With gyms in large parts of the country closed because of lockdowns, many people’s exercise routines have hit a hurdle. Given how vital exercise is for our mental and physical health, gym closures and other restrictions can have a real impact on our mood and mobility. Whether you use the gym for rehab, or simply like to work up a sweat, it’s important to stay active during lockdown. Here are some ways you can maintain your gym or physio work and keep working towards your NDIS goals.

Adapt your workout

While your home doesn’t have all the fancy equipment and exercise machines, with some creative thinking, it could still accommodate a productive home workout! Swap the dumbbell for a tin of baked beans, the TheraBand for a pair of tights, the physio ball for a tennis ball – there are plenty of creative ways to turn your home into a makeshift gym. Trainers and physiotherapists can provide you with some great advice on how to adjust your program while gyms are closed, so reach out to yours (if you have one) and see what they recommend.

Bring the gym to you

If a modified workout doesn’t cut it for your needs, speak to your gym or physio about whether they’re able to lend you some equipment. Even a single medicine ball or exercise ball can go a long way, so see what they can spare and ask how you can incorporate the equipment into your routine.

If you’re unable to borrow anything, you may be able to purchase the equipment you need with your NDIS funding. Because of the pandemic, the NDIS has made it easier to purchase low-cost and safe exercise equipment using your flexible Core funding and without needing an occupational therapist’s report. This includes things like TheraBands, light weights, and exercise balls. For larger equipment that may pose a risk or costs more than $1,500, you will still require an OT report that outlines why you need it.

Join an online class

Many gyms and physios are offering remote sessions for members over lockdown. These live video sessions allow you to join and interact with a private or group session in real-time. Your trainer or physio can use your webcam to check your technique and offer helpful advice, which can be really helpful to avoid injury. 
Don’t have a suitable computer with a webcam? With the NDIS making it easier for people to connect with their service providers over lockdowns, you may be able to use your Core funding to purchase an iPad or similar tablet so you can join in.

Enlist your support worker as a training partner

If you already have a support worker visiting you to provide face-to-face assistance with day-to-day tasks, consider enlisting their support. Having a training partner in the room can help you perform certain manoeuvres and exercises safely and effectively. Whether it’s helping you stretch that little bit further, moving a weight into position, or just motivating you to keep pushing, your support worker can play a big part in you maintaining your routines in your own home.