“Can I exercise with a friend during the coronavirus lockdown?”

Posted by for Strong Women

Workout buddies can make your exercise much more enjoyable – but are they allowed during the coronavirus lockdown?

Stop beating yourself up if your lockdown workouts have been feeling a bit flat. Firstly, it’s a pandemic! It’s OK to not be the fittest you’ve ever been. And secondly, if you’re not used to working out on your own, you might be struggling to feel motivated without a friend to cheer you on.

We’ve been itching for the day we get to sweat it out with friends again, but (as with everything else) the rules haven’t exactly been made clear on what’s acceptable. So, consider this your guide to the current rules for working out with other people.

Can I exercise with a friend?

In England we have unlimited exercise time, meaning we are free to walk, run, cycle and even take our workouts (or picnic blankets) to the park for as long as we want. The good news is that you can also do that with one person who is not from your household, as long as you’re outside and following social distances practices.

That includes playing games on a tennis court or football pitch, again, as long as it is an outdoor space and not a covered pitch or a leisure centre. According to the latest official advice, you can even swim in open water like the sea or lakes (but not a public swimming pool) so long as you’re two metres apart. 

Following this advice also requires common sense. For example, if you are running with someone that you don’t live with, be careful not to take your workout down narrow pathways where you can’t stay two metres apart or you avoid cutting up other users of the space. 

Socially distanced exercise is OK

It’s also important to note that the rest of the UK have made no amendment to the original lockdown rules, meaning that if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you can only take one form of exercise a day with the people that you live with.

Can I share equipment with a friend?

If you’re thinking about taking your bats and balls, resistance bands or dumbbells to the park for a socially distanced workout with a friend you don’t live with then you might be pleased to know that you won’t strictly be breaking the lockdown rules.

“Where possible we recommend that you limit sharing of equipment, for example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball, but if you do, practice strict hand hygiene,” advises the government. It’s up to you whether or not you think that sounds like a good idea.

Can I train with a personal trainer?

As with the anyone outside of your home, your personal trainer can meet you in the park for a one-on-one session, as long as you remain two metres apart for the session and clean the equipment thoroughly before and after use. 

Keep up to date with all of the latest lockdown information, including updates on exercise advice, on the government website here.  

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Images: Getty / Unsplash

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