As England is thrown into its third national lockdown, non-essential businesses, including gyms and exercise studios have shut.
Outdoor exercise is one of the few excuses to leave the house, but many are wondering how far they can travel and what they can do. Here’s what you need to know.
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People will have to brace the cold as gyms and leisure centres shut
What exercise can I do during lockdown?
England’s third national lockdown came into force on January 5th 2021, after two contagious mutations of the virus threatened to overwhelm the NHS.
Indoor facilities such as gyms, yoga and dance studios are all closed with no official date of re-opening.
Playgrounds will remain open but outdoor gyms, tennis courts and golf courses will also be closed once again.
The government says to not leave or be outside of their home except for specific purposes.
Team sports are not allowed unless for professional reasons or if you are child still in school.
You can exercise outside in public places including neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, the countryside, public gardens and grounds.
So, running, cycling and skipping are some ways people are getting their heartbeats up.
Those wanting to exercise in England will have to brave the cold to stay fit until rules relax.
Jogging outside is fine under the current lockdown rules
Last lockdown, some expressed a concern for safety exercising outdoors.
Jade Azim, who founded Women in Political Data, tweeted: “Something that won’t get enough attention in a winter lockdown: women will not have the freedom to follow encouragement of outdoor activities if they can only do it after a workday.
“It is now dark and unsafe. A rather rancid gender gap will be very obvious – to women, anyway.”
How far can I travel to exercise in second lockdown?
The Prime Minister has advised for people to limit the time they spend exercising outdoors.
The official guidance states that exercise should be done locally wherever possible – preferably in your neighbourhood.
But you can travel to exercise if needed.
This means if you must travel to access an open space, you can do so, within reason.
As far as travelling to beauty spots goes, you should not do it unless one is very close to your home.
Skipping, cycling, running and other outdoor sport are still allowed
Do I have to wear a face mask while exercising?
You don’t have to wear a face covering during exercise.
When around other people, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble.
Where this is not possible, stay one metre apart with extra precautions, for example wearing a face covering.
You can exercise in outdoor public places with the people you live with
Can I exercise with a friend?
You are allowed to exercise outdoors with one other person from another household, and children under 12-years-old do not count as another person.
But all outdoor team sports are banned, except for elite sportsmen and kids still at school.
The government says you can exercise in outdoor public places with:
- The people you live with
- Your support bubble
- Or, when on your own, one person from another household
- Children under five, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside
If you are travelling to exercise with someone from another household you must not travel together, the guidance adds.