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Staying Active In Lockdown With The Ramblers

We're all spending a lot more time at home than most of us would like at the moment, which is why staying active is more important than ever for both our mental and physical health. Whilst we currently can’t all walk in the way we would like to, we can still roam for leisure, health and happiness at home, in our outdoor spaces and within our one daily exercise. We've asked our friends at the Ramblers for their tips on staying active during lockdown, even if you're not able to walk far.

 

You don’t have to walk a whole lot to reap the rewards, and during the lockdown, providing you follow the Ramblers recommended guidelines, going for a walk in your local area or even in your living room could do you a lot of good.

 

The minimum recommendation from doctors to keep your body healthy and prevent illness is 150 minutes of activity a week. So you could look at that as just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week – and you can also break that down into chunks of ten or fifteen minutes at a time if you prefer! Public Health England have produced this useful infographic based on the UK Chief Medical Officers recommend levels of physical activity guidelines.

You don’t have to walk for a long time or at a brisk pace from day one. You can build up as you go and it won’t be long before you start to see the benefits. If you can’t go out, you can try a walking challenge at home!

 

Louise Trewern and her wife Karen run a Ramblers Walking For Health group in South Devon for people who are living with pain or who have long term health conditions. She says: “Keeping active via the Ramblers #roamsweethome campaign is ideal for people who can’t get out and walk like they used to, or even for people who are isolating totally, as some of the walkers in our group are – because you can set yourself a step challenge. One of our walkers is going backwards and forwards through his two rooms, because he is in total isolation – this sort of exercise challenge gives people a purpose. If you know there’s a certain number of steps to complete for one of these #roamsweethome step challenges, it gives you a goal to work towards.”

 

Louise and Karen have set themselves the task of walking the equivalent number of steps to climbing Mont Blanc during their daily exercise and are sharing their progress on social media with the #RoamSweetHome hashtag.

 

Being active also has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing, including improving self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue. 

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Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of suffering from mental health issues, and staying active helps those who are feeling down to recover. In older people, staying active can also improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

 

Kath, a walker with bipolar disorder, says: "Walking has always been there for me, my confidence has grown immensely. I'm a totally different person now than I was ten years ago, and I owe so much of that to walking."

 

With staying active more important than ever during current the COVID-19 lockdown, for both mental and physical health, the Ramblers have launched their #RoamSweetHome campaign, celebrating the brilliant community spirit, creativity, ideas and energy shown by Ramblers’ supporters and its 100,000 members across the country.

 

#RoamSweetHome offers lots of great advice, activities and entertainment, all in line with official Government guidance on social distancing and safe exercising. Sign up to the #RoamSweetHome programme to receive weekly inspiration, ideas and updates. 

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To find out more about looking after your mental wellbeing during Coronavirus, visit Mind

Keep visiting the Ramblers Walking for Health and Ramblers websites for further information and updates on how to start walking and keep walking.


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