BY Dave Millward
January 26th, 2021
Gym closures and self-isolation means far fewer opportunities to be physically active, whilst the home environment offers abundant opportunity to be sedentary (sitting or reclining).
The physical activity guidelines for adults are to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. However, we should aim to be active every day and this will be beneficial to our physical health, mental well-being and our immune system. It is also recommended that we should all do strength exercises that work all the major muscles of the body (Legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders and arms) at least twice per week.
What is the difference between Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Activity?
“Moderate intensity activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing” (source, NHS website). Brisk Walking, riding a Bike and dancing are examples of moderate intensity activities.
“Vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you're working at this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. In general, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity. Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase your effort” (Source, NHS website). Jogging or running, riding a bike fast or on hills, walking up the stairs, playing sports, such as football, rugby, netball and hockey are examples of vigorous intensity activities.
How can we ensure we are keeping active during lockdown?
Here are some ideas to help:
- Join us in some of our online Zoom classes. 2 x 45 sessions will at least ensure you achieve your minimum weekly physical activity. These classes are mainly based around body weighted exercises, so no equipment is required. Numerous studies have shown that body weight exercises are as important to health as aerobic exercises. You can find our latest Zoom timetable here. If you cannot participate live, click here to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we will upload the classes, so that you can still take part.
- In Oundle, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the lovely countryside and walking is a great way to keep active, relieve stress and for those that track them, get your daily steps In. You are also able to exercise in a public space with people from your household or support bubble, or exercise on your own with one other person. Exercising with friends and family can help increase motivation, enjoyment and commitment to regular exercise.
- If you are working from home, ensure you take regular breaks from continuous sitting. Creating a standing desk whilst working from home is a great way of reducing the effects of prolonged inactivity. Walk around the house during phone calls can also get those extra steps in.
- If you are binge watching a series on Netflix (we all do it!), take regular breaks between episodes and walk around. Maybe do some stretches or chair exercises whilst watching.
- Climbing up and down the stairs is another way of raising the heart rate and increasing daily activity.
- Dancing is an excellent way to protect the heart and maintain fitness as it can reach moderate and vigorous intensity. So, go ahead, put your favourite playlist on – and dance.
- Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot provide a Yoga class online, however, click here to access a free YouTube channel with Yoga session and practises suitable for all levels.
- Do those jobs and projects that you keep putting off, such as gardening, DIYing, decorating and deep cleaning.
There are many more ways in which we can keep active during lockdown, and if you need any more information or help, then please contact us, and as always, we will do our best to support you.