How to exercise at home

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What can you do to keep fit and healthy while heeding the new guidelines about staying at home?

There are plenty things you can do from your chair or sofa including squats, tricep dips, crunches, body work exercises.

If you have children at home, get them involved. Make activities fun, like running around or playing hide and seek. Just keep moving.

Exercise decreases stress and anxiety. Everyone is stressed at the moment and people aren’t sleeping but if you are moving, you are likely to sleep better.

But how much you can do, depends on which type of household you fall into. If you are under 70 with no underlying conditions you can still be active outside for a short period as long as you stick to the government guidelines and stay at least two metres – three paces – away from other people.

So walking the dog, or even your neighbour’s dog, going for a run or going for a bike ride are all fine – provided you keep your distance.

If you are over 70 and self-isolating, pregnant or have an underlying health condition, but feel well, you can also go outside for a short while with the same caveat of keeping your distance from others.

Public spaces such as golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and gyms are now banned as are all team sports.

For older people, strength and balance exercises are particularly important as muscle strength starts to decline rapidly after our 30s. Tai chi, resistance training and seated exercises are recommended.

If you are self-isolating with symptoms, or someone in your household has them, you should not 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, if you feel well enough.

Cook, play active games, dance, go into the garden if you have one.
If you are unwell, use your energy to get better and don’t try to be active. If you can get out of bed, do so but don’t try to do too much.

Finally, if you are feeling better after having had the virus, return to your normal routine gradually. We don’t know what the long term effects are but as far as we know, there is no reason why you can’t gently return to normal activity.

Aim to minimise stress and try to use the time wisely. Read that book, do an online course, learn a new language, clear out the cupboards. It will all help.