Updated: Jan 21
So here we are again! Another 'lockdown', meaning no travel, no team sports, and no gym. Disappointing for all of us, but most importantly, how do we keep ourselves well during these times?
As a physiotherapist, I specialise in helping people become more active after illness or injury. I can also give general advice on activity to the public. However, sometimes I find it difficult to follow my own advice. So here is some tips that I have found have helped me during 'lockdown' to keep my body and mind active and well;
1. Have a diary or a list of things you would like to achieve each day.
These don't have to be major accomplishments or strenuous activities, but things you enjoy. I often try to include 5-10 minutes of yoga, time with my dog (the beautiful Elmo pictured below) and some time outside, or painting. These things help me to feel like I have been productive in my day, and also help me to wind down and enjoy life again.
2. I know this is said time and again, and coming from a physio it is no news...
Aim to take up some form of activity.
And again - try and pick something YOU enjoy! There is no point doing yoga if you find it mind-numbingly boring, and no point walking just because you heard it was good for you. I have always believed that exercise must be something that helps you get away from things - almost like a bit of mindfulness. And whether that be kicking a ball around with a sibling, or doing a HIIT workout, all of it is good for you!
3. Aim to get outside for some of the day.
Now this can be a tricky one, particularly as we don't always have the best weather here in Ireland. However, most of us know the benefits that time outdoors has for us, and it is a must especially during these days when it is getting dark so early. Vitamin D intake is especially important for all of us during Autumn and Winter - so aim to spend some time during the week soaking up some Winter sun (if there is any). If you are working, try a 10 minute walk during your lunch break, or look at your commute and see how you could bring more activity in this way.
At the end of the day - all of this is easier said than done, but as a health professional, I cannot begin to explain how important all of this is. Not only for keeping our bodies healthy and well, but also for our minds!
Little disclaimer - please ensure any exercise you undertake is safe for you to do - speak with your GP or physio if unsure :)
Stay safe out there!