31st Mar 2020

F is for Fitness: Exercise in Small Spaces

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With the majority of people staying home, it’s more important than ever to ensure we’re all looking after our fitness and health during these challenging times.

Keeping active is essential for your mind as well as your body. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate exercise into your new daily routine, whatever that may look like at the moment!

Despite all of the changes going on around us, our designer Rebecca is cracking on with the WELL Building Standard certification and surprise, surprise, fitness is one of the central topics. The Standard encourages “integration of physical activity into everyday life… and discouraging sedentary behaviours.” And we’re hoping this article gives you some tips for staying active right now, as well as when we’re all back into our ‘normal’ daily routines.

So let’s get to it – here’s how you can keep yourself physically (and mentally) well during these unprecedented times, including how to get your daily exercise, even in small spaces.

How much exercise should you be doing?

According to the NHS, you should do 150 minutes of ‘moderate physical activity’ every week, because inactivity can lead to chronic health conditions.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t do enough exercise and tech could be to blame, as in many cases it reduces the need to be active. But (and it’s a big but!) tech really can support you to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing too.

We’ve seen so many examples of this recently, helping all sorts of people to stay active without needing to leave the house. Here are some of our favourites…

YouTube videos

There are more YouTube fitness classes kicking about now than ever before with the closure of gyms and other public spaces. And when we say ‘fitness class’ we’re not necessarily talking high-intensity sessions; yoga or stretching can be just as beneficial for the mind and body.

Here are a couple of examples to get you started:

  • Fitness Blender has pretty much every type of workout you can think of on their YouTube channel
  • Yoga with Adrienne is a popular one for those wanting to slow it down a bit

Live-streamed fitness classes (for the kids too!)

With gyms closed, many personal trainers are running remote sessions using video conferencing platforms… Who knew StarLeaf could be used for fitness classes as well as meetings?

Lots of gyms are also offering classes through Facebook or Instagram Live too.

If you have children at home with you, The Body Coach Joe Wicks has been streaming  PE classes on YouTube for the whole family to follow along. He’s also done a series of 10 minute workouts for seniors.

Find a quiet place to exercise outside

Fresh air is good for productivity, and so is changing your environment every now and again.

If you’re feeling a little uninspired sat at your makeshift home office, even walking into the garden or onto the street outside can help.

We’ve enjoyed seeing some of the funny news stories about people doing laps of their gardens until they’ve reached half marathon distance. So there are definitely ways you can get creative with keeping fit even if you’ve only got a small outdoor space to play with.

Keep moving regularly

You can’t be as flexible as normal with your workspace, but you can set it up to force yourself to move more regularly.

Try leaving your phone on the other side of the room so you have to get up when someone calls you – it’s such a simple one to force yourself to move.

Or if you’re pushed for space, set a timer to make sure you stand up, stretch your legs and get your blood flowing every hour or so.

Boost team morale

Fitness brings people together so if you’re leading a team you can use this to keep everyone connected.

If there’s someone in your team who usually enjoys a gym class, see if they’d be up for running one through your usual video conferencing tool to get everyone active.

If you don’t have someone, you can all watch the same YouTube workout and follow along at the same time. A fun activity that’s bound to get you all laughing!

Even when you’re at work together, organising group fitness activities is great for team building so note this one down for future reference!

Keep your eyes peeled

It won’t be long until Rebecca’s finished the Fitness module of the WELL Standard Certification. When she does, we’ll be sharing tips from a WELL point of view on how you can take a holistic approach to fitness in the workplace. Check back on our blog and social channels to make sure you don’t miss it.


Rachel Biddles

Operations Director