With the coronavirus pandemic leading to people across the nation being confined to their homes, experts at the University of Bristol have created some guidance to keep people active.
Dr Charlie Foster and colleagues from the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences have written some top tips for Sport England, urging people to incorporate movement and activity into their daily routine.
Although gyms are closed, taking daily exercise is one of the four reasons the government has advised that it’s fine to leave the home for. Advice includes:
You can do one form of exercise each day, for example a walk, run, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
While you’re out, always keep at least two metres or more away from anyone outside of your household. This will stop the virus spreading.
Minimise time outside and wash your hands when you return home.
There are lots of online resources that have been made available for free to help you to keep active in your home, or in your garden if you have one, and Sport England has collated some on its website.
If you’re self-isolating (for example if you’re over 70, pregnant or have an underlying health condition) but feel well, you can also go outside with the same caveat of keeping your distance from others.
If you’re self-isolating because you have symptoms, or someone in your household has them, you shouldn’t leave home but that doesn’t mean you should stop moving. It’s really important to use movement and activity as a way of breaking up your routine, but only if you feel well enough.
If you’re unwell, use your energy to get better and don’t try to be active. If you can get out of bed, then do so, but don’t try to do too much.
Finally, if you’re feeling better after having had the virus, return to your normal routine very gradually and make sure to have additional rest periods during and after exercise.
Dr Foster, Chair of the UK Chief Medical Officers Expert Committee for Physical Activity, said: “We know lots of people are keen to better understand the government’s latest advice on how to stay physically active while they’re spending a lot of time at home. This guidance has been written to clearly explain what they can and can’t do during this period.
“It’s really important to use movement and activity as a way of breaking up your routine, if you feel well enough. Cook, play active games, dance, go into the garden if you’ve got one.
“Not only is physical activity good for our health and protects against a range of chronic conditions, it’s also good for our wellbeing which is vitally important at times like this.”