Do you know that it is scientifically proven that exercise can improve not only your physical health but also mental wellbeing? During this lockdown, I believe that it has become more important than ever that we try different ways to keep ourselves balanced and healthy both physically and mentally. For the past few months, I have tried some new habits and learnt to play 1 new sport, which I have found very useful! That’s why I am here to share some of my experience with you and hope that they can be helpful for you too.
Try online workouts!
You will be amazed when you know that there are plenty of free online workout guidances that you can easily find on the internet, such as yoga, zumba, pilates… Some of them need very simple preparation, all you need is just to put on some exercise clothes, prepare a mat and a bottle of water. My advice is to start with something simple and something that you like. For me, I chose yoga and zumba as I think yoga is very light and simple and as regards zumba, I just love dancing and moving around!
I have been practicing yoga for every 20-30 minutes per day since last December and it actually feels really great. I normally exercise in the morning after waking up, I love doing some simple yoga (haha i am just a beginner) with the open window so that I can see the sunlight. I normally follow the instructions from the youtube channel called “Yoga with Adriene”, I think her instructions are quite easy and simple to catch up and follow. Moreover, there are a diverse range of instruction videos for different purposes on this channel, which I found very useful and interesting.
Zumba dancing is a new type of exercise that I have just tried recently but I have to admit that I love it and the exercise actually helps me to burn up a lot of energy and also helps to release my stress (after a whole day sitting in front of the laptop). One of the zumba classes that I have enjoyed the most so far is organised by The Edge on every Thursday from 6pm to 7pm- UK time. The class will be running online, there will be around 20-30 people and 1 very cute teacher ( I admire her energy and passion a lot). I am a total newbie in zumba, some of my dance moves are actually weird (haha), but I believe it doesn’t really matter, the important thing is that I just want to enjoy and have fun while I dance.
In case you haven’t heard of The Edge, it is the sport/gym facility at the University of Leeds. It is just not a gym, but also a place where students can participate in a diverse range of sports, sports clubs/societies ranging from Aikido, American Football, Archery, Badminton, Basketball.. The Edge also offers a wide range of memberships for students, staff, alumni from University of Leeds, and also for the public. In fact, if you are currently living in university accommodation, you will automatically become a basic member of The Edge and you can take part in a wide range of activities there. Currently, The Edge is offering many free online classes/ activities such as live classes, workout videos and even healthy recipes called “Your home, your move”since we are still in lockdown. The zumba class I have mentioned above is one of the live classes, besides that, there are also yoga, pilates, cardio, combat… I am sure whether online or in person, you will love them as much as I do.
Exercise with others.
Having an exercise buddy is a great way to keep you motivated. During this lockdown, make sure you follow the guidance from the government about creating a support bubble of your own as well as wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance of 2 metres. For me, I really enjoy taking a long walk with my friend in Hyde Park, we normally walk for about 45 to 60 minutes. This kind of activity is actually a combination between exercising and relaxing. So whenever you feel blue, go out, get some fresh air and spend a bit of time in nature, it is a great way to boost your mind.
Another way to exercise with others is to find some sports that you can actually play indoors with your friends. One of the new sports I have learnt during this lockdown is table tennis. Some of my Chinese flatmates taught me how to play table tennis and I have really enjoyed it so far. In my accommodation (Blenheim Point), we have a table tennis table in the lobby, so every weekend, me and my friend, we will go down to the lobby and play table tennis for around 30-45 minutes. I think table tennis is great , the sport tests and also helps to build up your patience,your persistency and your ability to concentrate. To be honest, I was really bad at first, but then after some practices with my friends, my skills have gradually improved and the feeling when I actually struck the ball at the exact moment and the ball didn’t jump off the table was really great haha.
I really do hope that some of my sharings can motivate you to continue your workout activities and for some of you who have not started yet, I hope that you can try some new, simple exercises as soon as possible. It is really fundamental that we all learn to appreciate and build up a strong health for ourselves. Let’s continue to stay fit, healthy and happy during and even after this lockdown.