Coronavirus: Staying active at home
Stay active at home
If you’re stuck at home because of coronavirus (Covid-19), or your normal activity has been cancelled, it’s still important to stay as active as you can. Even a small amount of activity will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and there’s plenty you can do at home – here are some ideas to keep you moving.
Everyday activities count!
You don’t need gym equipment at home to stay active. Everyday activities such as doing the vacuuming, hanging out the washing, and mowing the lawn all count towards your daily activity levels.
Try to break up long periods of sitting by getting up and moving for at least five minutes each hour. You could put on a home disco with your favourite tunes and have a dance, or walk up and down the stairs.
Home workouts and seated exercise
These easy-to-follow workouts are a great way to get active at home:
- NHS seated exercise routine for older people and those with limited mobility
- NHS strength exercises
- NHS balance exercises
- NHS flexibility exercises
- NHS gym-free workouts
- NHS ten-minute cardio and toning workouts
- This Girl Can home exercise guide
- Follow The Body Coach for great indoor workouts, including PE classes every weekday at 9am and classes for older adults
- Active Herts warm up
- Active Herts main workout
- 10 today – a series of 10 minute workout videos for older people
- Make Movement Your Mission: from Monday 23rd March – Monday 20th April there will be daily 10 minute workouts at 8am, midday (noon) and 4pm.
If you’d rather follow a video you’ll find lots for different ages and abilities online:
As with any kind of physical activity, start slowly and gradually build up the time and intensity of your workouts, and don’t forget to warm up and cool down!
Download the NHS seated exercise programme (PDF, 975 Kb)
Get the whole family moving
Kids need to burn off some energy? Get the whole family moving with these fun, free resources:
- GoNoodle YouTube channel
- This Girl Can Disney dance-along
- Change4Life indoor activity ideas
- Change4Life accessible activities for children and young people with disabilities
- Follow @GetSet4PE for daily tasks to keep kids active
- Sign up with iMoves Dance for free resources
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- BBC Super Movers
- Nike – Active Kids do Better
- Jumpstart Johnny
- QUESTR – science and English based games
- Premier League Primary Stars
Get some fresh air, if you can
The current government advice is that if anyone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, the whole family needs to self-isolate for 14 days and that means you shouldn’t go outside at all.
However, for families who haven’t had any symptoms it’s still fine to get out for some fresh air, to walk the dog or go for a run, as long as you stay more than two metres away from other people.
Walking and jogging are great for your physical health and have proven benefits for your mental wellbeing.
Mental health and wellbeing
If you’re isolated or just feeling anxious about coronavirus, here are some ideas to look after your mental wellbeing:
- Gardening can help tackle depression, stress and anxiety, and reduce high blood pressure, as well as improve your physical health, so it’s a great time to get outside and brighten up your patch. Don’t have a garden? You could try planting some flowers in a window box, growing herbs indoors, or putting out food for the birds where you can watch them from a window.
- Practise relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. You could follow an NHS yoga workout to improve strength and tackle stress, try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters, and read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.
- Look to the future. You could research walks you want to do, plan a new cycle route, or get the kids to make a list of five new activities they’d like to try.
- Information for care providers from the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association
Mental health charity Mind has put together detailed advice and information on coronavirus and wellbeing.