Fitness experts from Wigan: Why self-isolation shouldn’t be a barrier to exercise

Personal trainer Martin Cullen. Image: M Cullen

A personal trainer from Wigan has explained how it can be easy to stay active while living under social distancing measures.

Martin Cullen, who has trained professional athletes such as boxer Anthony Crolla and worked as an adviser to the BBC’s Get Inspired campaign, says staying inactive can cause lethargy and have a negative impact on mood. 

People are at the end of a second week without access to gyms because of the coronavirus pandemic and Government guidelines permit one trip out of the house each day for exercise, such as a walk or run.

But Mr Cullen says there are other ways to get moving at home.

“To do 30 minutes a day would be amazing,” he said.

“You don’t have to do that all at once. Do that in two stints or three 10-minute sessions.”

Lack of equipment is also no problem according to Mr Cullen.

“Do something simple, a little bit of skipping, if you’ve got a couple of tennis balls, just throwing tennis balls at a wall and catching them,” he explained.

Reporter Tom McCooey works out at home

“Marching on the spot, standing squats, push ups, sit ups, planks, stretching. Anything that will get your heart rate up.”

Exercise during times of social distancing is as important for people’s mental health as it is their physical fitness, according to Mr Cullen.

He said: “You should be trying to do something, because it’s really, really important to be doing something at the moment, especially with the things that are going on and how it’s making people feel.

“People are going to be feeling a little bit anxious and people are going to be in their house most of the day so they’re going to be feeling lethargic.

“These are very important times to be doing something mentally and physically.”

Phil Watkinson, a personal trainer at PW Fitness in Wigan, agrees.

He said:  “It’s as good for the mind as it is for the body sometimes.

“A bit of structure can be instrumental, keeping routines, household chores, focus on hydration and food all play a part. It keeps you focused.

“I would also advise people to delve into things they haven’t done before such as yoga and stretches. It gives people more drive and more time to reflect and encourage them to stay positive.”