Keeping physical activity interesting
Posted: Tue, 12 May 2020 15:00
With sports clubs being unable to run during these uncertain times, many of you may be struggling to motivate yourself to get active without your teammates spurring you on. Hayley Sanders from Access Sport shares her experience with keeping connected with her local Netball team and their daily challenges they set to make being active more fun and interesting:
My legs are beginning to shake, my fists are clenched and I'm trying to relax my breathing. No, I'm not on the last stretch of a 10km run. I'm balancing a can of drink on my head trying to complete my Netball club's daily challenge to stand, lay and stand again without the can falling. I've been lucky, attempt number two is a success, the can and my living room floor have survived unscathed.
I'm Hayley, I'm the Oxford Club Development Manager for sport inclusion charity Access Sport. I have always been active but I get the most enjoyment from team sports. I like the social benefits and competitiveness and this is what I am struggling with during lockdown. Without my team mates to spur me on or a physical opponent I'm finding it more and more difficult to keep interested in exercise.
I know the physical and mental benefits that exercise brings so I will battle on, but I'm going to go easy on myself.
My top tip for everyone would be: You can't guilt yourself into keeping fit, you have to enjoy it.
Some people like routine but for me, variety is going to be the key. Alongside some bike rides and runs I've delved into YouTube's offerings in beginner Pilates, HIIT work outs and even some Latin dancing. The latter being the most enjoyable but my movements were certainly not fluid and natural looking.
Back to my living room and can of drink. This is just one of the many weird and wonderful challenges set by a senior player in my netball club. She has taken the lead in keeping the club connected and active. Short daily challenges that any member of our club from 12 years + can do at home alone or against family. I've had to put a t-shirt on whilst in a handstand against a wall, throw pairs of socks in a bucket from 10 feet away and hop over a wall of toilet rolls as many times in 30 seconds as I can. Some days are of course highly competitive, but the joy of these challenges comes from watching each other's attempts; the successes and failures. Lockdown has brought our club together, all ages and ability of players take part in these challenges, encouraging and applauding each other, and laughing too. There's not been a lot to laugh about, so when someone shares a video of a ball bouncing off their ceiling and hitting themselves in the face it doesn't stop being funny!
If I do no other activity in my day but these 5 minute challenges I'm considering it a job well done.
We know that from Wednesday 13th May, we can all take part in unlimited exercise. Why not sign up for Mayathon and make sure that you stay active, stay healthy and stay connected during lockdown?