‘I’m hooping my way through the lockdown’: how readers are keeping fit | Sport

‘Hula hooping is perfect for cardio and strength’

I am a professional hula hooper so I’m hooping my way through the lockdown. It’s perfect for cardio and strength, as well as being a bit silly so you can forget about what’s happening with the world. I also have a young son so I decided to film and record a hula hooping for kids online course. I’ve released it for free and have had over a hundred people download it for their kids which is amazing! Jo, Worthing.

‘I was inspired by the man who ran a marathon on his balcony’

I have a physical disability called limb difference, so have to wear a prosthetic leg to walk. Usually I go on small walks at my own pace at Roundhay Park in Leeds, but obviously that is harder now. I used to be a Paralympic swimmer and I like to keep fit and feel strong. I had to figure out a way to exercise and was inspired by the restaurant worker in France, Elisha Nochomovitz, and the marathon he ran on his seven-metre long balcony.

At the back of my house is a small courtyard, around seven metres across. I challenged myself, not to walk a marathon, but to walk a mile a day, back and forth across the courtyard. I’m on my seventh day now and it feels wonderful to have the sun on my face, breathing in the fresh air. I’m sleeping better because of the exercise. And the added bonus is that I can still do this, at my own pace, with my prosthetic leg. I’ve been putting up videos of me doing a silly walk to celebrate my mile for the day. It seems to bring a smile to people’s faces, which makes my day. Elizabeth, Leeds

‘I can continue strength work thanks to my village pub’

Thanks to my village pub, The Seven Stars, I can continue strength training using an improvised barbell made from ale casks and bamboo. Ivy, Kennard.

reader



Creative weights.

‘I suspect we’ll be fitter after all this than we were before’

I’ve set up a small gym in my garage. I have my old road bike on a turbo, a small rower, an old cross trainer, a stepper and an ancient bull worker set up for a circuit. I’m 76 and my wife 69. We each spend an hour in there on alternate days. I suspect we’ll be fitter after all this than we were before! Hugh, Matlock Bath.

‘I built a climbing wall’

I built a climbing wall in my garage. Peter, Cambridge.

Peter’s wall.



Peter’s wall.

‘Today I will run up Snowdon’

I am running up virtual mountains. We have a sloping garden with steps leading to the bottom. I measured the height of these steps and worked out how many times I need to climb them to reach the top of famous mountains. Today I will complete Snowdon (3,560 feet), before moving on to Scafell Pike. I do it in numerous sessions as it breaks up my working day. The neighbours think I’m nuts but it stops me from climbing the walls instead! Mike, Audlem.

‘I feel like I’ve done a session with a hardcore trainer’

I’m constantly carrying a six-month-old baby while trying to stop my three-year-old watching TV all day. This can involve squats in front of the oven while making gingerbread men, banana bread or choc-chip cookies, or dead lifts while repositioning plastic skittles on the bins to be shot down with water pistols. I feel like I’ve done a session with a hardcore trainer every day but, with all the baking, it’s unlikely much tone will result. Jo, Cambridge.

Shooting in the back garden.



Shooting in the back garden.

‘Yoga can lift you into a different mindset’

I’m 73 and I’ve been practicing yoga since 2016, I’m convinced, and grateful, that the combination of flexibility and strength I enjoy is in large part down this remarkable system of breathing through movement. I practice for up to 45 minutes every other day. It requires minimal equipment – a mat and a brick. Yoga can lift you into a different mindset, where life takes on a wholly new perspective. There are numerous classes streaming online. Rupert, Deal.

‘I am running a coronavirus ward in a London hospital’

I do a 10-mile run home from work a couple of times a week. As I am running a coronavirus ward in a London hospital, the travelling is allowed and I need the run to clear my head. I am being careful to keep social distancing. Although, having already had Covid-19, I think I am not a risk to others and they are not a risk to me.

‘I’m cycling at 5am’

I’m running out of hours, cycling at 5am, turbo trainer in the house and being run ragged by the kids . The photo is deers interrupting my cycle in Richmond Park at 6am. James, Putney.

The view in Richmond Park at 6am.



The view in Richmond Park at 6am.

‘We sync laptops and do a Jane Fonda workout’

My daughter is stuck out in Tunisia, so every day we sync laptops and do a Jane Fonda workout.

‘Don’t be disappointed when you start. It takes time to become fit’

I’m 77 and I do 25 minutes cycling every day on my 1988 Holdsworth Elan bicycle (fitted with a Wahoo cadence sensor) using the excellent and free app Indoor Cycling Workout. My current performance for the 25-minute ride is seven miles and 200kj of work (doesn’t mean anything to me either) at average of just under 17mph and heart rate averaging 114 with max 134. Because you can’t coast downhill and there are no traffic lights or junctions, time on a trainer is equivalent to a longer time on the road. My advice is don’t be disappointed when you start. It takes time to become fit. Take it gently and it comes bit by bit. Relax into it.

The bike.



The 1988 Holdsworth Elan.

‘The auntie-first-to-the-dancefloor-at-a-wedding mode is best’

Before all this current unpleasantness, I had thought I was fit and healthy. Then I activated my step counter on my phone. Oh dear. I detest working out. So, while washing up or cooking, I dance to BBC Radio 6. Normally, I’m a bit of a smooth mover but to get the energy levels up I’ve found “auntie first up on the dancefloor at a wedding” mode is the best. Big thumpy steps, finger pointing, that kind of thing. Really cheery too.

‘My weight and blood pressure are down and I feel great’

I walk around my village using little-known footpaths. I do about 12,000 steps in two hours and consume 650 calories. It’s beautiful, it’s therapeutic and it’s healthy. My weight has come down a stone and my blood pressure has dropped about 25 points. I feel great. Hew, MK43

reader



The paths less trodden.

‘My target is to run up 163 floors’

A state of emergency has been declared here in Thailand, where I live in a 22-floor apartment block. I have been running (well, mostly walking) up the stairs in the fire escape. My target is 163 floors in a day as that is the number in the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world. I can tell you this: it’s much tougher than I thought. Robert, Bangkok.

‘It will be a change when the garden is not knee-deep in weeds’

It has been walks with the dog and the vegetable garden for me. The weather has been very good, giving me the time to get started with some vegetables I haven’t grown in a while – beans, cabbage, cauliflower, calabrese, that sort of thing. The seedlings are just starting to appear and they are all over the house. The onions and garlic are poking their heads up now, and my spuds went in yesterday. It will be a change not to have a garden knee-deep in grass and weeds at the end of May! Hazel, Rishworth

A walk with Troy the dog.



A walk with Troy the dog.

‘The exercise bike everybody hated is now hugely appreciated’

We have put the exercise bike (which everybody hated) in the garden. It is now hugely appreciated. We can even read while cycling. I also bought four badminton rackets. Great family fun. Dominique, Edinburgh.

‘I’ve developed a love for running outside’

I’ve started going for runs in a local, historic park. I usually go to the gym and have never really exercised outdoors before, but the weather has been beautiful and I’ve developed a love for running outside. I hope this continues when things get better. Rhiannon, Newcastle.

The great outdoors.



The great outdoors.

‘Some of my pilates clients are in their 80s’

I teach 13 pilates classes a week in local community halls, where my eldest clients are in their 80s. We have switched to online classes via Zoom, using a makeshift “studio” in my lounge. Most of my clients are still joining me from their lounges, bedrooms, hallways and kitchens. I’m amazed at how many of us have embraced this current reality. Louise, Northampton.

‘I hope the downstairs neighbours are alright’

Sadly, rehearsal rooms are closed. But I need to keep up with my hyperblasting black metal assaults, otherwise my impressive frame will be far less hench once the apocalypse is over. Hope the downstairs neighbours are alright, I do stomp the pedals pretty hard. Davydd, Salford Quays.

The hence-making drum.



The hence-making drum. Photograph: reader

‘I went for a 20k bike ride around Regents Park today’

I’m 71 in June. I have a treadmill and spinning bike at home and am walking with my wife. Today I ran on the treadmill and then went for a 20k bike ride around Regents Park in the sunshine. I’m finding it harder to put together a satisfactory core strengthening programme at home without equipment, but I am persevering. David, London.

‘We are cycling, running and rowing to Berlin’

We are doing “Bury St Edmunds to Berlin” through exercise. We chose Berlin as it’s our favourite place we’ve visited in the last year. We are either cycling or running for our daily outdoor exercise, and then using a rowing machine at home. Eleanor, Bury St Edmunds.

reader



The leaderboard.

‘I climbed the Eiffel Tower yesterday’

I am climbing national monuments. Yesterday I climbed 1,665 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view was great. The Arc de Triomphe next! Jonathan, Cambrils.

‘I combine walking the dog and skate boarding’

I’m walking the dog and skate boarding. Sometimes combining the two. Dave, Old Malden.

A combination of activities.



A combination of activities.

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