Stay ‘Challenge Fit’ during Covid-19 ‘lockdown’!
We are now three weeks into restricted movements outside our home due to Coronavirus (even longer for some of us). Made worse by the weather being so lovely and the mountains calling.
Concerns are how do we stay ‘Challenge Fit’ during Covid-19 lockdown? Especially when we all know that for the sake of ourselves, our family and friends, the community and our NHS service, we must…
Stay Home Save Lives
I’m getting lots of calls from our customers, firstly concerned as to whether their challenge might be going ahead this year, but secondly worried that they haven’t been able to get in the training they would usually for something like Snowdon or Snowdonia Challenge.
We totally understand your concerns, we send out our 12 week training plans well in advance to help you prepare for your challenge with us, as we know that the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure with us.
So, in these times of restrictions, one walk a day, one hour a day (in Wales this is law), how do we make sure we stay fit?
I’ve shared a few of my ideas, suggestions and tips, please feel free to send me yours.
Make the most of your local walk outside. Try and find some hills or trails if you can. Get out every day and mix up the pace.
Use your arms too, walking poles are great for this, they help save leg energy but also exercise arms muscles.
When I first started running, or walking long distances I’d set myself a target, as in a specific location to get to in a certain time, then I could try and do it quicker next time, or go further in the same amount of time.
Get as many ‘miles’ in as you can at home and in the garden.
The last three weeks for me has been mainly gardening. Working on a project we thought wouldn’t get done until we retired! I’ve completed around 7 – 8000 steps each day doing this, and it’s heavy going too, digging and moving rocks (I thought gardening was supposed to be a relaxing hobby?!).
Use the stairs (unless you live in a bungalow). Make an extra effort to go up the stairs more often (rather than asking the younger members of the house to do it for you.. or is this just me?). Maybe try a staircase challenge (see below).
If you need some ‘virtual’ assistance, something to focus on, my friend and Women Walking Wales walking partner Janet, founder of Collaborative Futures has been enjoying her daily 30 minutes with yourdailywalk.com, new workouts every day to do at home. Free for the first month and then $4.99 a month if you like it.
We have a couple of NHS charity events booked in this year and for those of you who are key workers, especially nurses, I expect you’ll be doing quite a few steps each day which will help. My Mum worked in a Midland’s hospital and could walk up to 10 miles during a shift!
All due respect to you guys and thank you for keeping the country going and us all safe!
Challenges at home
As well as ‘walking’ at home some of you may need specific challenges to motivate you.
Plas y Brenin, the local National Mountain Centre here in Snowdonia have been promoting a #StaircaseSnowdon challenge. A total of 4,610 steps is needed for the same height gain as the Llanberis Path. See their Instagram @plasybreninofficial for details.
Our friends at Wales Air Ambulance have launched a Walk Wales virtual challenge, why not take this on and get ready for the next Wales Air Ambulance Snowdon Sunrise, you can find out more here.
Don’t forget to stretch!
Stretching is SO important for getting the blood flowing and looking after our joints and muscles. I have found that as I get older it’s even more important.
After years of running, walking and karate I have a stretching routine that I like and which focuses on my main areas. I try and do this most mornings and throw in a few Qi Gong and Tai Chi moves that I’ve been trying to teach myself for the last few months (although this is more about wellbeing and the flow of energy than stretching).
There are lots of Yoga (and also Qi Gong and Tai Chi if you fancy trying these) pages on You Tube and facebook to follow with free daily demos and some you can sign up for too.
I also try and catch up on Instagram with The Strength Temple @richienorton_ for daily stretches and reminders to look after ourselves.
Work on your core
I’ve mentioned it before but one of the best bits of advice I got from my trainer and friend Paula when preparing for Nijmegen Marches was to work on my core!
Core strength is so important when we are walking, especially uphill or over long distances.
Crunches are an obvious suggestion but my favourite is leg lifts (lying on the floor on your back and lifting both legs), start with one at a time if you can’t do both. Then time yourself how long you can hold it for!
Why not look for some specific core and abs routines on You Tube?
Please seek expert advice before trying any exercises mentioned here!
Squats are another favourite of mine for keeping legs strong. Set yourself a squat challenge, on your own or set up a little competition with a friend. (Don’t forget to stretch afterwards).
Not an exercise that ever inspired me until my Sports Therapist, Cerys from Bodywyrcs explained the benefit of them in strengthening glutes, which really helped to relieve an issue I had (from doing too many miles and squats and not stretching enough!!).
If you haven’t got any weights at home try tins of beans… or wine bottles!
Snowdonia Challenge regular and fitness instructor Carole has some free workouts on her facebook page CAROL fitness.
Put together a little Cardio session for yourself, jumping jacks, squats, burpees, lunges (hate this one), mountain climbers (love this one!), or what about looking for a fun Tabata session online?
I hope thats help give you a few ideas.
These are just my suggestions but I’m sure there’s plenty more resources online. I’m not a qualified fitness instructor so please get the necessary advice before trying any of these exercises!
Ultimately it doesn’t matter WHAT you do. the important thing is to…