In these extraordinarily challenging times, all of us are having to find creative ways to keep ourselves healthy and well. Our bodies are not naturally designed to stay indoors for day after day, so our musculoskeletal health could be at risk if we don’t take steps to protect it.
First and foremost, for all of us it is crucial to pay attention to the latest government guidance on what we need to do during the pandemic, which does include staying at home as much as practically possible and only leaving the home for very specific activities. Official guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Staying fit during lockdown
When it comes to looking after the health and wellbeing of our bodies, there are many things we can do to stay fit and well, even during lockdown.
The Guardian recently ran an article detailing the many ways that professional sportsmen and women are keeping themselves in shape while observing social distancing rules. These range from turning their home into an assault course (probably not practical for most of us!) through to incorporating children into a daily workout and using the garden furniture for goal shooting practice.
One enterprising young man has earned himself a training session with Manchester United midfielder, Juan Mata, once lockdown restrictions are lifted after the latter saw his unique solo football training practice at home.
While most of us don’t have quite the same drive to keep fit as your average professional sportsperson, there are many things we can do to keep our bodies functioning properly, which will also help to support our mental health and physical fitness. The government has said that one walk outside each day is permitted during the lockdown and as a form of exercise, walking, has huge benefits.
Just 30 minutes of walking a day – ideal within the current restrictions – is enough to strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, boost muscle power and increase cardiovascular fitness. Walking is a low impact activity that costs nothing. It can be done at any time of the day, without the need for any special equipment, except a decent pair of walking shoes.
It has been shown to reduce your risk of developing a range of medical problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Even if you are unfit or overweight you can enjoy this form of exercise at your own pace.
Why not try mindful walking, which involves paying close attention to your experience and surroundings – noting what you can hear, see and smell?
Cycling is another beneficial form of low impact exercise, although current guidelines mean you can’t go for a bike ride with friends.
Exercise at home
If you are exercising at home, it can be good to mix forms of exercise that work on flexibility – for example yoga – with those that work on strength like High Intensity Intermittent (HIT) Training, which involves short periods of high intensity exercise. Many gyms and fitness instructors have taken their classes online so now could be a good time to try different types of classes.
Yoga, Pilates and many different types of bodywork are now available via the internet for people to join in with at home. Even golfers, who cannot get out on the course as they are now closed, are taking the opportunity to practice their swing at home with tips from England Golf coaches and players.
The key thing to remember is our bodies aren’t designed to be completely sedentary and sitting on your sofa all day is not good for your musculoskeletal health.
Finding creative ways to exercise at home and making the most of your daily exercise outside will help you stay fit, healthy and well. It is important to observe social distancing rules and also to do whatever you can to stay well by eating a healthy balanced diet, staying well-hydrated and reducing stress wherever you can.
It is also important to take great care to avoid injury during this time, as any visit to A&E or to a GP could mean longer waits as your case may not be top priority. Also, it is vital to not put added pressure on the already strained NHS at this time.
Look out for our follow-up blog about preventing injuries when training at home.
RADIOLOGISTS | MANCHESTER, WIGAN, CHESHIRE + MORE
W27 provides fast, accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal symptoms and conditions using the latest state-of-the-art imaging facilities. We also offer therapeutic injections to help relieve joint pain.
For your appointment there is a choice of locations:
The John Charnley Wing, Wrightington Hospital – Hall Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9EP
HCA Manchester Institute of Health & Performance – 299 Alan Turing Way, Manchester, M11 3BS
Euxton Hall Hospital – Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DY
The Spire Manchester – 170 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2AF
European Scanning Centre – 10-11 Bulstrode Place, London W1U 2HX
The OrthTeam Centre Ohm Building – 168 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M20 2AF
Information about our Fees can be found here.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your options with a specialist, please contact the team to book an initial consultation.