Physical activity is essential for our physical health and mental wellbeing. But what are the current exercise rules under the new national lockdown guidelines?

Each lockdown appears to come with changes to the duration of exercise and how we can go about doing it.

We all know that home workouts are allowed whenever we want but with the increase in transmission of the new coronavirus variant, the government has placed new restrictions on exercising and meeting others not in your household or support bubble outside.

How far are you allowed to travel?

Unfortunately, the distance you can travel is much the same as the first lockdown and you are being advised to exercise in your local area only.

If you need to travel to a public park for exercise then this is permitted but you are not supposed to use public transport to get there. The travelling should be done by running, walking, cycling or private car.


How often can you exercise outside?

During the winter lockdown, the government advice states that you can only exercise once per day.

This is to help reduce the chances of virus transmission as the new variant is spreading significantly faster than the original strain, so leaving your home could lead to a greater risk of exposure.

There are no restrictions in place around the duration of exercise but you can only do so in your local area. Therefore, extensive hiking, lengthy bike rides and long distance endurance runs are not permitted.


Where can you go for a workout?

Both indoor and outdoor gymnasiums, sports centres, public pools, tennis courts and golf courses are currently closed. This means that any physical activity must take place in a wider open space.

Current government guidelines state that these spaces include:

  • Parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • Public gardens, whether or not you pay to enter them
  • The grounds of a heritage site
  • Playgrounds

Exercise on roads and footpaths are also permitted however, the government strictly advises everyone to follow social distancing rules and maintain a 2-metre distance apart.

Who are you allowed to exercise with?


The regulations state that exercise must be done either on your own, with your household or members of your support bubble. You can also exercise with one other person from a different household but only if you stay 2 metres apart.

If you have a personal trainer then you can still continue your one-to-one personal training but only in an outdoor public space such as those mentioned previously at a safe social distance.

However, the overriding message is to stay at home wherever possible and avoid any unnecessary contact with people outside your own household. This means that anyone intending to walk, run or cycle with someone outside their household needs to take into account their own risk from Covid-19.

To ensure that lockdown rules are being followed, the police have been given the authority to increase the fines they can give out if they suspect the rules are being breached.