6 SMARTY ways to stay active in self-isolation

So, the latest developments with COVID-19 have led to the government encouraging anyone with symptoms or living with anyone with symptoms to stay inside for 7-14 days.

The prospect of being stuck at home for that amount of time can be a bit daunting – especially if you’re someone who likes to stay active. How are you going to hit your daily step count? What about those jogs around the park with your mate?

Well here are a few ways we hope can stop you going stir-crazy…

1. Use the stairs

Set the timer on your smartphone and take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon to see how many times you can jog up and down the stairs. Be careful not to trip and always use the bannister if you are feeling tired. This type of exercise will gets your heart, lungs and legs working – and if you imagine you’re climbing Kilimanjaro it’s also like a free holiday!

If you live in a flat or apartment, use the communal stairs (as long as no one else is using them). Live in a bungalow? Well, why not try marching on the spot.

2. Kettle ballet

Working from home often means sitting down a lot and drinking many, many cups of coffee. But this time, while you’re standing waiting for the kettle to boil, go up on your toes 10 times in a row. Hold onto something for support if you need to. It’s amazing how much these little bouts of activity will help preserve muscle loss in your lower limbs.

3. Push the walls

After a week of self-isolation you may want to bang your head against the wall. But we recommend trying something a little different. Pushing against something that won’t move creates what’s known as isometric contraction of the muscle – these types of exercises help to maintain muscle mass. First, stand with your feet 2 inches away from the wall. Press your hands against the wall like you are doing an upright press-up. Lean forward, push and hold for 10 seconds. Now, move your feet back another 2 inches and try again. Keep moving back until your arms are straight in the starting position.

4. Chair Tricep dips

This one’s perfect for while you’re binge-watching that TV series everyone was talking about that you never had time to catch. Sit on the edge of a chair, holding onto the front of it with your hands. Place your feet out in front of you and lower your elbows to a 90-degree angle – then push back up. Repeat and you’ll soon feel the burn!

5. Scour the Internet

There are loads of workout videos, yoga routines, aerobics and even Zumba classes that you can watch online and join in with. And the best thing about being at home is that if you do it wrong – no one will know. Plus, you can pause and repeat until you get the hang of things.

A few resources we love at SMARTY:

Caroline Inspired: Yoga-inspired workouts

Carly Rowena: Legs, bums, tums and more

One How To: Zumba dance fitness

NHS: Gym-free workouts

Men’s Health: Home workout

6. Get cleaning

Cleaning burns more calories than most things and what better time for a spring clean than in spring and when you’re stuck at home. This could be the perfect excuse to organise your wardrobe, clear out the old junk you don’t need anymore and (finally) vacuum behind the sofa.

So what are you waiting for? Put down those biscuits and get active.


  • SMARTY Team
  • March 18th, 2020