In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has directed all UK residents to stay at home as much as possible and only leave the house for journeys that are absolutely essential.
As a result, you might be spending a lot more time at home now and you may have had to make lots of changes to your usual routine. But keeping active is still (now, more than ever) really important. Even a small amount of activity will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health during this time.
On this page you will find some simple, creative ways that you can get moving around the house as well as some links to home workouts that people of all ages can enjoy.
Make everyday activities count
You don't have to have fitness equipment to keep active at home, there are lots of simple ways that you can incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life. Here are some ideas of things that you can try:
- Take the washing up the stairs in more than one load
- Do some simple exercises (e.g. squats) while waiting for the kettle to boil
- Do some chair-based exercises while you're watching the TV
- Walk up and down the stairs a few more times than you would usually
- Make the most of spring and do some gardening (when you are gardening, try and add some more movement into the jobs you normally do e.g. using a watering can instead of a hose will help to improve your strength)
- Put some music on and dance
- Hoover, dust, spring clean!
Janet from our health team says "Find a way to incorporate as much activity into your everyday life as possible, anything to get a bit more movement in."
Break up long periods of sitting
Try and reduce the amount of time that you spend sedentary and break up long periods of sitting by getting up and moving for at least five minutes every hour. Here are some ideas for breaking up periods of sitting with physical activity:
- Walk around when you're on the phone
- Stand up and take a walk around the house between TV advert breaks
- Do some chair-based activity while watching the TV
- Get up regularly to make yourself a drink
Get some fresh air if you can
On 23rd March 2020 the government announced that people should only leave the house for one of four reasons. One of these is to take part in one form of exercise a day e.g. a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household only.
If you are under the age of 70 and are well enough to do so, you can still go for a walk outside as long as you follow the government guidelines on social distancing. You cannot go for a walk in groups of more than two people (unless with members of your household) and you must stay more than two metres away from others at all times. Our advice is that if you're going outside for walk, do it locally, stay close to your home and avoid places where it may be hard to follow the guidelines (e.g. at a park).
If you are over the age of 70 and are unable to leave the house because you are self isolating, then do as much walking around your house and garden as possible. If you are limited for space then try marching on the spot while watching your favourite TV programme, this will still have the same effect!
Remember to look after your mental health too
The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) may be stressful for lots of people; fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions. You might be also be worried about how the outbreak is going to affect your life.
Remembering to take care of your mental health and wellbeing at a time like this is extremely important too. If you're isolated or just feeling anxious about coronavirus, here are some ideas to look after your mental wellbeing:
- Practise things that help you to tackle stress or anxiety. This may be gardening, reading a book, listening to your favourite music or podcast - just find something that works for you and helps you to feel better during uncertain times.
- Practise relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. You could follow an NHS yoga workout, try some mindful breathing exercise or read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.
Suffolk Mind has put together some detailed advice and information on coronavirus and wellbeing. There are separate resources available for adults and children:
COVID-19 Emotional Wellbeing Information Hub
A new Information Hub containing resources to support emotional wellbeing and mental health has been launched. COVID-19 is creating many pressures on individuals, employees and families. The Information Hub brings together guidance, tips and support in one place on the Healthy Suffolk website. This page will be continually reviewed and updated as the situation unfolds and more information becomes available.