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Shelley Goffe-Caldeira takes a look at some classic ways to keep fit at home

Lockdown has certainly brought some new and interesting ways of living into our lives. As a result, many of us have had to find inventive ways to work out at home. And as many people have more time on their hands, becoming fitter has never been more relevant. There are a few classic forms of exercise loved by celebrities and the public at large that have been used behind closed doors in intimate quiet spaces for decades. The BX Plans, Pilates and yoga are without a doubt the grandfathers of fitness that have shaped our ‘get fit’ culture into what it is today – and here’s why.

Keep on moving

There are many ways to keep the body moving without the need for a gym or fancy equipment. All that is needed is a little dedication to exercise a few times a week, or daily, if you are ready for the challenge. First up is the 5BX Plan, a fitness routine originally created in the 1950s by Dr Bill Orban for Royal Canadian Air Force pilots. Dr Orban devised the five basic exercises that make up the plan as a way of improving the pilots’ fitness levels.

Loved for its ease and practicality, the 5BX Plans Handbook became a worldwide bestseller with 23 million copies of the book being sold in 13 languages. Fast forward 70 years and it is still loved by many, including high-profile celebrities such as Helen Mirren and members of the Royal Family. The 5BX Plan is devised for men and includes five basic exercises that take 11 minutes to complete, whereas the XBX fitness plan for women consists of eight exercises that take 12 minutes to do. For more information on the BX Plans, visit

Strengthen your core

Next on the list is Pilates, a high-conditioning form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. It aims to strengthen the body with a special emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness. Pilates called his method Contrology because he believed that one could use the mind to control the muscles. Today, Pilates is reported to be practised by millions of people around the world and it is loved by high-profile celebrities like Madonna, who combines both Pilates and yoga into her workout routines. Pilates can easily be done at home.

You will need a mat and minimal equipment for strength resistance exercises. Just remember to stay true to the original ethos of the exercises that incorporate deep breathing, concentration and focus on the abdominal muscles and lower back.

A spiritual practice

Finally, the oldest of them all is yoga. Researchers estimate that yoga may be almost 10,000 years old, but modest guesses suggest an age of 5,000 years which is still impressive. It is not only a wonderful way to keep fit but is also a way of life. Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices which originated in ancient India. Great for all ages, the strength training it offers helps to keep bones strong and the mind quiet. It can be practised anywhere like in the tranquillity of a peaceful garden, or in one’s bedroom or living room.

So, there you have it. The oldest trends in home fitness with minimal cost and fuss. Which one will you choose?

If you would like to give Pilates or yoga a try, Need2Know Books have essential guides with instructive information for both workout plans. Customers can get a free book and simply pay for shipping priced £3.99 per book. Quote N2K2 at checkout. Visit:

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