The current COVID-19 situation has meant restrictions are in place which may seem to limit our exercise options. But with all the uncertainty of the last few months, one thing that has remained constant is our ability to exercise, whether inside at home or outside.
Many have made use of Ealing’s parks and green spaces, which have remained open throughout, and tennis courts, bowls greens and basketball hoops have recently reopened for use.
Time spent exercising has physical benefits, such as the maintenance of a healthy weight and reducing the risk of many long-term conditions. It can also help with managing stress and our mental health.
In addition, regular physical activity also contributes to a range of wider social, environmental and economic benefits for individuals, communities and wider society. And by walking, cycling and jogging rather than jumping into our cars, exercise also helps reduce air pollution, and less air pollution is something we’ve all benefited from recently.
There is an additional benefit of balance and flexibility exercises for older adults. Exercises that improve leg strength, balance and coordination can help people maintain and improve muscle strength and avoid falls as we age. Improving flexibility can improve posture, reduce aches and pains, lower risk of injury, and help with continuing to carry out everyday tasks and maintain independence.
More is better still
Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for adults and public health, said: “We should all be aiming to be physically active every day. That could include going for a walk, brisk enough to get your heart rate up but not so much that you can’t still talk as you walk, cycling, jogging, yoga, dancing and many more exercise options.
“Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.”
Out and about
There are many online resources you can use to help you get started, including:
• NHS Couch to 5k, which helps you to gradually, at your own pace, build up to running 5 kilometers
• Ealing Goodgym is a way of combining a good deed with exercise, for instance you could coming collecting a prescription for a neighbour with a run
• Ealing Cycling Campaign Routes have cycling routes mapped out around the borough for riders to try
• Sport England This Girl Can Campaign is exercise aimed at girls and women.
If you are unable to get out then we put together a list of things you can do to stay moving and healthy indoors – whatever your level. Take a look.
In addition, Sport England have pulled together a variety of activities including some to do with children, for older adults, pregnant women and those with a disability or long-term health condition.
If you are based in Southall and want to connect more to people and physical activity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or show us what you have been up to on twitter @GoSouthall.
- Move more by making small changes
- Choose activities you enjoy
- Set goals and make a plan
- Start slowly and build up gradually
- Pace yourself and listen to your body
- Build new habits
- Get outdoors
- Wear something comfortable
- Make sure you drink water
- Have fun.