Gentle frequent exercise helps not only your body but also your mind.
Exercise decreases stress and anxiety which then in turn helps you to sleep better. So, what else can you do to keep fit and healthy whilst heeding the advice about staying at home? It is important to plan your day which will help you find a focus. Aim to minimise stress by using the time wisely: read that book, learn a new language or a new recipe, clear out the cupboards – it will all help.
For older people, strength and balance exercises are particularly important as muscle strength starts to decline. If you cannot leave the home it doesn’t mean you should stop moving. It’s really important to use movement and activity as a way of breaking up your routine, if you feel well enough. Cook, play active games, dance, or go into the garden if you can.
Here are a few exercises to try at home
- Chair tricep dips: Sit on the edge of a chair holding onto the front with your hands. Place your feet out in front of you (bent legs for easier option or straight legs to make it harder) and lower your elbows to a 90-degree angle before pushing back up.
- Table top press ups: Incline press ups can be done anywhere around the home – on a table, a bed, a chair or even a wall. To use a table, place your hands on the table with your legs stretched out behind you, body nice and straight. Lower your weight down keeping your elbows tight to your body, and press back up.
- Living room wall sits: find a wall with a big enough space for you to lean on. Sit against the wall like you would in a chair with your legs at 90 degrees, and hold. Give it time and you’ll soon feel the burn!
- Milk bottle Russian twists: Sit on the floor holding a milk bottle (or any bottle with liquid in). Lean back with a straight back and engage your core. Rotate your torso and try to touch the floor each side with the milk bottle. Make it harder by lifting your feet off the floor.
Most importantly, try to stay calm and follow the advice from your health advisors and remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.