Lockdown is tough for fitness lovers, particularly those who like to be in the great outdoors.
If you’re used to spending your days roaming free amongst nature, being told that you can only leave your house for essentials and one form of exercise per day will probably feel like you’ve been handcuffed.
But one man has found a way to get his fitness fix and quench his thirst for adventure, all without going further than his back garden.
Long-distance runner and mountain climber Rory Southworth, scaled the height of Snowdon by climbing up and down a step in his back garden more than 7,000 times.
The 27-year-old ran 1,085m on his 15cm bottom step by climbing on and off the step non-stop for than four hours.
Well, how else are you going to fill your time?
Rory set himself a challenge to keep active despite not being able to leave the grounds of his house under the government’s strict lockdown rules.
A few days before his Snowdon challenge, he ran 1,345m on the seven steps in his garden that lead up to his back door – in under two hours – the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland.
His back steps are 1.6m high, so Rory ran up and down the steps 841 times.
Then, on Monday, he used just the bottom step, making sure he got both feet on and off 7,223 times to run the equivalent of the height on Mount Snowdon in Wales.
‘I normally run and swim every week quite a lot,’ says Rory.
‘There is a hill just behind my garden, I get out on the trails every day almost.
‘I just felt like there’s no excuse to not go out and exercise with what we’ve got available to us.’
But now that he’s not allowed to do his usual fitness routine, he is having to think outside the box.
Rory, who lives in Lancaster with his girlfriend Bee, has kept active every day during the lockdown, despite working from home.
He starts work at 9 am but wakes up at around 5-6 am to complete his challenges to set him up for the rest of the day.
He completed a half marathon inside the house by running the 8.25m from his front door to his back door 2,546 times – smashing 21km before breakfast.
And he even managed to take part in his routine Wednesday swim – by having a dip in cold water in his wheelie bin for 15 minutes.
‘I swim every Wednesday, I am an open water swimmer,’ explains Rory. ‘So I cleaned out my wheelie bin and filled it with cold water and climbed in.
‘If you don’t regularly swim, you lose the ability to cope with the temperature of the water in the open water.’
Rory has been documenting his unique keep-fit methods on social media to inspire others – and has had an overwhelming response from his 11,000 Instagram followers.
‘I tried to use my influence on social media to spread a positive message,’ he says.
‘I do a lot of stuff after work, that’s my key message – just make time for it.
‘This week I wanted people to know they can do the same height as hills and
mountains just on their step.’
He has even documented his girlfriend Bee’s response to some of his challenge – with one picture of her looking less than impressed as he is running around the house while she drinks her morning coffee.
‘I don’t always tell her what I’m going to be doing, just that I’m going out for some exercise,’ says Rory.
‘Then four hours later she comes down and sees me running up and down the stairs.
‘It’s a good insight into what it is like living with a house-bound athlete.’
So, lockdown isn’t an excuse to sack off all exercise. If you have a step at your house – you know what to do.
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