School of Sport & Exercise Science Staff Notices Uncategorized

Physical Activity and Exercise during lockdown

The following suggestions and resources are from colleagues in the School of Sport and Exercise Science. If you have any questions or need more advice, please email us: and we will do our best to support you.

Why bother?

Exercise won’t prevent us from developing COVID-19, but scientific evidence tells us that physical activity helps counteract the negative effects of isolation on our immune system and should therefore, be a key part of our day during this period of lockdown. Physically active people will have less severe symptoms, shorter recovery times, and potentially are less likely to infect others they come into contact with. If you want to know more, you can read or listen to the following recently published articles on, the potential benefits of keeping active during the pandemic

And Physical activity and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): specific recommendations for home based physical training

New to exercise – No problem

Now is the perfect time to do all the ‘things’ exercise-wise that many of us do not do, or do not do enough of, such as stretching, mobility and injury prevention exercises, which may motivate you to continue with more physical activity when ’normality’ resumes. For those of you that do not exercise regularly, it may be that you are more concerned about alleviating the effect of long/longer periods of sitting down.

With the many online videos available, remember that it doesn’t matter who is promoting the session, if it doesn’t feel right for you, then it probably isn’t! If you are new to online classes a good place to start if is NHS Fitness Studio. Here you can access aerobic exercise classes, strength/resistance training and yoga and Pilates. All free and all with different levels from beginners to more advanced according to your individual needs.

The NHS website also has a series of fitness guides, including Getting Started; 10 minute workouts; strength and flexibility and much more.

If you have children at home, have you thought about exercising together? There are some great Yoga/Pilates sessions on YouTube aimed at children. These are very accessible if you are new to this type of exercise and they are great fun to do as a family. Some of them, such as Cosmic Kids Yoga – on youtube – involves story telling, from the Three Little Pigs through to Star Wars.

If you fancy trying full yoga classes, try Soul Sanctuary, which is a local company that has studios at Wayland’s Yard and Spetchley Gardens.  They have moved all of their classes on line: Youtube channel

 How to keep active during the day and break up your desk time

  • Walking: For anyone using walking as their chosen mode there is an excellent resource at There is plenty of advice for all from apparently healthy adults to those with underlying health conditions.

Please post your successes and share with us on Twitter @UniWorcSES or Instagram uw_school_sport

  • How about a sport of Active housework:  get cleaning! Being in clean surroundings brightens your mood!  Cleaning the windows? 150 calories in 30 minutes.  Gardening? Up to 200 calories for 30 minutes.  Cleaning the whole house can be the equivalent of a run.  Even better, crank the tunes up and make it fun, by dancing around the house. If you want to engage the children, try a fun song such as The Tidy Up Rhumba song
  • If you need further inspiration, try listening to podcasts, this one is particularly good for female called: Fit & Fearless
  • An SSES PhD student Alice Burgin’s recent research centred on the use of short term, apparatus free exercises, which could be conducted at home. Alice spoke about her work in a podcast:!2adbf
  • If you are used to doing exercise classes with others and need a bit of motivation to do this at home, try Les Mills on Demand: They are currently offering a 2 week free trial and have over 800 workouts online, from yoga to combat, dance to weights classes, all delivered by professionally trained instructors.

And finally…if you need a bit of advice about how to continue to exercise when you are unable to complete your usual training regime, Brad Stulberg writes a lot of sense on Twitter and his work is very accessible:


Principles from the Best Endurance Athletes for Our Times: Run the Mile You Are In | The Growth Equation

The first rule of running a long-distance race is to acknowledge that the race will in fact be long (and hard).

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