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Last updated: 07 May 2020

Reading time: 9 mins

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A Guide Staying Active at Home for Free

As we face this time of slowing down, we see a new perspective of the freedom we once had, and will have again. The freedom to move, to swim, surf, dive, sail, plunge, run, to gather together with others and share our love for nature, for fitness, for each other. Whether you’re a surfer, diver, swimmer, yogi, cold-water plunger or all-round ocean lover, nothing is more frustrating than being stuck at home when water is calling you. 

This guide was created to inspire and help enrichen time spent at home, with the aim to building strength, fitness, resilience and clarity. We provide a free timetable below, which you can either follow, or work into your own schedule. The timetable covers everything from Cardio and HIIT, to cold water therapy, breathwork, running, meditation, yoga, and pilates. There’s something here for everyone, and they’re all free resources. Enjoy. Go slow.

We Are All in This Together

Together, as one human race, we are facing this very unique time, but we will get through this. As Mother Earth takes time to breath, we can use this stolen time to reflect, to get creative, to slow down, to be active, to be with ourselves and each other, whatever that may look like. This is a time to grow.

Our name, ‘SLO active’ means to slow down from this fast-paced world of over-consumption and noise, finding beauty in simplicity and taking time to be in the moment. Most of all, being active for ourselves physically, and active for the causes that we care about. This is more important now more than ever.

A Time to Reflect

 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, life as we know it has changed dramatically. Many of us are working from home, while some are unable to work at all. With schools closed in many countries, parents are struggling to balance work with family needs, and any plans or holidays over the coming months have been put on hold. Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives, and we’re all eager for things to return to ‘normal’.

How Do We Want to Shape Our World, Post-Covid?

But before we rush back to our usual busy lives, maybe we should take the time to consider the positive habits and lifestyle changes we have made during this period, and shape how they might continue to exist in a post-Covid world. Maybe we’re starting to see the results of these daily morning ‘at home workouts’; maybe working from home has shown us that we don’t need to spend so much time commuting every day, perhaps you can limit your days spent at the office moving forward? 

If you’ve been furloughed and you’re realising your work was making you unhappy, maybe it’s time to start looking for new opportunities, or start that thing you always wanted to do. Or if you’re spending more time checking in with friends and family, continue to make time for regular communication when ‘normal life’ resumes.

Stay Active and Healthy During Lockdown

Whilst it’s important to reflect on the positive outcomes, there is no denying that these are challenging times. And with the ever-growing uncertainty and concern for the health of our loved ones, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling more stressed and anxious. However, one of the most effective ways to ease stress and anxiety is regular exercise. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, which are proven to energise you and help improve your mood.

Weights and Smoothie- Wellness Guide

Of course, staying active during the lockdown is important for your physical health too. And whilst the ocean may be off limits, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home to help you stay on top of your fitness. So, to help you stay fit and protect your mental well-being over the next few weeks, we’ve compiled a list of exercises and workout ideas for you to practice in the comfort and safety of your own home.

You don’t need lots of space, equipment or even time, as some of these exercises can be done in just 5 minutes, yet it can make a huge difference to how you feel throughout the day. 

Adapting to Your Environment

And if you’ve got little ones to look after, get them involved too! Not only is it a great way for them to get some exercise and let off some steam, but it’s also an opportunity for them to spend quality time with you. 

Surf Fitness

Surf fitness is key to keeping conditioned whilst out of the water, so that as soon as you’re back on the beach with your board strapped to your ankle, there won’t be anything coming between you and the ride of your life. You don’t need your board, or the ocean to improve your surf fitness. From practising pop ups, squats, burpees to skating, there are many of exercises you can do at home to improve your results in the water. Training for paddle fitness with light weights in each hand will help build arm strength, keeping your body strong and conditioned while you’re out of the water. Meanwhile breath work and relaxation can also come in handy when duck diving in the water, or embracing a wipeout. 

 

In this guide, you can enjoy a range of exercises including pilates, yoga, HIIT and more, to help improve your surf fitness. Still stoked offers a great article and video on paddle fitness in the HIIT section, and there is a wealth of resources for yoga for surfers. 

Fitness for Scuba & Free Diving

Just like surfing, there’s plenty you can do out of the water to maintain your dive fitness. We may not all have access to the ocean, but we do have lungs and a mind to work with. Breath work is hugely beneficial for maximising your breathing efforts, whilst meditation is amazing for training for mental strength that is required for both scuba and free diving. Improving your cardiovascular fitness will make you more efficient in the water, so don’t hold back from a decent HIIT workout or practicing squats with a heavy backpack for tank practice.

 

So, if you need a little inspiration or motivation to boost your fitness levels and improve your diving during lockdown – try our vast range of workouts below!

HIIT & Cardio Workouts

Cardio is key. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and is highly effective for boosting metabolism, and building strength. It requires short, intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of active rest, making the body work harder than it does during traditional cardio but over a much shorter period. 

Recent studies have found HIIT burns 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise. HIIT workouts also help with oxygen consumption (your muscles’ ability to use oxygen), which helps to build endurance.

Crunching- Wellness Guide

Typically HIIT workouts last between 10-30 minutes, but shorter workouts can be completed in just 5 minutes. So if you struggle to fit in your exercise around work and family, HIIT is the perfect solution. 

 

If you’re new to HIIT or stuck for ideas, here are a few great HIIT Workout resources you may find helpful:

 

YouTube Beginner HIIT Workouts

These beginner workouts focus on basic movements with longer rest times, to help you progress to more challenging workouts. Choose from over 20 workouts ranging between 5-20 minutes.

 

HIIT Interval Training | The Essential Guide

A great guide offering a choice of workouts based on your specific goal e.g. losing weight, gaining muscle, improving endurance.

 

Heather Robertson Killer HIIT Cardio Workout

Check out Heather Robertson’s YouTube Channel for a range of HIIT and full body workouts to make you sweat.

 

Yoga & Pilates

Yoga is an ancient practice, and is proven to work miracles on the mind and body. Practicing yoga regularly helps improve your flexibility, strength and posture and is an effective way to relieve stress. 

Pause Yoga offers a great range of unique, free online classes – brought to you from their unique tree house setting! They even have a live kids yoga class, perfect for getting the little ones active and engaged.

To get the most of your yoga practice, you may like to include a combination of poses, breathing and meditation.

Yoga- Wellness Guide

Yoga for Surfers

If you’re looking for ways to improve your surf fitness there are plenty of great online flows out there, tailored specifically for surfers, such as Yoga For Surfers – 30 Minute Yoga Flow and Stretch and Strength For Surfers

Soul Surf yoga also has some great YouTube videos focusing on moving and toning the parts of the body used for surfing – including core, shoulders and legs. 

Pilates is inspired by yoga and uses similar techniques to improve flexibility, strength balance and body awareness. But where yoga is based on a series of static postures, pilates exercises are always performed in a flow movement. If you suffer with muscle pain or stiffness, pilates can be an effective way to relieve tension. 

Like yoga, pilates can be tailored to all ages and abilities. Pilates Nosara offers a great selection of online classes, or you could try Shelly Heim’s free online PiYo classes for a powerful and strengthening combination of pilates and yoga.

Yoga for surfers- Wellness guide

Below are some more great yoga and pilates resources to help you improve your surf fitness.

 

 

Balanced Studio

Try the balance studio for a great range of yoga-style online movement and breathing classes. You can also enjoy their free videos (listed in our timetable below)

 

The Salty Sea Club

The Salty Club offers a variety of surf inspired workouts, guided yoga videos and even a range of nutritious healthy recipes to try. Sign up and you can enjoy a 1 month free trial, however full membership is $9.99 per month.

 

Rise & Vibe Yoga

Rise and Vibe Yoga offer a range of online material including a sequence of 10 minute videos that let you learn at your own pace, and help you to develop a self-guided home practice.

 

Calm

Enjoy over 50 million downloads – including nature scenes and sounds, to assist with sleep, meditation and relaxation.

The Benefit of Running

Running is a sport that people either seem to love or hate. But going out for a run is a great excuse to spend time outdoors and be part of nature, especially during lockdown. It’s also a great way to improve your surf fitness – helping to improve your ability to hold your breath, increase paddling power and develop lower body strength. And if you need proof, just listen to pro surfer and runner Lucy Campbell.

Running- Wellness Guide

Within just a few weeks of running and sprint training you should notice an improvement in the water. So, even if you don’t consider yourself a natural runner, start by setting yourself small goals. Once you accomplish them, you’re guaranteed to feel an amazing sense of achievement. This post-run euphoria is often referred to as a ‘runner’s high’ and it’s an awesome feeling. 

 

If you’re new to running, check out these 8 Useful Running Tips for Beginners. And if you’re already a regular runner, why not set yourself a new challenge like pushing for a new 5K PB or training for a long distance run?

Meditation

Life is fast-paced, and often we forget to slow down and enjoy the small, precious moments in life. But meditation focuses on present experiences such as body and breath sensations, to help you achieve mindfulness – bringing you back to the here and now.

This ancient art helps to calm your mind and achieve inner peace, helping to relieve anxiety and stress. In one study, researchers found that meditation reduced anxiety ratings by as much as 39 percent. Regular meditation can also help maintain a regular sleeping pattern. 

Meditation- Wellness Guide

One eight-week study examined the impact of mindful meditation for individuals with chronic insomnia and the results showed those practicing meditation woke less during the night and were more relaxed before going to bed, and reduced the severity of their sleep problems. And in a follow up study six months later, their sleep quality had continued to improve.

Renowned meditation teacher Tara Brach, offers a wide range of Free Online Guided Meditations and Online Courses. Tara blends Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices to promote mindfulness, emotional healing and loving awareness.

And if you’re new to meditation, there are a number of apps and resources available, offering a range of exercises and videos to help you learn a more mindful approach.

Here are a few examples:

 

Float Works

Check out their 7-part Wellbeing Series on YouTube for free.

 

UCLA Mindful

Reduce anxiety and depression, create positive emotions and improve your overall physical health and well-being, with the help of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

 

Headspace

Try Headspace for a range of guided exercises and videos to help you learn a more mindful approach.

 

Calm

Enjoy over 50 million downloads – including nature scenes and sounds, to assist with sleep, meditation and relaxation.

Cold Water Therapy

Whilst it may not always be the most inviting option, there are many health benefits to immersing yourself in cold water. And the good news is you don’t need the ocean to enjoy them, all you need is access to a bathtub or a cold shower! 

 

Studies have found that cold water therapy can help speed up your metabolism, boost your energy levels and improve your immune system. The easiest way to incorporate cold water therapy into your daily routine, is by having a cold shower. Start with the water at a comfortable temperature and slowly reduce until it’s as low as you can bear. Or you can try an icea bath, by fulling up your bath with cold water and pouring in about ten cups of ice. See Angi Fletcher’s highlights on her at home ice baths.

 

It will feel horrible at first, but after around 30 seconds your body will begin to acclimatise and you’ll find it gets easier. Once you get out the shower, you’ll instantly feel more energised. And if you do this over an extended period, you’ll begin to experience some of the long-term benefits too. 

 

In a recent article, surfer, yogi and cold-water swimmer Sophie Hellyer, describes the mental and physical benefits she has experienced from cold water immersion and claims she ‘can’t imagine life without it’. So, why not start by practicing with a cold shower or bath and once lockdown is lifted you can test yourself in a more challenging setting?

 

Below, ice swimmer Jonna Jinton shares her perspective on the power of the cold.

Breath Work

Breath work incorporates a wide variety of breathing exercises and therapies that help to improve mental and physical well-being. It requires you to focus on the breath and make deliberate changes to your breathing pattern. Research has found breathwork to be effective against reducing anxiety, stress and depression. It can also enhance memory, boost immune function, improve your cardiovascular system and help you remain in the present moment. 

With many different types of breath work practices available, it’s a good idea to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.

Here are a few good places to start:

 

10 Breathing Techniques

This is a great beginners guide explaining 10 different breathing exercises for reducing stress and anxiety, and improving lung function.

 

 

How To Reduce Stress With Breathing Exercises

This medically reviewed guide offers a range of breathing exercises for reducing stress.

 

3 Breathing Exercises and Techniques

Try these 3 simple breathing exercises to soothe stress and re-energise. Video tutorials are included.

 

How Scuba Divers Can Improve Their Breathing

Learn more on the benefits of practicing breath as a scuba diver, and try these key techniques to help improve your breathing.

Breath Work For Divers

Diaphragmatic breathing- Wellness Guide

If you’re a diver, breath work can improve breath control, helping you maintain buoyancy levels and maximise your breathing efficiency. For example, diaphragmatic breathing is an effective way of ­transferring oxygen from your lungs, to help maximise your breathing efforts. 

If you’re a passionate scuba diver or free diver, here are a few resources to explore…

 

 

Molchanovs Free Diving

Follow on Facebook and Instagram for daily training practices and fun challenges to help improve your breathing.

 

Dive Ninja Expeditions 

They offer a free webinar series for free divers and scuba divers, covering a range of topics including a special freediving breathing workshop.

 

How Scuba Divers Can Improve Their Breathing

Learn more on the benefits of practicing breath as a scuba diver, and try these key techniques to help improve your breathing. 

Your Free Timetable

Based on the exercises and activities listed in this guide, we’ve put together a free timetable to help you maintain your fitness and well-being.

Of course you can adapt it to fit around your own personal routine, but hopefully it offers a little inspiration for your workouts. Please feel free to share with others – and enjoy!

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Balanced studio – The Perfect Morning Movement Routine 10 minutes breathwork – Diaphragmatic breathing Live PiYo with Shelly Heim (7pm BST) 10 minute breath work – Lion’s breath practice with Adiene Tara Brach guided meditation: Touching Peace (22:51 min) Instagram live yoga sessions with @yogawithmarilina (10am BST)
Instagram live full body workout with @cindylaifitness (5pm BST) Yoga for Women who Surf – Waves of Breath Heather Robertson Killer HIIT cardio workout Facebook Live Pause Yoga – Butt & Gut (5pm (NZST) 5 minute breath work – alternate nostril breathing Boho beautiful 15 minute pilates home workout
5 min breath work – Pursed lip breathing practice 20 minute run and 10 minute cool down Yoga for Women who Surf – Flow 1 20 minute run and 10 minute cool down Heather Robertson – 10 Minute Standing Abs Workout 10 minutes breathwork – Diaphragmatic breathing
End the day with 15 min self-guided meditation Guided meditation: A Body scan meditation to improve sleep End the day with 15 min self-guided meditation End the day with 15 min self-guided meditation End the day with 15 min self-guided meditation

Full List of Free Fitness, Yoga and Meditation Classes:

And here is the full list of workshops, videos and classes that we talk about in this guide. Help us to keep this up to date by sharing your favourite activities with us on Instagram.

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