Health and wellbeing
Stay active at home
We're all now spending a lot more time at home and that means many of us are thinking about how we can get, or stay, active.
Official advice is stay at home, and to only go outside for one form of exercise a day, to shop for basic necessities, if there's a medical reason and travelling to and from essential work.
This inevitably means all our routines are changing.
But staying active is more important than ever right now, and even if you’re mostly in your house, there are plenty of ways you can still do so.
If you're older
The Chief Medical Officer's own physical activity guidance highlights the benefits of maintaining muscle strength, balance and flexibility.
These specific exercises are great for all ages, but particularly if you're over 65:
Online home workouts
With gyms currently closed in response to government announcements, you can bring the gym into your own home.
There are a number of websites with online home workouts that you can watch and do whenever you want, some for free or with a free trial. For example,
- Fitness Blender has over 500 free workout videos.
Other gym-free workouts
From sofa workouts to cardio jumps, the NHS has put together illustrated guides showing some other equipment-free workouts, many of which you can do at home. View them here.
This Girl Can has put together a useful list of exercises to try at home, from table top press ups to living room wall sits - and they're great for women and men alike.
Only got a few minutes? The NHS' 10-minute workout ideas are perfect if you've only got a bit of spare time when you're at home.
- Disney dance-along are a perfect, and fun, way to get active with the kids.
- Change4Life has created some Disney-themed indoor games and activities, including a Toy Story 4-inspired Find Forky game, that are bundles of fun and will get the kids moving. There are also lots of ways to keep disabled children and young people active indoors, including a seated version of a classic obstacle race.
In any given day, you can still go outside for one form of exercise, such as a walk, a run or a cycle, if you're well enough and as long as you’re on your own, or with members of your household. Please always follow the latest official advice on social distancing - which means staying more than two metres from others - and follow the advice on general hygiene. It's important that you stick stringently to the guidance.
If you're going outside to get fresh air and to get active, you should do so locally, staying close to your home and avoiding places where it may be hard to follow the guidelines.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active, if you have some space and are able to follow the government guidelines on social distancing.
Mental health and wellbeing
Public Health England's Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19) provides advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Looking after your sleep
Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
Many people find the news about coronavirus (COVID-19) concerning. However, some people may experience such intense anxiety that it becomes a problem. The Every Mind Matters page on anxiety and NHS mental wellbeing audio guides provide further information on how to manage anxiety.
You may be worried about work and money if you have to stay home – these issues can have a big impact on your mental health. For guidance on what your rights are at work, what benefits you are entitled and what further support is available please see the government guidance for employees or advice from citizens advice or the National Debt line.
Local clubs and societies
Many of our local arts and cultural clubs and societies are providing ideas and activities for staying creative. Visit our Local clubs and societies page to find out more.