Here are some tips to safely keeping active during lockdown
1. Spend more time doing ‘small activities’ such as cooking or cleaning up.
Doing an hour more than usual on things like tidying up, cooking, cleaning and other ‘smaller chores’ will help us make up for that ‘activity loss’ some of us may be experiencing. These activities can help to activate our cardiovascular system, and a strong cardiovascular system benefits all areas of the body, including our muscles, joints and our mental health.
2. Get outdoors and go for a walk, run or a bike ride.
We are still allowed outdoors to exercise once a day, as long as we continue to practice social distancing. To go for a run, bike ride, or take a walk is one of the best things we can do because it activates our cardiovascular system, which nurtures muscles and joints. It also helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Just be cautious of not ‘over-doing it’. We trust that you know your limits. It isn’t about pushing yourself as far as you can, it’s more important to keep your joints moving and your heartbeat up a little more than it’s normal resting rate.
For those that are unable to leave home, it’s a good idea to do some home exercises. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have designed a simple set of exercises designed especially for older people called ‘Stay Active at Home’.
We too have regular content on staying active if you head to the news and advice section of our website. We are also offering online Pilates classes or/and 1:1 video sessions, to help keep everyone active.
3. Do the right exercises to facilitate our rehabilitation.
To help treat pain in our muscles and joints, one of the best things we can do is to perform some exercises. By doing the correct exercises it means we will improve mobility and strength in the area of the body that we experience pain. Exercise contributes to a quicker and optimal healing process. We should start exercising as soon as possible rather than waiting for our initial pain to subside.
If you are already under the care of one of our Physiotherapists, continue with the home exercise program and the advice they have already given. If you want to discuss your progress with one of our Physiotherapists, or if you have a new injury, or are a new patient, we are offering telephone and video consultations so please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can get you started with a tailored exercise program.
4. Make sure we keep hydrated.
If we don’t drink enough fluid throughout the day, we risk becoming dehydrated. It sounds simple but it’s surprising how many of us forget to stay ‘properly’ hydrated. We should aim to drink around 8 glasses a day. Drinking enough water is key for our overall health and well-being. If you struggle to measure how much you are drinking, fill a 2 litre bottle with water at the beginning of each day.
5. Make sure we keep moving/walking regularly.
It is really important that we keep moving and walking, even though our walking distance may be dramatically reduced at the moment. Walking and moving around helps to keep us strong and it aids recovery, so make sure you fit in a few walking breaks throughout the day! This can be around the garden, through the house and up and down the stairs to make sure you keep moving as much as you possibly can.
6. Make sure we have enough ‘standing breaks’.
It is really important that we take regular standing breaks from sitting. Just standing up after we’ve been sat helps to improve circulation and therefore restore oxygen and nutrients to our muscles/soft tissues and discs of the spine. Try to make sure that you stand up at least once an hour and then move around more when you can. Set a timer if you need to!
7. Don’t rest in soft furniture for too long.
Lounging in a soft sofa for too long puts extra strain on our bodies, especially our back and neck. Ensuring that we take regular breaks and when we do sit down again, try and find a slightly different position or find a chair to sit for for a while to ease the strain.
If you have any questions or queries on keeping active during lockdown, you can also use our FREE Ask A Physio service online.