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The new face of exercise

Exercise has a crucial role to play in keeping us fit and positive in the face of a global pandemic that affects us all. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had a major effect on how we exercise, with more people exercising at home, out walking and running in the fresh air and a new phenomenon, the online exercise routine run by experienced fitness coaches

Sylvia Diaz is a fitness instructor, personal trainer and nutrition advisor. She runs Fit with Sylvia

“Shortly after the social distancing guidelines came in and gyms around the country closed I experienced a massive demand for online gym sessions from followers on Instagram. So now I do virtual live classes every day at 6pm, all of them bodyweight workouts where no equipment is needed. They are fun, while keeping strength and cardio levels up. The classes range from strength, HIIT sessions and boxing to fitness, dance and zumba and there are also more relaxed classes like mobility and yoga. I’m super excited to do these classes that I usually teach in different gyms in Dublin or at events.”

Alan Williams of Alan Williams Coaching

“I think the most important factor in it all is a sense of community or being part of a team. In a private Facebook group I asked clients to log in and follow along at home as I trained. We had a bit of fun and there was loads of engagement as they left comments as we went. They absolutely loved it. I had 40 people training with me in the live workout. Zoom is another app that could be used for something similar, but maybe with smaller groups. I think Facebook Live is interactive and great for creating a team effort. Set up a private group to give people a ‘safe’ place. And it’s free!”

Exercising at home tips

  • Try to make your home exercise routine a regular part of your life – get into the habit of doing it at the same time on the same days every week.
  • Look at your home as though it is a gym and think about how you could get the most out of it. If you have enough space set up different exercises in different rooms – a mat in the lounge, a piece of wall for balancing exercises in the hall, star jumps and skipping in the bedroom, lunges or jogging on the spot in the kitchen. If you have stairs run up and down them between each room you visit for a real fat-burning boost.
  • Playing loud rhythmic music while doing your exercises is a good way to keep yourself going. It helps to concentrate the mind and fight off distractions like what’s in the fridge or on TV.
  • Make sure to reward yourself with a non-edible treat for all the hard work you are doing. Run a deep bath and add yummy essential oils for a truly relaxing experience.
  • Certain garments are important to protect your body from the impact of exercising – a good sports bra will prevent breast stretching and trainers will protect feet from the impact of repeated movements.

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