How to stay active during self-isolation

One of the biggest challenges now that we’re being asked to stay at home and exercise self isolation is to establish a new routine that works for everyone. As working parents we have to balance the need to keep up with work tasks with keeping children busy, managing the household and ideally, staying physically active. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but getting a home workout into your day could actually help you manage stress levels. Here are a few suggestions and ideas to help…

Mother and child both doing the downward dog yoga pose


Create a daily schedule

Everyone copes better when there’s some form of routine, so take time to think about a daily plan to help structure the day.

If you’re helping children with school work or looking after preschoolers, it’s very difficult to work from home at the same time. You might need to set aside time in the evenings to get some of your tasks done. So exercise could form part of your daily activity as a family, or give you some headspace at the beginning or end of the day.

Get outside if you can

Under the lockdown rules we’re still able to get outside once a day for a walk or cycle as a family, as long as everyone is feeling well. It’s well worth taking this opportunity – whatever the weather – to avoid cabin fever setting in. While playgrounds might be off limits, most parks and green spaces are still open, and the countryside is available to all as long as you keep your distance from others.

Home exercises as a family

Another option is to set aside time to do a home workout together. Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, is doing a daily PE lesson live on YouTube at 9am designed for all the family. These 30 minute at home workouts will get everyone moving.

There are lots of other family workouts on YouTube to explore – search for kids yoga, kids circuit training, kids cardio and kids workouts for inspiration.

Home exercise for grownups

A family workout isn’t for everyone, though. It might work better for you and your partner for exercise to be your opportunity for a break from the children! You could go out for a walk or run, try a home yoga workout (Yoga with Adrienne offers a huge range of free videos) or do some bodyweight training.

Online stores are doing great business in supplying workout equipment like treadmills, static bikes and cross trainers too. If you know you’ll be missing the gym, this might be an option.

Be kind to yourself

The demands on us all at the moment are unprecedented. Many of us are worried about our health, our elderly relatives, job security, our finances and our children’s education.

With everything that’s happening, we need to be realistic about what we can achieve each day. Some days it will be difficult to get anything done, others will be all about managing emotions and looking out for one another.

So while there are lots of exercises to do at home if you want them, don’t feel bad if it’s unachievable for a day, for a week… or at all. This is a unique and stressful experience, let’s take it one day at a time.

For further advice and suggestions to help you manage during the Covid-19 crisis, see our articles on what working parents need to know, activity ideas for kids and our coronavirus Q&A.

And, for a personal look at the challenges of taking over our children’s education from our Editor, Mandy Garner, see Homeschooling – so far…

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