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Keeping active for people living with long term health conditions

The COVID19 crisis means that we are staying in and close to our homes more than at any other time in our history.  The great news is that people are finding ways in which they can shake off the effects of sitting too long indoors, whether they are people who don’t usually think about physical activity very much or people who are used to playing sport or exercising regularly.  

If you live with a health condition you may have some specific concerns about keeping active:

  • Keeping active if you have a health condition, is very important to your physical health and mental wellbeing. We know that as long as you follow current health guidelines for your condition, physical activity can help you manage your symptoms. Before you start a new activity or increase the intensity of activity, you should speak to your GP or a health professional who helps you manage your condition.
  • We know that people living with health conditions are not all the same and experience their illnesses differently; you will face your own challenges, you will have good days and those days when you can’t do as much as usual. That’s why we want to reassure you that doing even small amounts of physical activity, on those days when you can, will bring benefits to your health.  
  • Keeping active can mean being active in your home and garden: doing household jobs and tasks, activity with family members or having a go at a structured exercise programme that suits you. Try different things to find something that you enjoy, start slowly and then build up to more regular activity on the days when you are able to do it. 
  • Keeping active could mean using the daily exercise time outdoors that Government guidance allows; to take a walk, go on a run or a cycle ride, remembering to only do this close to home and when you can be sure of following the social distancing rules. Remember to pace yourself, only do what is safe and within your capabilities and don’t worry if you don’t achieve what you hope for on the days when you don’t feel your best. Make the most of your good days but listen to what your body tells you and only do what feels right to you. 

You’ll find some tools, advice and ideas below to help you keep yourself moving, whatever your condition or ability.  If you are in any doubt about the suitability of an activity, please check with your General Practitioner or another health professional involved in your care.

We are keen to hear how you get on and for you to share your experience and advice to others who are using this website. Get in touch with us through social media using #howareyoudoing to share your own wellbeing tips with people across Wales. 

Why is keeping active important?

If you have a health condition, keeping moving can help you manage your condition and help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.  

How to keep physically active at and close to home

There are lots of things you can do to safely keep active in and around your home

What tools are available to help?

There are many free online tools and resources to support you to keep moving, including some specifically recognising the nature of your health condition.