So, the lockdown continues. Another three weeks here in the UK and no doubt more to come.
On the plus side, we have at least been allowed more freedom for getting outside and staying active.
The challenge, as is often the case, is probably more mental than physical. How do you stay motivated when you’re doing it on your own? How do you keep it interesting when you’re stuck in or around home?
Here are ten adventure ideas to help you stay fit and active during lockdown. The first one only lasts for the next five days so don’t delay!
1. Match the miles
This week only, you are challenged to keep up with two athletes from The Adventure Syndicate as they ride a virtual bike race.
Any physical activity counts towards “matching their miles”, so you could go for a walk or run, do a Joe Wicks PE session or indeed get on your bike.
In normal times, Lee Craigie and Jenny Graham would be riding
their bikes day and night for five days around the infamous Highland Trail 550 mountain bike circuit. And at the same time encouraging schools, workplaces and individuals to follow their GPS track and “Match the Miles” they ride online via a live map.
2. Climb a mountain on your staircase
How about climbing to the height of various mountains on your own stairs?
I once spent a week running to the height of Mount Everest on the staircase at the Royal Geographical Society. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I certainly felt fit at the end of it.
For those with time on your hands, you can do your own calculations e.g. measure a step and count how many there are on your staircase, or measure the floor to ceiling height (or both if you’re really bored).
But if we said your steps were 19cm and you had 16 of them, this is how many ascents you would need to do to reach various summits:
- Canary Wharf (One Canada Square) – 78
- Empire State Building – 125
- Snowdon – 357
- Ben Nevis – 442
- Mont Blanc – 1,582
3. Radial exploration
Many aspects of the lockdown have been frustrating but one of the interesting things to have come from it is all of the walking paths, running loops and cycle routes I’ve discovered near home.
So why not embrace that with some “radial exploration”?
Calculate a 1-mile radius around your house and explore everything within that area.
You could choose a point on the edge of the circle to reach each day or you could simply try and explore foot paths and routes within the circle which you have not previously been along. Set a rule that if you see a road, path or trail that you’ve not been down before, you have to follow it.
4. Photograph the changes
Take a photograph of the same spot each day to see how it changes as the days/week progress. None of us know how much longer this lockdown will last but this could be another way to document it. Are the seasons changing? Is nature making a land grab while everyone’s at home?
Alternatively, since our time outside is no longer limited, you could take a photograph of the same spot at different times of day to see how the changes in the light affect what you are looking at.
Some suggestions would be things like trees or fields but you could try this with buildings as well. The whole point is to get to know a small area intimately.
5. Set a circuit, set a PB
Although exercise is no longer limited to activities that can be undertaken from your front door, I suspect most of it will still start at home and that might mean you end up doing the same circuit on every run/walk/cycle.
That could be considered tedious but it could also become a challenge. Time it and set yourself a goal to improve it. Can you set a personal best?
6. Walk a mile a day (or three)
Last year, Laura and I set ourselves the goal of walking 2,019 miles over the course of the year. That meant walking about three miles a day.
Set yourself a daily goal for mileage: one mile every day without fail? Three miles to hit the 2,020 miles in 2020 average? Obviously you can adjust this number up for running or cycling.
7. Set a lockdown target
“I will get outside twice every single day until Boris Johnson’s next announcement.”
“I will run every week day until lockdown is lifted.”
“I will do at least one long bike ride every week until the roads get busy again.”
“I will do every Joe Wicks PE lesson until he stops broadcasting them.”
8. Set an indoor record
For those with exercise bikes, treadmills or rowing machines, now is the time to set a record.
How far can you ride in an hour (Chris Boardman managed 49km)? How long can you keep running at 20kph (marathon runners keep it up for an hour)? Can you row across the Channel this weekend?
9. Make the most of the quiet roads
Nothing beats a bike ride on Christmas Day because the roads are deserted. Well, every day is a bit like that now.
The roads may get a little busier now if more people return to work but – you know what? – there are often still more bikes than cars out at the moment and it will still probably never be this quiet again.
Ride those otherwise busy roads and do shuttle runs across those empty car parks.
10. The 100 push-up challenge
If all else fails, visit www.hundredpushups.com