Don’t lose fitness just because the gym’s on lockdown

Standfirst: This 10-minute cardio workout counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week.

If you are in to keeping fit then the thought of your gym shutting down temporarily due to Covid-19 advice might not be particularly welcome, especially if you have been training hard to compete in spring and summer events.

Maybe, having made a new year’s resolution to get fitter, and having stuck to that resolution for the past couple of months, the last thing you now want is that loss of momentum, especially when all your hard work is starting to bear fruit.

Don’t despair, with a little imagination, there’s no need to sit back and watch all that hard graft go to waste…the world is your gym.

You can keep up your aerobic fitness by cycling and running. If you don’t already own a bike, buying one might seem like an unnecessary expense, which would be a fair assessment, but running, on the other hand is reasonably cheap. If you do go to the gym/workout on a regular basis, the you will have all the gear. Shorts, t-shirt, socks and trainers – there’s no need to go crazy on the trainers - maybe a lightweight rain jacket too, and you are ready to go.

More and more parks now have outdoor gyms – where you can jog from exercise station to exercise station. These exercise points tend to focus around using your body weight to get maximum traction, so things like triceps dips, pull ups and press-ups are all popular.

Equally, all the above can be done in your home and garden. The NHS has a number of 10-minute fitness sessions focusing on: Legs, bums and tums, Full body toning, Great abs, Upper arms workout, Firm butt workout.

To give you a flavour of what’s involved in NHS 10-minute we have focused their cadio workout. Just tailor the routines to accommodate your own level of fitness and the space you have available to execute the routines

Burn calories, lose weight and feel great with this 10-minute home cardio workout routine for aerobic fitness.

If you have a skipping rope, you can swap one of the exercises with a 60-second burst of skipping.

This 10-minute cardio workout counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week.

Before you begin, warm up with a six-minute warm-up routine. After your workout, cool down with a five-minute stretch.

Rocket jumps: two sets of 15 to 24 repetitions (reps)

For rocket jumps, stand with your feet hip-width apart, legs bent and hands on your thighs.

Jump up, driving your hands straight above your head and extending your entire body. Land softly, reposition your feet and repeat.

For more of a challenge, start in a lower squat position and hold a weight or a bottle of water in both hands at the centre of your chest.

Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Star jumps or squats: two sets of 15 to 24 reps

To do a star jump, stand tall with your arms by your side and knees slightly bent.

Jump up, extending your arms and legs out into a star shape in the air.

Land softly, with your knees together and hands by your side.

Keep your abs tight and back straight during the exercise.


As a less energetic alternative, do some squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands down by your sides or stretched out in front for extra balance.

Lower yourself by bending your knees until they're nearly at a right angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor.

Keep your back straight and don't let your knees extend over your toes.

Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Tap backs: Two sets of 15 to 24 reps

To start tap backs, step your right leg back and swing both arms forward, then repeat with the opposite leg in a continuous rhythmic movement.

Look forward and keep your hips and shoulders facing forward. Don't let your front knee extend over your toes as you step back.

For more of a challenge, switch legs by jumping (also known as spotty dog), remembering to keep the knees soft as you land. Your back heel needs to be off the floor at all times.

Recovery: walk or jog on the spot for 15 to 45 seconds.

Burpees: Two sets of 15 to 24 reps

To do a burpee from a standing position (1), drop into a squat with your hands on the ground (2).

Kick your feet back into a push-up position (3). Jump your feet back into a squat (4) and jump up with your arms extending overhead (5).

For an easier burpee, don't kick out into the push-up position and stand up instead of jumping.

Cool down using your favourite stretches