Lockdown 2.0 exercise rules: what you can and can’t do in England this November

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With unlimited outdoor exercises allowed, here is an outline of what you can do during lockdown 2.0 and zero excuses.

Fitness and wellbeing are important now more than ever. Exercise can enhance our physical, mental, and emotional health which is crucial as we enter a second lockdown.

What are the lockdown exercise rules this November? It’s a question that most of us are wondering; whether we are avid gym-goers, casual walkers or we merely wish to be more active, we want a clear outline of our do’s and don’ts during the second national lockdown in England.

The exercise rules for the first lockdown were strict. In March, people were only allowed to go out for exercise once a day for one hour and could be fined if they were found to be breaching the rules. As lockdown restrictions eased, unlimited exercise was allowed -but gyms and exercise studios had to remain closed.

So what are the rules for exercise during lockdown this time around? Who can we work out with and where can we work out? In the first lockdown, exercise was strictly to be had either solo or with members of your own household (or later on, with your support bubble). However this time the rules have changed. 

This is what you need to know about the lockdown exercise rules for November…

Indoor gyms and all leisure centers will be closing during the lockdown. So exercise indoors will be strictly limited to within your own home. 

In terms of outdoor activity, those looking to go for a run, walk, or cycle can – and are encouraged to do so. 

This is good news as it means that you can exercise in your local park or public outdoor space, including on beaches, as long as you maintain a 2-meter distance from those outside your household or support bubble.

That might be going for a run or other cardio activity, or it could even be practicing Pilates or yoga. The government hasn’t specified that people cannot remain in one place to exercise, unlike last time when officials prohibited any loitering during exercise. 

However, the government has confirmed that during lockdown 2.0 golf courses and tennis courts will not be open during lockdown throughout November. 

Indoor gyms have certainly closed but outdoor gyms often found near playgrounds (which will also stay open), are still available for use. 

Who can you work out with?

In general, the government guidance for the November lockdown is to ‘stay at home’ where possible and not meet other people socially. However, they have said, “you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoor space with people you live with, your support bubble or with one other person.” 

This means that a person can meet with one other person outside of their support bubble or household as part of the lockdown exercise rules. However, it’s been stressed that this must only be one other person and doesn’t mean one other household. 

This means that Personal Trainers can technically train clients outdoors safely during the lockdown.

Children under the age of five years old, as well as disabled people who are dependent on full-time care, are not counted towards the limit, so this is the only instance where more than two people can meet outside for exercise. 

In the first stage of the first lockdown, people were only allowed to exercise outside of their homes for one hour a day. This time, there is unlimited exercise allowed.

So whether you’re still wanting to keep up with your hard-core fitness routine or simply keep active over the lockdown, there’s plenty of ways to keep active in winter. 

What are the benefits of exercise during a winter lockdown?

The idea of getting out early to exercise during the winter while it’s light outside might fill most of us with dread. But the benefits of exercise, even during the colder months and especially during the lockdown, have been widely attested to.

Physical benefits of exercise include:

  • Physical resilience: Our body fights viruses in our immune system which includes organs like the skin, as well as white blood cells, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus and bone marrow. All of these are strengthened with exercise and the associated benefits of increased oxygen in the lungs.
  • Better blood circulation: Exercise pumps blood (including those handy white blood cells) around the body to where it’s needed for repair.
  • Stronger bones and joints: While we’re sitting down working from home every day, our bones and joints are suffering. Exercise helps keep them in tip-top condition.
  • Stress-reducing: Exercise helps to regulate the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies.
  • Weight management: Exercise burns calories, which helps many of us stay at a healthy weight, which in turn keeps our lungs and hearts healthy.
  • Improved quality of sleep: If you find yourself waking up early in the morning or struggling to get to sleep at night, then exercise could be the answer. In turn, sleep helps our cells repair themselves, along with helping the immune system and our general health.

Mental health benefits of exercise include: 

  • Reducing stress: Many people say that exercise is one of the main ways they reduce stress so with more of us working from home than ever before, we’ll need to keep stress levels low.
  • Creating resilience: Due to the physical challenges of exercise, it helps us create positive coping strategies and helps to develop mental resilience.
  • Releases endorphins: The famous ‘feel-good’ hormones make us feel fantastic, a key feature in improving our mental health through the lockdown.
  • Less mental fatigue: By changing up our daily routine with exercise, we can avoid the mental fatigue that comes with doing the same thing, in the same place, every day.

Improves our sleep quality: Better sleep has been proven to help those struggling with their mental health during difficult times due to the physical benefits it creates.

Source: Good To Know Magazine

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