The UK Government has recognised how important it is to have daily exercise, including it as one of the few reasons we can leave our homes, to ensure our physical and mental health.
People across Wales are finding all sorts of ways to keep active. This may be using online resources and celebrity endorsed programmes, or it may be walking or gardening in the sunshine. Whatever you chose to do, remember keeping active is not only exercise that gets you out of breath, but also movement that helps to build your strength, balance and flexibility. It is possible to gain all of these physical health benefits, as well as the positive impacts on your mood and achieve personal satisfaction, at home and if you have health condition. Many organisations that specialise in specific health conditions have information and resources on their websites that show you how to do just that, wherever you’re starting out from.
Remember not to overdo it- small changes are helpful, and gradually build up your activity levels if you are trying new things or if you haven’t done an exercise programme for some time. It’s better to start slowly and grow your levels of physical activity than to push yourself too hard and get discouraged from the outset. Remember to always consultant your GP or health professional who is supporting you to ensure that you are taking account of the specific challenges of your condition.
There are lots of ways that you can build physical activity into your day, to exercise and move more frequently at home. Set an alarm on your phone to break up your time sitting still, or commit to get up and move around during any advert breaks if you’re watching the TV. It is easy to build physical activity into your daily activities and to use things around the house to help you; from gentle stretches in your armchair to climbing the stairs to using tins of beans as weights. Small amounts of activity, interrupting the time when you sit still, all add up and help you to stay healthy at home.
There are lots of free online resources that we can share with you, suitable for people with health conditions that will help you exercise at home. Remember to find something that you enjoy, that way you will stick with it. Small activities all count and you can build up slowly. Make the most of your good days, but be kind to yourself when you don’t feel that you can do what you planned to do. Setbacks are normal.
Why not arrange for a daily chat with anyone you know who is also trying to exercise just like you? Perhaps a friend or members of clubs and groups that you normally go to? If that’s not for you, many resources will allow you to compare your progress with other people online, or you may just want to check in with family and friends and share each other’s progress.
If you are able to go outdoors for some daily exercise, in accordance with the social distancing rules, you can gain great benefits to your physical health and mental wellbeing.
You may wish to go walking, for a run or for a cycle ride close to your home. The health benefits of these affordable and accessible activities are clear. If you’re new to running, cycling or even to walking for health, there are resources and links on this website to help you get started safely, making sure that you build up gradually and don’t fall at the first hurdle. You can also find out about websites for organisations that provide advice on running, cycling and walking for health and provide support for the most common health conditions. Take a look at our list of useful resources here.