Restrictions to our daily routine are becoming tighter by the day – with gyms, pools, yoga studios and dozens of other exercise venues now shut down, it can be hard to find the motivation to get moving.
But exercise remains important – keeping your general fitness up will help your immune system remain strong, so you are less susceptible to an infection, or at least better able to recover from one. It’s also a great for relieving stress – which more than a few of us would admit to feeling these days.
The recommendation to get 30 minutes of exercise each day is just as important – even more important – as ever. Just choose it wisely – now is not the time to learn a new martial arts style via YouTube or hop on to a mountain bike if you haven’t been on a bike for 10 years.
Staying healthy and injury free is the name of the game here – nobody (least of all you) wants you spending time in the emergency department or physio rooms if you don’t have to.
So how do you exercise safely while complying with social distancing measures? Here’s our top picks:
1.Go for a Walk.
This has to top any list – it’s free, easy and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes. You can scale it up or down depending on what kind of workout you are looking for, and you can tailor your route to avoid other people.
If you find walking boring, take along your earbuds and phone and listen to your favourite album or podcast while you walk. Otherwise, you could always create your own scavenger hunt – make a list of things you want to spot on your walk and mentally tick them off as you go. Want another reason to pull on your trainers? Join the Get On Track Challenge. This challenge allows you to form an online team with friends and colleagues and compete against other teams from around Australia. You and your team mates can log your steps each day (either manually or by linking a Garmin or Fitbit) and move around a virtual walking track. Join the Diabetes WA COVID-19 Challenge here.
While riding with more than one person who doesn’t live with you is currently not permitted (at time of writing), you can still hop on your bike and enjoy a ride around your local park or neighbourhood. Cycling is a great cardio exercise that is also low impact, so you can work up a sweat without putting stress on your feet or joints. If you are a confident on a mountain bike, there may be plenty of trails in your local area you can enjoy – just remember to take it easy and have your puncture repair kit ready. You can find a trail near you on the Trails WA website.
3. Online workouts
There is a plethora of workouts online to try, many of which are free. But do your research before jumping into one – if possible, watch it all the way through to see if there are any moves or sequences that might cause you trouble. Make sure you have proper equipment and the space to do the workout (no tripping over the coffee table) and take it easy the first time you do any new workout. It can be easy to forget a warm–up and cool down if you don’t have an instructor directing you, so check whether your chosen workout has them built in or not. If not, make sure to include them as this will reduce soreness the next day and will go a long way to preventing an injury.
When it comes to moving your body, it all counts. Spending time getting your hands dirty is a perfectly valid way to stay physically active – so if you have a garden, get out there. Take this opportunity to weed, trim and dig your garden into a space you can be proud of. Make sure you keep yourself protected from the sun, wear protective gloves and footwear and stay hydrated if you’re out there for some time.
If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, you can speak to a credentialled diabetes educators via the Diabetes WA Helpline on 1300 001 880 Monday to Friday between 8.30am-4.30pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.