Doing some exercise, even if it’s just a little bit a few times a week, can help you stay fit and healthy during this difficult time. There are lots of ways to exercise if you cannot or do not want to go outdoors.
To help you do this, we’ve found some online exercise classes and workouts you could try. Start with finding the best workouts for you and getting into a routine. Writing a schedule or making a plan in a calendar helps some people.
Be careful: you're doing the exercises we link to at your own risk.
Talking to your health professional
Before you start, talk to your health professional if:
you’re not sure about what exercises you can do
you want to know what exercises are best for you to do
you need help making modifications to exercises
you need to get adaptations or specialist prosthetics
You could also talk to an organisation or charity for your condition or impairment.
Exercise classes for disabled people
There are a range of classes designed for people with different access needs. Check charities and organisations supporting your condition or impairment to find out if they have any suggestions or resources.
The body coach Joe Wicks has lots of classes on YouTube, from PE with Joe for families to a 7-minute ab workout or low-impact class for beginners.
NHS pilates for beginners focuses on balance, posture, strength and flexibility. It's suitable for all ages and fitness levels and the videos range from 10 to 45 minutes.
You can often adapt workouts to suit your needs. You might not be able to do all the moves or exercises and that’s OK. Doing some of the exercises will still be a good workout, especially if you enjoy the class or type of exercise.
Sometimes you might try activities or exercises that seem impossible and you struggle to find a way to adapt it. Depending on your situation, you may find that with practice or as you gain muscles and get fitter, you can do something you could not when you started. This is not always possible but try not to lose hope if it’s hard at the start. It can help to retry some exercises after a month or so.
“I’m an upper body amputee and I started doing yoga with a foam block to help me with the ‘on your hands’ moves. I struggled so much with 3-legged dog and transitions, like from a plank to lunge.
It seemed impossible that I would ever manage them. I nearly gave up a few times. I always felt uneven and it was really hard work.
A few months later, I can do all the moves, I have the strength in my legs and arms to balance me out. It wasn’t so much that I was missing a hand but the right muscles.
Yoga is my favourite class now. I still have a few moves I can’t do, but I hope to find a way over time. But if I can’t, that’s OK too!”
Exercise in gaming
Some gaming consoles and apps have games that help make exercising fun and a game. The best way is to search based on what console you have but here’s a few examples of what’s available:
Just Dance and Just Dance Now allows you to follow along with the dance moves for points to unlock more routines. You can get the game on Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox, as well as through a phone app.
Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch In story mode you use exercise on your quest to defeat a bodybuilding dragon called Dragaux. There are also mini-games and individual workouts to focus on specific parts of your body.
Zombies, Run (Mobile) is a mobile running game where you jog your way through the zombie apocalypse. There are lots of storylines to keep you motivated, but they’ve just introduced a new mini-storyline that focuses on home workouts.
Fitness Boxing is a workout with a virtual trainer, to punch and dodge and hook. Available on Nintendo Switch.