With latest Government guidelines now advising that we should exercise outside of our homes for a maximum of once a day, let’s really make it count…


During this unsettling period of being confined to our homes for an undetermined amount of time, we know that many people will be finding it hard to adapt to this unusual way of life. Staying at home, although essential in helping to slow the spread of Covid-19, is increasing the risk of feeling isolated.


That’s why in this week’s blog, we share some simple ways to keep physically active, whilst also protecting our families, friends and communities by adhering to the rules and, importantly, staying at home.


Keep a Schedule | It can be so easy to forget about your ‘usual’ schedule and not take regular breaks, or work longer to overcompensate. That might mean we forget to have lunch and keep ourselves physically active, so it can be hugely helpful to have a schedule which includes that all-important time for us to focus on getting up, moving around, or doing an exercise routine…


Plan Your Workout | Exercising has been proven to produce fantastic feel-good hormones including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and adrenaline — all of which can make us feel instantly brighter. As long as your heart rate increases, you can benefit from these hormones — whether it’s a quick six-minute workout or a more intense 30-minute session. Make a plan for how long you want to exercise, what exercises you’ll be doing (squats and lunges for example), and how many reps of each you want to do.


Easy Exercises | If you’re less able to move around freely, there’s lots that you can still do to keep active. For example, using a comfortable chair, you can do some easy arm stretches, use nearby objects to lift and move muscles safely, and leg lifts to keep the blood flowing. And if you don’t have the time or ability to do a full workout, simple stretches can go a long way!


Take Advantage of Apps | There are plenty of free apps available suitable for many fitness levels, abilities, different parts of the body, and lengths of time, giving you plenty of exercise ideas and helping you stay focused and supported. Check out the free workouts from Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, who has plenty of exercise routines for adults. He’s also hosting free morning workouts during the isolation to keep the little ones moving while schools are closed. The best thing is, you can absolutely join in!


Keep Your Active Hobbies | When we talk about keeping active, we don’t just mean sweat-dripping-off-your-eyebrows type of exercises… It could be anything that you do that involves movement. For example, did you know that activities such as knitting and crocheting are great for arthritis and keeping dexterity of movement? And if those aren’t for you, other hobbies you could take up include upcycling furniture, baking, and walking (subject to the latest guidance from Government, or within your own garden or outdoor space).


Use Your Space Wisely | If you do have access to a garden, try making use of the space by jogging on the spot, around the circumference, or doing some stretches such as yoga movements or Pilates in the fresh air. But if you don’t have access to outdoor space, don’t worry — you can still do so much indoors, even jogging on the spot or doing star jumps for a few minutes. At times like these, we need to make the most of what we have available!


Don’t forget that during this challenging time, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of what’s important — that we keep our friends, family, and ourselves safe, and take the precautionary measures to protect the community around us.


To see more useful tips for staying healthy mind, body and soul during the coronavirus pandemic, be sure to check back on our Health Tips for You blog regularly, or connect with us on our social media pages – Facebook & Twitter 😊


You can read our CEO, Kevin Rogers’ latest statement and response to COVID-19 over on our brand-new FAQs page: https://www.paycare.org/coronavirus/


Remember, we’re here for you.