so don’t be afraid to use it! Planks, Lunges, Squats, Push-ups and other exercises based in calisthenics require no equipment whatsoever but rely on repetition to build muscle. So no excuses!

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Expertise

Our trainers, instructors and coaches are most likely what we miss most when we can no longer go to classes or the gym. They motivate us, push us out of our comfort zone and teach us new skills – and usually they keep us laughing and smiling while they are at it.

Fortunately, living in 2020 means that we don’t have to miss them at all! A number of studios are moving their classes online, allowing you to get your daily dose of endorphins from the comfort of your own home.  So, check out what your gym or favourite studio are doing, but if you don’t have either – here are some suggestions from us:

  • Rebel Barre, @rebelbarre : This Ranelagh based studio is owned and run by two incredible dancers, Orla Hannon and Jade O’Connor, and they are offering online barre and dance classes via zoom at €7 a class. (They are also generously offering free classes to health workers and those on the frontline.)
  • Reformation @reformation.ie : Another female owned small business, this studio is founded by Annie Kirwan & Lee Tracey and is offering online pilates and mixed level yoga classes at €10 a class.
  • F45 Training: F45_bray (45 minutes of Functional Exercise) is a global training community that focuses on functional HIIT exercise – you may not think you can participate at home but the F45 team disagree! We particularly enjoy their use of props in their work-from-home videos (https://vimeo.com/398756151)

More and more studios are moving their classes online so just keep an eye on the MindBody app and make sure you look in different areas as location is no limit online – you can do an online class from a Dublin studio in Dingle!

In addition, if you aren’t keen on live classes or they don’t fit in your schedule, there are an abundance of apps  (both free and paid) and resources available to do your vinyasa sequence (or your exercise of choice) at your own leisure – you just have to look!

There’s no doubt that this is a surreal time, where for most of us regularly scheduled programming is being replaced with improvisation and creativity.

So, look on the bright side and use this time of stillness as an opportunity to get MOVING!