Tips for Staying Fit During the Coronavirus Lockdown by Ian Lockyer

It is a difficult time for us all and most especially those front-line workers in the emergency services who are looking to protect us all and keep us safe. We can all do our bit by staying at home and only going out as advised by government guidance. However, it is vitally important that we look after ourselves and keep fit and healthy. Putting a few things in place in your daily routine will have massive benefits not only for your physical self but also your mental health as well…because physical and mental health is inextricably linked.

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Trampolining skills during lock-down.

As well as being a Community Safety Adviser for Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team, I am also an Assistant Athletics Coach and Run Leader for Thanet Roadrunners AC, whose motto is ‘A Club for All’. This attitude is something I believe passionately in so I thought I would give some simple tips for staying fit and healthy through these difficult times.

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  • Exercise doesn’t have to be a gym work out.

A lot of families have been following a plethora of daily online exercise sessions, but that isn’t right for everyone. Without a proper warm-up or following the correct instructions or not having the right fitness levels or flexibility you could get injured. And these types of sessions aren’t designed for everyone. Tendering to your garden, mowing the lawn, doing a bit of DIY will have just as much benefit. Even putting on the music loud and dancing with your partner will put you on their good books and will do wonders for your relationship.

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  • Your house and garden can be a gymnasium.

It is amazing what you can find that can be good exercise. You might have a trampoline, badminton net and rackets or a climbing frame or even old skipping rope.   Why not get the kids involved in creating some imaginative games…maybe even set up your own garden Olympics.

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  • Your dog is still your best friend.

Dogs love walkies so go and take them out and be their best pal.  Even if you don’t have a dog, you can still go out for a walk. If you have never exercised before, this is the best way of keeping fit.  All you need to do is the start off at your normal walking pace and maybe after a couple of weeks start to walk a little bit quicker. You will feel better getting out of the house and will become energised when you come back.

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If you are used to exercising, as long as we are all allowed to exercise, go for a run or cycle around where you live.

  • Make sure you exercise according to your age and fitness.

We don’t want you getting any injuries.  Only do what you feel you are capable of doing.  Make sure anything you do becomes your new daily routine. If you skip a day for one reason or another, don’t beat yourself up…but make sure you get back to your new routine….you will feel better for it.

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  • Avoid snacking

This is one of the biggest traps at the moment. By taking in, more calories than you are burning will mean that you will put on weight. I have been sticking to three basic meals a day and if I am peckish will eat a piece of fruit.

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Pegwell Bay Park Run Photo credit: Thanet RNLI Community Safety. Photo taken before social distancing was introduced

As for me, I have established a new weekly routine which I hope will keep my weight in check and maybe lose a pound or so each week.

It involves 30 minutes of dog walking every other day with my wife and two westies. The other alternate day includes a 30-minute hill session running up and down my local area dodging any walker with a bit of social distancing. This session is with government guidelines and is pushing my metabolism and continuing to build my strength.

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Also, every night…because I am not a morning person… I do about 5 -10 minutes of conditioning/exercises including sit-ups, press-ups, squats, plank etc. which I am increasing each week steadily.

This new routine is keeping me sane and safe. However, not everyone is the same, and you should find something that is suitable and works for you. (Please consult your GP or other qualified medical professional before engaging in any form of fitness activity).

Stay Safe.

Ian Lockyer

RNLI Community Safety Adviser.

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Useful references:

Please don’t use the sea for for recreation or exercise over the Easter break!

Lifting the lid on Thanet’s lifeguarding and surf lifesaving clubs Part II

Metal detecting at the coast – do you have an emergency plan if things should go wrong?

Ramsgate Lifeboat

Margate Lifeboat

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Ramsgate’s All Weather Lifeboat Photo credit: Sarah Hewes


Andy Mills

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Striving to reduce accidental drownings by 50% by 2024 by spreading key safety messages to Thanet communities and its visitors.