Updated: Oct 4, 2021
During the lockdown, it's effortless to be inactive. Working from home and not being able to go out and socialise can result in plummeting activity levels. Simultaneously, it's never been so important to be active. In July 2020 Public Health England stated that one study found that for people with a BMI of 35 to 40, risk of death from COVID-19 increases by 40% and with a BMI over 40 by 90%, compared to those not living with obesity. Other data found that in intensive care units, 7.9% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 had a BMI over 40 compared with 2.9% of the general population.
Being active, coupled with sound nutritional choices, helps manage your weight. It's easy for the scales to start to slide up during times of inactivity. Most weight gain is slow, and you might not notice it's happening right away. A 100 calorie surplus daily might not seem like much (in fact it's only about two fingers of a KitKat) but over a year that would result in about 5kg of weight gain.
To help you blaze the calories away, here are 7 COVID safe ways to burn 100 calories.
Think squats, lunges and pushups. Bodyweight exercises are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. More people have been working out at home, and they've been discovering the benefits of bodyweight exercises. You can do them anywhere, and there's loads of progressions and regressions. 20 minutes of moderate effort bodyweight exercises is enough to burn 100 calories and just 10 minutes of intense effort. They don't just help you burn the calories they help you get stronger.
Climbing the stairs.
Most people have access to stairs in one way or another, either at home, work or in a park. A theory of mine is no matter how fit you are enough stairs will make you out of breath! It takes just 10 minutes of climbing up the stairs to burn 100 calories. So ditch the lift and take the stairs!
You probably didn't think of it as exercise when you were younger, but it certainly was! It's effective too with just 7 minutes enough to burn 100 calories, which is at a moderate effort. You can couple it with other activities to form bigger workouts, skipping rope for a minute and then bodyweight squats to mix things up.
Walking at a moderate pace
Walking is always a favourite of mine. It's free, easy and contributes towards good mental and physical health. 25 minutes of walking at a moderate pace is enough to burn 100 calories. You can tinker with lots of variables with walking, speed things up to a very brisk pace, and burn 100 calories in 15 minutes. You could walk uphill and get similar results too. Do intervals to keep things interesting, walk briskly for 1 minute and then walk at a moderate pace the next.
With all the digging and lifting, it's more than enough to make you break a sweat! In about 20 minutes you'd burn 100 calories. Being outdoors has a positive impact on your mental health too, and growing vegetables would undoubtedly help you get your five a day in.
Another lockdown favourite! The number of people pounding the pavement is clearly on the up these days, and it's understandable why being another outside activity and relatively cheap too. About 10 minutes of a moderate pace is enough to burn 100 calories, but if you up the intensity that time goes down. If you're looking to get into running, try a couch to 5k programme to get started.
Cleaning was probably more common in the before times (before COVID). With fewer guests cleaning habits might have taken a bit of a tumble in the past year but just 25 minutes of cleaning is enough to burn 100 calories. You'd have a better environment too, which is good for your mental wellbeing.
It's important to remember these are just estimates, and when it comes to weight management, nutrition is king. You can do 3 workouts a day, but you can still gain weight if you're overeating. So if you've got a weight loss goal, make sure your nutrition is on point!