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Fitting exercise into life during the Coronavirus outbreak

It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks since the UK Government implemented a series of extreme measures to try and ‘flatten the [Brexit-friendly] sombrero’ of the Coronavirus curve.

At a time when unnecessary social contact should be avoided and schools shut their doors until further notice, the StingyFit household is, like millions of other families up and down the country, trying to adjust to the new normal, which is, at best, extraordinary.

It therefore seems fitting for us to chart our plans for adapting our StingyFit lifestyle during this challenging time.

On the one hand, our StingyFit motto of striving for self-sufficiency and minimising unnecessary consumerist spending aligns fairly well with Coronavirus induced confinement. We have never been so grateful for clearing out our garage and dedicating part of the space to our modest ‘homemade’ gym and for putting some raised beds in our garden last year in the hope of growing our own fruit ‘n’ veg (although during recent months, we’ve grown what can only be described as a modest garnish for one meal).

On the other hand, our StingyFit exercising regime has, for a few years since having child 1 and child 2, been based on the assumption that child 1 and child 2 would be in school and nursery for a large chunk of the day for 39 weeks a year, allowing Mr and Mrs StingyFit to fit in a bit of exercise around our ‘real’ jobs and generally running the household. Now that child 1 and child 2 are at home full time for the foreseeable future and with the threat of self-isolation lingering over our heads as persistently as the Coronavirus itself, fitting exercise into our daily lives has thrown up new challenges.

However, one thing is for sure, the StingyFit household is committed to fitting exercise into this unique period of our lives in order to stay healthy and, most importantly, sane. With this in mind, here are some ways that we hope will enable us to squeeze in a bit of daily exercise into our lives. We’d love to hear about innovative ways that our worldwide StingyFit followers are fitting in exercise into your lives.

  • We will set up a daily exercise routine to include a slot where Mr and Mrs StingyFit can take it in turns to go out individually for a solitary run or cycle to clear our minds and enjoy the peace and quiet of our own company in fresh air, whilst the other distracts child 1 and child 2.
  • We will have a daily family PE lesson (weekdays at the very least), taking it in turns with child 1 and child 2 to lead each lesson in our home gym, garden or the woods near our house. We suspect child 1 will, in particular, relish the reverse teacher/parent-pupil/child relationship during these lessons. We dread to think what punishments will be enforced by child 1 where any pupils misbehave. In the spirit of StingyFit, we may gently encourage child 1 to dish out military type exercise punishments, such as 2 minute planks or 3 sets of 20 press-ups. (Child 2 will probably abstain and roll their eyes, but we will see.)
  • One lesson might include following a YouTube yoga lesson (Erin from Five Parks Yoga is a hit with us; her online lessons are very calming and fairly short, often set outside in the beautiful Colorado mountains or poolside in her yoga retreat in Costa Rica) or a pilates lesson with PopSugar (child 2 loves the athleisure wear donned by the main fitness instructors in this video).
  • Another lesson is likely to be more kid-friendly, following YouTube videos such as Go-Noodle which child 1 and child 2 adore. These videos are surprisingly cardio intensive if you do a series of videos in one go! Joe Wicks will do a half hour PE lesson each weekday starting from next Monday morning: so that’s also in our diary.
  • Once the weather improves, Mr StingyFit and child 1 plan to devise an obstacle course in our garden. Pinterest provides a lot of inspiration for this, no matter what the size of your outdoor space.
  • Gardening! It never ceases to amaze us how much exercise we get out of gardening. Manual labour is hard work and in an age where many people are working from home, we need to exercise our bodies more than ever. We plan on incorporating weekly gardening into our routine with child 1 and child 2 who have a child sized wheelbarrow and gardening tools (“Little Pals“) and are, in the words of Paw Patrol, ‘ready for action’.
  • To avoid cabin fever, we plan on going on a family walk, scoot or cycle in the neighbourhood and nearby woods once a day. It might just make us appreciate what a blessing it is to have so much nature nearby and time to simply roam around as a family.
  • What about resistance training, you exercise fanatics might shout! Well, as it is unlikely that child 1 and child 2 will sit around watching their parents do such training, we have resigned to the fact that we will need to do this in the evening a few nights a week after the kids have gone to bed. Mr StingyFit intends to swing his kettlebell in front of the telly (following Fitness Blender on mute on the iPad at a reasonable distance away from the living room sofa) whilst Mrs StingyFit intends to do a series of 10-20 planks or sit ups every time the presenters say the word ‘fresh’, ‘denim’ or ‘world class’ when she binge watches Netflix’s Next in Fashion show.
  • That aside, we might alternate a couple of ‘individual’ exercise slots between outdoor workouts and homemade gym TRX workouts (TRX by Amy is gospel in this house).

So there you have it; our plan to fit exercise into our lives during the Coronavirus outbreak. Yes, we will need to adjust to having smaller snippets of time to ourselves than in our normal lives, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge sacrifice to make and the exercise ‘show’ must go on.