Why is keeping active important?

Woman exercising with two young children

During the COVID19 crisis, our normal routines are interrupted and many people are looking for ways in which they can exercise and keep moving, both inside and close to our homes.

There is lots of official guidance available (UK CMO Guidance 2019) and evidence on the benefits of physical activity and avoiding sitting still too long.

We know that keeping ourselves moving during the COVID19 situation will help our physical health and mental wellbeing. Planning our physical activity will help us put some routine and structure into the day, will help manage our stress levels and improve our sleep - and don’t forget it can be fun too!

You are probably finding that for now, you cannot do many of the things that you usually do to keep active.  Maybe you usually walk to work, to school or to do your daily shopping. Maybe you normally meet up with friends to exercise together. Maybe you have been training for a special sporting event or are part of a local team. We will try to help you find new ways to keep moving.

Are you feeling the effects of sitting still at home for too long? If so, below are some simple tips to help keep you moving and prevent the ill-effects on your health than sitting can bring.

Whatever your usual activity level, we know that lots of people across Wales are trying to build some form of physical activity into their new daily routines. We hope to share some of their stories on this website in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to hear how creative people are being and how they are motivating themselves and their families to be active and get up out of their armchairs and away from their screens.

For those of you who have children and young people at home, this is a great chance to have more time engaging in play and sharing some fun with them.  Children learn through play and together you can burn off some of their energy and help put routine into their day. Playtime can be for adults too! Play Wales have some great advice and resources for parents and carers here.

If you are self-isolating or shielding (for example because you are over 70, or pregnant or have an underlying health condition) but are well, you can exercise safely at home or in the garden if you have one, as long as you stay 2m away from anyone not from your household. There are links to resources here. If you are pregnant there is specific guidance on exercising in pregnancy and this can be found here.

If you are unwell, please save your energy to get better. If you have recently recovered from illness (whether that be COVID19 or any other condition), take your time becoming physically active again, gradually building up to your normal activity levels before trying anything extra or new.

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