Climbers love a challenge. And what bigger challenge than staying fit when you’re housebound and climbing’s off the menu? Having neglected our cores, shoulder health, flexibility and antagonists over years of climbing, suddenly we’re racking our brains (and the internet) for creative ways to maintain fitness and work our weaknesses in our living rooms. And with these daily runs we’ve started doing, shin splints are just around the corner!

Quite frankly it’s exhausting. Everything hurts!

I always knew that social distancing would be hard, but what I hadn’t anticipated was how hard it would be to take a day off from exercise. So, with the weekend approaching, it felt like time to put together a step-by-step guide to giving yourself a day off whilst social distancing or self-isolating. (Don’t worry, you can get back to your weighted pull ups on Monday!)

Step 1: Wake up. No, don’t jump out of bed to get a run in before everyone else does! And don’t you dare touch that phone of yours either. Give your mind some time to wander, think back over your week, process recent events or daydream about that time you went to Cornwall and it didn’t even rain that much.

Step 2: Hmm, maybe you can stay in bed a bit longer. Pick up your book and immerse yourself in another world for a bit.

Step 3: Okay, okay… I guess you can get up now. So you want to avoid the heavy stretching, but a bit of light yoga wouldn’t hurt: here’s a good practice for easing into the day.

Step 4: It’s probably brunch o’clock now: nothing says rest day like brunch! Take the time to cook yourself up a treat: blueberry pancakes, mushrooms on toast, cinnamon rolls, French toast… heck, have something chocolatey if you fancy! (here’s a page dedicated to brunch).

No, don’t crimp on the fridge door, give those fingers a rest!

Step 5: Refrain doing reps on the pull up bar or accidentally falling into the plank by having a productive potter. Water your plants, finally get around to cleaning the microwave and plant that avocado pit from brunch.

Step 6: Is it time for press ups yet? No!

There are loads of enjoyable activities that don’t involve exercise (who knew, right?). Ever made bread? It’s well fun! Or you could draw, paint, learn to knit, learn an instrument, learn a language, read your book more, write a journal, bake, patch your clothing up, read some magazines, make an obstacle course around your house… (got an idea? Send it in!)

Whatever you do, make it relaxing and make it something that will keep your mind occupied.

Step 7: No, it’s not time for some dead hangs, do some virtual socialising instead! You’ll probably have done a lot of chatting in the week, so mix it up with a game of Articulate, Balderdash or Virtual Beer Pong (suggested practicalities for this last one would be greatly appreciated).

Step 8: Set some goals. It’s especially important to stay motivated at the moment, set yourself some milestones for the coming week.

Step 9: Get stuck into an evening activity. Squats do not count as an evening activity.

If you’re watching a film, make an event of it and synchronise with your friends so you can moan about the terrible special effects together. Do a puzzle, play a board game, watch some free bouldering films and wind down.

Step 10: Get into bed without walking there on your hands, handstands can wait until tomorrow.

Maybe not training isn’t the worst thing in the world after all… I’ll let you know how I get on!

Hati Whiteley, is blogger and avid climber who, in her own words, hasn’t bicycled across the UK, climbed every route on Stanage or even run a marathon.

Her blog is “a celebration/acknowledgement of all the unremarkable stuff we do every day and how, deep down, it’s actually quite remarkable”.

Find her on Facebook @lerockyroad

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