Lockdown learnings – how moving more at home has kept me sane

This post was sponsored by Sure Deodorant and features gifted items from Liforme and Vari.

#MoveMoreAtHome with Sure Deodorant and This Girl Can

Well hello to my poor neglected corner of the internet!

It’s been a tough few months, don’t you think? Hard to believe it’s only 13 weeks ago that lockdown life became a reality, but thankfully things are slowly starting to get back to a ‘new normal’.

I’m blaming lockdown fatigue for not blogging since April (ICYMI, read Life in Lockdown: Adjusting to a new normal). I was just getting back into things too, with lots of posts planned about how to get into cycle racing (and why it was making me feel like a total badass even to come last), upcoming mountain bike events, how to get strong and why it matters, and ways to deal with dreaded RSI.

Basically lots of stuff that really didn’t matter when coronavirus took hold and life as we knew it got turned upside down.

It’s been three months since shops and restaurants were closed, streets were emptied and traffic noise silenced to make way for the crystal clear birdsong that we’re always too busy to hear. Ninety three days since sunbathing across our doorsteps or hanging out of windows to get our daily dose of Vitamin D was an acceptable thing to do.

As lockdown restrictions are lifting we’re relishing small freedoms and savouring the things we took for granted for so long – spending unlimited time outside and getting out for walks, going shopping again, staying over with family members and actually ‘going to work’ instead of rolling out of bed to the living room desk or sofa.

There’s a few good things that have come out of all of this – our communities coming together, getting to know our neighbours, and having some real decent time out of the hustle to pause and take stock of what really matters in life. When are we ever gonna get this amount of time off the hamster wheel again?

Time is so precious, so special, but never infinite. Once it’s gone you don’t get it back. It’s something we always say we ‘don’t have’, something we ‘need more’ of – well now we’ve had it… what have you learned or gained, if anything, from your lockdown time?

Here’s what I’ve learned during lockdown

1. Tidy house, tidy mind – but get me back to the office! 

Before we were confined to our humble abodes I found it really difficult to concentrate at home. There was always so much else to be getting on with – washing, cleaning, cooking – tidying for some reason never seemed more appealing than when I had a big deadline to be getting on with. Everything had to be perfect. Then I could write.

But lockdown forced me to change my ways, and I’m glad for it. I’m now actually really good at working from home (especially since we moved and I now have a separate room with office space to work in).

But I can’t wait to get back to my lovely Brighton coworking space properly, hopefully next month. They’re putting lots of hygiene and social distancing measures in place to ensure our safety and I promise after three months of working from home I’ll never underestimate the benefit of actually leaving the house to work ever again!

Plus I’ll get reunited with my lovely Vari laptop standing desk… It’s being stored in my locker at Platf9rm ready for my return. I haven’t told you about it yet but basically it’s an ace sit-stand laptop desk that goes on top of any table to adjust your working position throughout the day.

If you’ve never tried a standing desk it takes a bit of getting used to being on your feet all day, so these are a great alternative to provide the flexibility of sitting and standing, and they’re portable too so perfect for coworking.

I was gifted the Laptop30 a few months ago, you can check out this model and the others on offer on their website. Check out my write up of another model of standing desk from Vari, the Pro Plus 30.

2. Move more at home for better mental health

As much of a rollercoaster this lockdown life has been, (I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s been some soaring work-fuelled highs coupled with crashing, all-consuming, anxiety-ridden lows – usually punctuated by watching the daily briefings in the early days), there’s been one thing that has relieved the stress and brought me real peace – movement. And I’ve loved learning to #MoveMoreAtHome.

I’ve always been an advocate for the mental and physical benefits of exercise, and I think this whole pandemic has made many of us realise just how important moving our bodies every day really is.

You don’t have to get a proper sweat on to feel the benefits either. It could be a nice pyjama yoga flow or a lovely long stand up and stretch on the way to the kettle from the home office space. It could be joining a quick core class on Instagram Live, or tuning into PE with Joe at 9am when it was on. It could be doing some housework or tidying the garden if you’re lucky enough to have one.

Or lifting your bikes up and down the stairs every time you go for a ride…

A few weeks before coronavirus took over our lives I wrote a blog about home workouts and how to create your perfect gym at home, celebrating my little gym set up with kit that I bought myself and some weights I was gifted from Mirafit.

Little did I know that just a few weeks later I’d be throwing those dumbbells around the living room and cursing choosing the 20kg kettlebell as I tuned into daily live classes on Zoom. It’s been great to have all of that kit throughout this but actually throughout this period I’ve only really used one or two items, as class providers have used their imagination to help people use what they have at home:

  • Rucksacks filled with books instead of kettlebells and barbells
  • Step ups on the sofa
  • Water bottles for dumbbells
  • A plastic draw filled with junk for a sled
  • Got stairs? Use them!
  • Shoulder dips and press ups on a dining room chair

Create your perfect gym at home

My favourite ways to move more at home 

Gyms are still closed (but pubs opening?!) so as we adjust to the further relaxing of the rules I hope we all continue working out at home as well as getting our daily fix of fresh air outside. With plenty of free home workouts on YouTube and apps like MINDBODY to book live online classes, there’ll always be someone to meet you on the mat.

Here are some of my Brighton favourites that have kept me going through lockdown. You can join in too, wherever you are – that’s the power of the internet!

The Box

Banging home workouts from one of Brighton’s best studios. Daily live hiit, boxing inspired, strength and conditioning classes via Zoom. Don’t have a boxing bag or pads? No problem – you can still get a banging workout from shadow boxing. Don’t have a set of dumbbells? Don’t worry – use what you can around the house. The Box also offers outdoor bootcamps and personal training blocks if you fancy some 121 support.

Follow The Box on Insta and sign up for unlimited online classes for just £29 a month. Other prices apply for PT and bootcamp packages. 

F45 at home

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?Another please-make-it-stop / omg-I-bloody-LOVE-it #homeworkout with @f45_brightoncentral #f45live There really is nothing like it. . . I’ve been avoiding the #kettlebell because I chose the 20kg when I was lifting way more regularly but today I managed to bosh a few #kettlebellswings & #squatpress out. (I couldn’t do any a few weeks ago so definitely getting stronger again ?? ?) . Consistencyyyyyyyyyyyy at last! Only took a #pandemic ? ?? . . ℹ️ kettlebell gifted by @mirafitofficial & mat gifted by @liforme (it’s getting a good test not just for yoga & so far it’s mint!) . . . #f45training #stayinworkout #stayactivesussex #thisgirlcan #shelifts #shesquats #kettlebellworkout #kettebells #homeworkouts #fitathome #f45athome #weighttraining #hiitworkout #selfisolation #isolationworkout #girlswholift

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Can I get a YES MATE. If you know, you know. There really is nothing like an F45 workout. Brilliant, brutal, and everything in between. You’ll be sweating from your eyes and loving every second. The Brighton team have really worked hard to bring that energy from the studio into our living rooms and make it accessible for everyone, no matter what equipment you have. Follow the F45 Brighton studio on Instagram to have a nose at what the classes are like.

Join unlimited online classes for just £14 a week, or buy a £5 day pass to drop in when you feel like it. You’ll get sent the recording of the class too so if you can’t make the 8am daily live with the crew, you can do it on your own at a time that suits you! And if you fancy outdoor bodyweight sessions, they’ve started these up too (F45 Track) – £12 drop-in or buy a weekly pass. 

Yoga at home 

There’s something really great about rolling out of bed, throwing down your mat and logging on for a morning pyjama flow to bend and breathe into your day. (I mean, I’d rather be doing my sun salutations high up in the clouds, but beggars can’t be choosers in this lockdown life…)

If there’s one thing I’m taking away from lockdown it’s *finally* making time to do more yoga. I’ve been saying I should practice more for years and at best manage once a week classes when I’m winning at life. But now that I’ve adjusted to practicing at home, I’m realising that I really can fit it into my week, even just a 20 minute YouTube practice, whatever’s going on.

I’ve got two favourite yoga studios in Brighton – Studio iO, and About Balance – and they’ve both honestly saved my sanity throughout lockdown with their nourishing, recharging, strong and gentle yoga flows.

Playing a starring role whilst I’ve been moving more at home is my beautiful Liforme yoga mat. I was gifted it the week before lockdown mat and I honestly don’t think they could’ve timed it better. I’ve never had my own yoga mat before so it felt like a real treat to unwrap the box and reveal the gorgeous thick mat inside. The grip is incredible and it has a beautiful design to help stay aligned when in different poses.

The mat really has had a proper pounding over the past 13 weeks and played host to not only some sanity-saving yoga flow, but also some sweaty, brilliant live hiit classes, strength and conditioning workouts, nighttime meditations, and unfortunately, some cat fights.

Top tip: Don’t leave your beautiful yoga mat out when the cats decide to beat the crap out of each other…  

Despite the cat scratches it’s still my most prized lockdown piece of kit and I can’t wait to saunter back down to the studios when they open or to the park or beach for some seaside flow.

Join live classes with About Balance and Studio iO online via their websites, or on MINDBODY.  

ICYMI, catch up on my other yoga posts:

Why does yoga make you high?

10 things I’ve learnt about yoga

REBOOT – online workouts for teens

And finally, step aside Joe Wicks, Active Sussex in da house. Throughout lockdown, Active Sussex has teamed up with REBOOT to provide a programme of free online classes for young people and their families. Everything from hiit, street dance, gymnastics, martial arts, meditation and more.

Find out more and join in with a class here.


How are you moving more at home?

To discover more creative new ways to #MoveMoreAtHome visit the Movement Hub with Sure.