Lockdowns, social distancing and the closure of gyms and exercise classes have made keeping fit during the Covid pandemic challenging With limited access to fitness facilities, many people have had to adapt their workout routines and find new ways to exercise to fit in with working from home. And a recent global study by Reebok has revealed the most popular exercises we’ve been turning to in order to boost mental health and keep active while working from home during the pandemic.

By analysing google search data, Instagram data and media popularity (number of articles per year) across over 20 types of exercises, Reebok reveals that yoga, walking and dancing are the top three choices worldwide for exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by boxing, Pilates and cycling.

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Yoga

Reebok yoga

With an average of 1.4 million searches each month, 89.6 million hashtags on Instagram and 27 million article shares the last year, Yoga takes the number one spot for the most popular exercise activity. It is an excellent stress-relief exercise, which involves a series of moving meditations, stationary poses, or postures, which are further combined with deep breathing techniques.

Yoga is a key form of exercise for stretching and strengthening the shoulders, back, and abdominals after a day in front of a computer screen. This is necessary as “failing to combat the daily ‘hunch’ poses detrimental effects to our posture” as well increases the “risk of injury and inability to perform.” according to fitness expert Harvey Lawton.

Walking

Hiking though the redwood forest along California's Lost Coast.

Walking is a simple exercise that helps to boost our mood and relieve stress. With an average of 119,000 searches each month and 56.8 million article shares on the topic globally, it is the second most popular exercise for managing burnout. Walking helps to release tension in the body, both in the neck and in the legs. At the same time, walking can frequently reduce the incidence of stress-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Walking helps to stretch and strengthen muscles and is also “beneficial for the hippocampus – the part of the brain that acts like a brake on the stress response”, says positive psychologist Ruth Cooper-Dickson.

Dancing

Reebok dance

Dancing is a great exercise that can be done in any spacious room you have at home as an instant mood booster and stress reliever. With physical as well as mental benefits, dancing is a great workout that improves grace and agility as it raises your heart rate whilst using your legs actively, helping to strengthen your body and core muscles, simultaneously burning calories and reducing your risk of injury.

Dancing is a great exercise “for activating GABBA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) – this is an amino acid whose purpose is to calm the brain and act as a fire extinguisher to enable brain cells to suppress their activities.” comments Ruth Cooper-Dickson. “GABBA activation also provides quick and effective stress relief” in an effort to clear your mind after a stressful working day.

Keeping active

“Continuing to exercise regularly, even when working from home, has a huge range of benefits. Most notably increasing mood, productivity and flexibility,” says Joe Mitton, founder of MittFit. “With being sat down at home so much, it is important to continue working out so that we can get a release of dopamine and serotonin (our happy hormones), get the blood pumping, reduce the risk of atrophy (muscle breakdown) and increase our general health and well-being.”

Even short periods of daily exercise can deliver these benefits. Environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant Lee Chambers says that “finding an exercise that you enjoy is vital, as this helps you remain consistent in ensuring you take the breaks and stay active daily.

“Whether that is walking around the block, dancing in your living room, yoga in the kitchen or a bodyweight circuit in the bedroom, the considerable benefits of exercise on your mental health, especially over the darker, colder months, should be utilised to ensure you feel fortified for the challenging times we face,” he adds.

 

Best-selling yoga mat

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

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Last update on 2021-05-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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