Alternative ways to exercise in 2021

After the tidal wave of food and drink consumed at Christmas, the new year is usually a time for many to commit to healthier lifestyle choices. This year, however, it is harder than normal to commit to these resolutions as most facilities are closed or reduced due to coronavirus restrictions. So, what are some alternative ways to exercise in 2021 and stick to these resolutions?

Home workouts home work outs

Home workouts became extremely popular during the first lockdown and, with many facilities closing once more, they are an appropriate alternative to the gym. A quick Google search for the type of exercise you want to focus on will bring up tons of different websites, instructions and videos ensuring you get the best out of your home workout. Even for those who have little to no workout equipment at home, there are plenty of exercise suggestions to fit around this. 

People often find that during lockdowns they are less motivated to do workouts at home while also missing the social aspect of working out in a gym. If this is the case, try Zoom workouts together with friends or family. Not only is this good for seeing and chatting with friends during lockdown, it is also a great tool for motivating yourself to do the workouts. 

Open-air swimming and surfing sea swimming

For many people, swimming is the ultimate exercise. However, with pools and swimming facilities no longer open, people have been forced to get creative in order to swim. Many have taken on open-air swimming, as well as surfing. I know swimming or surfing in the sea in January may sound crazy to most. (Ireland doesn’t exactly have ideal swimming temperatures this time of year!) However, there are a range of different wetsuits that can be worn to combat this problem and make open-air swimming fun, even in the ice cold temperatures of January. Just make sure to have a hot cup of tea waiting at home afterwards!

Walking outdoors sunrise walk

During the first lockdown, this was the only exercise most people could do daily and it was the only time they were allowed out of their house. As a result of this, many people really began to appreciate walks outside in nature. Although, it is important to recognise that the first lockdown lasted throughout the spring and summer months and now we are in mid-winter. The weather is still extremely cold, and it begins to get dark before most people are finished with work or school. So, how can we combat this? 

Early morning walks before work or school are a good place to start; it may mean waking up a little earlier, but it will be worth it to get some exercise and see the sunrise! Lunchtime walks are also a great option for those working or studying. Walking in places that are a little more sheltered and lit up like streets and parks, instead of the mountain and beach walks that were popular in the early lockdowns, are also a great alternative while the wintry weather conditions are still around.

Yoga at home yoga

Yoga is one of the few exercises that can be done completely without equipment, so it’s a great alternative workout when having to stay at home. Unlike walking or swimming, this is an exercise that can be done in the comfort of a warm living room, ideal for cold January nights when it’s hard to find motivation to leave the house.

Yoga cannot only be great for physical health, but many people find it one of the best forms of exercise to help improve mental health too. Whether you’re experienced in yoga or want to give it a try for the first time, there are a number of different online guides and videos that can help guide you through the process from the comfort of your own home.

Cycling indoor exercise bike

Cycling is another activity that became very popular during the first lockdown when many people rediscovered their love for adventure through their bike. Although similar to walking, this was enjoyed at a time when the weather was much more appropriate for cycling outdoors. Early morning cycles before work and cycling in well-lit areas are all factors which could beat the wintry conditions.

Alternatively, why not get an exercise bike for the house? It has all the health benefits, but without the wind, rain, and icy temperatures that are likely in January. In addition to this, who doesn’t love to be able to watch their favourite shows in the living room while also getting their daily dose of cycling?

Although the circumstances aren’t exactly in our favour for new year’s resolutions to stay fit and healthy, these alternative ways to exercise in 2021 will make it easier to stick to them!

Aoife McDowell
Aoife McDowell

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