Staying active in lockdown

Well hello there folks. I hope you are all doing ok in these really tough times. I have no doubt that one and all of us have periods of feeling worried, scared or upset at the situation we find ourselves in on both a personal and a World level. I’ve shed a tear or two and have no doubt that I will continue to do so. I do also however truly believe that many positives can come from this enforced pause in our daily lives. I see it as a great opportunity to find new ways to improve our fitness. It doesn’t matter how fit or active you currently are, just aim to improve your current level. Do not attempt anything that you do not feel safe or confident in doing for obvious reasons. Avoid anything you really dislike as you will not stick at it! If you are currently permitted to leave your home, then go for a walk. Beware of uneven paving slabs, but walk tall, keep your hips pushed forwards, walk briskly, walk slowly, walk on the flat, walk up and down hills, walk on grass, walk on concrete, walk in a zig zag, walk in circles, swing your arms. Assuming you don’t get carted off for your strange behaviour, your body and mind will benefit from the different terrains, speeds and directions. Here are my current 3 top tips: 1) Just Breathe! 2) Just Smile! 3) Just Move!…… Simple. Breathing: • Crucial, but often overlooked. • Think about HOW you are breathing. • Lungs are large organs and should be used to capacity. • Concentrate on your breath; is it relaxed, slow and calm, filling right to the base of your lungs, making your lower ribs expand and your tummy gently rise? Or is it shallow and rapid, just making your shoulders rise and fall? • The more oxygen we can get to our cells, the better they can function. Smiling: • Admittedly, not as crucial as breathing, but in my book, still pretty important! • Think about what you enjoy, or used to enjoy, and do more of it. If you enjoy the movement and activity that you have chosen, then it won’t become a chore. • With the current social distancing and self-isolation restrictions if you have a house-companion, then get them to join in, or if not, then phone a friend! • Get out in the sunshine… always puts a smile on my face. • Enjoy the beauty of the wildlife around you. Listen, look, feel, smell. Movement: • Think about every part of your body and how many different ways it can move (or at least used to be able to!). • Start from your feet and work up through your body, moving each major joint in as many directions as you can. *AVOID CIRCLING YOUR HEAD OR LOOKING UP. Do this from the position you feel most safe: lying/sitting/standing with support/standing independently. Move in a gentle, controlled manner and don’t force anything… I am currently off work and thus unable to put anyone back together! • Dance, sing, walk, run around the garden, garden, decorate, hula hoop, throw and catch, play the drums, walk up and downstairs (forwards, backwards, sideways, two at a time), climb on furniture (like your parents never let you), roll over, crawl along the floor, stand up, sit down, reach up, reach down, reach across, hang on your arms from a sturdy beam, push yourself up from a chair, pull yourself up from a chair, march on the spot, juggle, play darts, play tennis against the wall with a rolled up pair of socks… use your imagination! • Lose your inhibitions and “Just Move”…(Safely!!) The more you move, the stronger your bones and muscles become; the more mobile your joints will be; the better your blood and lymph will circulate, the more oxygenated your brain and other cells will be… All contributing to a healthier you! Stay safe and look out for each other,