Be active during coronavirus
Regular physical activity lowers the feelings of mild to moderate depression and anxiety across all age groups. It's so great at giving you an instant ‘well-being fix’ because exercise decreases the stress hormones such as cortisol and increases endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemical.
But when we're socially isolating or distancing and staying indoors it can be tricky to keep active and get the endorphins flowing.
Here are a few ideas to help you stay active during this time:
Do some gentle exercises after you wake up, like stretching, yoga or pilates to wake your body up.
This can also be helpful during the day if you've been sitting at your workstation for too long. It’s important that though we aren’t in our normal offices, we should arrange our desks as close to our office set up as possible.
Go for a short brisk walk at some time during the day. You will need to do this solo or just with family members.
Or, you might like to think about doing the Couch to 5k which is a great app for increasing your fitness. Always be mindful of government guidelines for social distancing.
If you feel able to do a bit more of a workout, there are a range of video workouts available online – just check out YouTube. You may be aware of Joe Wicks' video workouts that he's doing for the nation every morning…no notes or forgotten kit to get you out of PE now!
In seriousness, there is a wide range of other free exercise videos for all levels, that you can do indoors. Most of these don’t require any equipment so can easily be done at home with very little space.
Mix it up
We are limited by what we can do, but if you enjoy your exercise, you’re more likely to continue. It may be that you go for a brisk walk 3 times a week (again following social distancing and self-isolation guidelines) and do an indoor workout on the other days. Perhaps choose a variety of workouts as well, don’t keep doing the same one so you don’t get bored.
Other resources for being active during coronavirus
We're all incredibly proud of our NHS colleagues for the work they are doing to fight the coronavirus and keep our country running. On top of that, they have an online fitness studio with a range of free fitness classes you can ‘enjoy’! They also show examples of ‘Gym Free Workouts’, where you can literally exercise from the comfort of your sofa!
Fitness Blender has tons of fitness classes which are great for getting your heart going.
The British Heart Foundation have some great ideas on getting active indoors too.
Even for avid exercisers, everyone struggles with motivation at one time or another. There are plenty of free apps available that can help you track your exercise and keep you motivated.
Government guidelines are that we can go outside for one form of exercise a day, whether that be a walk, run or cycle. Apps like Strava and MapMyFitness will help you keep on track.
If you want to make sure you do some exercise, but need a bit of support and motivation, please contact LiveWell Dorset where there is loads of support to keep you going.
Taking control: be active
The key to exercise is to do it regularly; easier said, right? The following may help you take control of keeping active:
- choose your daily exercise: are you going out for your one exercise session allowed through government guidelines? Or does a home workout suit you better? What can you commit to do?
- choose your time and frequency: when can you do it? What time will fit best in your routine? How regularly?
- do you live with others? Can you encourage each other to exercise?
- commit to it. How are you going to commit to doing exercise each day? Could you set an alarm on your phone? Get your gym kit ready the day before?
- know your barriers. What is likely to get in the way of you doing exercise? Make a list of things that might stop you like space or motivation. How will you stop these from being barriers?
- create your plan: what you're going to do, when, how often. Then, get started!