Staying physically and mentally active during the Coronavirus

​Staying active has so many incredible benefits and goes far beyond simply building strength or losing weight.

Exercise, when done properly, is proven to boost health; even doing just a few minutes of exercise every day can improve brain function, ward of physical illness, reverse the effects of aging in the heart, and may even improve your memory. Exercise can also be a boon to mental health. It decreases stress and anxiety and helps to improve sleeping.

Science tells us that exercise causes a boost in your white blood cells and antibodies and these are the cells we need to fight off disease. It has been proven that any regular physical activity should help boost the immune system.

Despite the gym closures and risks involved with fitness spaces, this doesn't mean our health and fitness regimes need to be completely put on hold. Individuals can still stay fit during the coronavirus pandemic by doing some simple exercises and routines in the comfort of their own home and garden.

There are many fitness websites and online apps that people can use to help find exercises and routines which can be easily adapted for use at home. In particular, the NHS Live Well site has a range of excellent guidance, exercise plans and podcasts which make keeping fit and healthy at home, a lot easier.

A generic 4 week fitness programme for both men and women, devised by Women’s Health magazine, and which can be undertaken at home, has been uploaded onto the wellbeing pages. CLICK HERE

Even when doing a home exercise session, it's important to practice good health, hygiene and recovery habits to avoid becoming unwell or worn out. The advice is still to wash hands regularly, clean equipment and exercise space and, importantly, stay hydrated.

Meditation and sleep apps such as Calm, Headspace and Thrive are extremely useful in helping us to relax and stay calm during stressful times and can also be a really good way to develop a more manageable mindset, without feeling too overwhelmed.

Of particular interest, the mindfulness app, Headspace is adding a new “Weathering the storm” collection of content which will focus on helping people to navigate change and reframe anxiety. The new collection will be free to access, regardless of whether you have a subscription to the app or not.