As we approach a third national lockdown, we're very aware that our community is facing exceptionally challenging times. We want to provide you with useful resources, tips and advice to help you get active during lockdown and beyond.
Staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle has never been more important in the fight against COVID-19. Physical activity helps prevent over 20 long term conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Getting moving isn't just good for your body – it also helps reduce stress and anxiety, boosts your mood and helps you sleep better.
Here's our round up of top tips for getting moving during lockdown:
Sport England - Join the Movement
Sport England's campaign 'Join the Movement' seeks to help everyone find ways to get active as we deal with coronavirus restrictions.
'Join the Movement' provides a web hub with ways to get active at home and away from home as well as providing a timetable for various online activities.
We'll keep this page as up to date as we can. For the most up to date guidance on coronavirus click here:
Staying Active at Home
Don't forget, even at home there are still ways we can build activity into our day. The less time we spend sitting the better. Gardening, chores like vacuuming, and climbing the stairs are all great ways to keep moving. Try to get up at least once every half hour e.g. setting reminders and scheduling breaks if you're working from home or home-schooling or getting up during the adverts when you're watching TV.
For guidance about how much physical activity is recommended for you, take a look at the national guideline infographics here. Even at home, you can still achieve these recommendations - no special equipment needed!
As the darker, colder days role in, staying active in the comfort of your own home would be the perfect solution during the winter months. Played Sport have developed a tool to help everyone find the best online workouts for FREE. This includes content for children, adults, other adults and people with a health condition.
Please note, if you're feeling unwell use your energy to get better and don't try to be active. Once you're feeling better, return to your normal routine very gradually. Make sure to have additional rest periods during and after any exercise.
Being Active Outside
Getting outdoors, if you can, is a great way to get some fresh air and connect with nature. With the announcement of another lockdown, the Government have issued updated guidance on exercise outdoors. Although, they are advising the nation to minimise time spent outside homes, you can go outside to exercise. However, this should be limited to once per day and you should not travel outside your local area to do so.
You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
- by yourself
- with the people you live with
- with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
- in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
- or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household
Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, will be closed during this time.
For all the latest Government guidance, click here.
If you have access to a garden, make sure you use this extra space to get outdoors. Whether that's playing games as a family, yoga, a small stroll or gardening.
If you're looking for free, easy to use apps to keep you motivated to walk or run, try:
Get your heart pumping - Great for Adults
With the closure of gyms and leisure centres, there are lots of free online resources to support you to be active at home including printable fitness plans plus videos and apps. Below are some trusted sources to explore, but there are many more. Keep a look out for ideas and tips from friends, family, and neighbours and share yours!
NHS Fitness Studio
- Online exercise videos for Aerobic, Strength and Pilates + Yoga - ranging from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Beginner and Intermediate.
- Full12-week fitness plan and a Strength and Flexibility 5-week fitness plan
- 6 x 10-minute workouts fitness plans = Cardio, Tone, Abs, Butt, Upper Arms, and Legs plus a warm-up and cool down – one for every day of the week plus a rest day
- A range of illustrated 1-page workouts (great as printouts)
- IPrescribeExercise App- This free fitness app allows you to develop a 12 week tailored fitness plan especially you (approved by the NHS). You don't need a smart watch to use it.
For adults with a disability - Parasport, WheelPowerand Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society have all created adaptive exercise videos and other resources for people with different levels of mobility to stay active at home.
Keep it Gentle – Especially good for Older Adults
These resources are suitable for everyone but particularly good if you're older. If you're supporting someone who doesn't have access to the internet some of these resources can also be printed.
- Public Health England Stay Active at Home booklet
- Easy Fitness Plans from NHS Live Well
- For Strength, Balance and Flexibility – print as PDFs (scroll to bottom on their page)
- Pilates videos for back pain, arthritis, and knee problems
- As well as Seated exercises– also great to do at your desk!
- Age UK Generation Games – 40-minute Exercise video for over 50s
- 10 Today – Tune into 10 Today for 10 minutes of physical activity everyday - audio recordings and videos (x10)
- Move it or Lose it – Fitness videos for older people including 'the cuppa routine' - exercises you can do while waiting for the kettle to boil!
Adults with a Disability or Long-Term Health Condition
If you have a disability or long-term health condition and normally exercise regularly it's important you try to maintain your usual levels of activity within the home environment when possible. The webpages below are just some of the resources which have been created by charities for condition-specific advice, tips and information:
- Activity Alliance - Get Activeat home resources
- Diabetes UK – Diabetes and Exercise Information
- British Heart Foundation - Get Active Indoors, Circuit Training and Yoga Style exercises info
- Macmillan - Move More Pack (to order) including information, activity chart and DVD
- LimbPower – Toolkit videos including introduction to exercise & warms up, dynamic exercises, circuit training & stretching and more.
You can find more on Sport England's We Are Undefeatable campaign webpage here. Scroll to the bottom of their page and click on the charity partner logos to take you to their physical activity page.
If you are unsure about what physical activity is right for you, speak to a healthcare professional (ideally by telephone or online).
Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
It's important for everyone to prioritise their mental wellbeing at this difficult time. Being more active will help support you with this, but there are lots of other things to consider. Mind have created a great resource to help, you can find it here.
5 Top Tips:
- Buddy up! Can you buddy up with someone in your household or virtually to make home workouts more fun and keep each other motivated?
- Build activity into your daily routine. How are you using the time you spent commuting to work or travelling to school, or on your lunch breaks?
- Get active your way - we're all different, find the activity works for you
- Plan to start slowly and build your activity level gradually, unless you are already exercising frequently and vigorously
- As well as staying active, don't forget to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to look after yourself during this time
The information above has been created using advice from the NHS, Public Health England, Sport England and Government COVID-19 Guidelines.