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Your Wellbeing

Staying Active and Well

Looking after our mental and physical health is very important during these unusual times. We have some tips and useful links below.

Get Active

Staying active is hugely important – it will not only help your physical health, but also benefit your overall mental wellbeing.

There are plenty of ways you can stay active at home and through exercising outside.

Later Life Training is a great resource and you can get their 30 day exercise calendar for free if you email info@laterlifetraining.co.uk

The NHS also have a variety of online exercise videos you can do:

You might not have used Youtube much before, but it has a huge variety of videos on lots of topics. This could be a chance time to browse and find some good home exercise videos or to find videos on a hobby of yours. Check out our advice on exercising safely before you start anything new though!

If you haven’t been advised to self-isolate, you can still go out for a walk, wheel, jog or bike ride. If you have been shielding, you can exercise outside too. Just take care to go at times and to places where you are unlikely to come into close contact with others, and you should stay 2 meters away from others at all times. 

Sports that allow you to remain physically distanced are now permitted, such as tennis, golf, bowls and fishing.

Chair based exercises to do at home

It’s quite likely there will be times we all feel anxious or low in the days and weeks ahead. This is completely normal, so we’ve put together some top tips:

  • If you are worried, talking really does help. Take time to chat about how you’re feeling with family and friends. You can also call the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222 (Mondays – Fridays 9am – 5pm) for a friendly chat.
  • Try creating a new routine now that everyday life has changed for a while. For example, making your bed or making sure you get up and dressed are two ways of achieving something concrete right at the start of the day. It might not sound like much, but small regular tasks can help you to feel more in control of the situation.
  • Try not to watch the news all the time – with such a rapidly changing situation it is easy to feel the need to keep as up to date as possible with the news. However this is unlikely to make you feel very good and for many people it could make them feel anxious or depressed. You could try limiting yourself to only looking at the news once or twice a day and then try to focus on other things in the meantime.
  • If you start to feel overwhelmed, some simple breathing exercises can help. Sit or lie down in a way that’s comfortable for you. Take a deep breath in as you count to 5, hold your breath as you count to 5, breathe out to the count of 5 and then hold your breath to the count of 5. You can repeat this as many times as you need until you start to feel calmer. Try doing a few rounds and then see how you feel.

It’s also important to carry on managing any other on-going health conditions. Carry on taking your usual medications and keep doing any recommended exercises, even if it means adapting your usual routine.

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign called Clear Your Head which provides tips and idea to help people who are worried right now, as well as link for help and support. Click here to find out more.

Stay in touch

Staying in touch with family and friends is very important. Making time for regular phone calls and staying in touch online if possible are great ways to keep in contact when we can't meet face to face.

Meet up in person

You can meet up with people both indoors and outdoors - it's worth checking what the local restrictions are in your area. Use the Scottish Government's postcode checker to find out what the rules are about meeting other people in your local area by clicking here.

Other ways to keep in touch

If you have a mobile phone or computer, now is the ideal time to set up video calling so you can still see each other. This doesn't need to be difficult – if you have an iPhone then you can use FaceTime without installing anything new or Whatsapp is an app you can download that you can use to text and video call with.

Could some of your usual social activities move online or to phone calls? Can you 'meet up' with friends or family by arranging a video chat over a coffee or a meal?

Pointers before you start exercising

We want everyone to stay as physically active as possible during these difficult times, but it is important to do so in a safe a way as possible. Paths for All have put together the following guidelines:

  • Start slow and simple and build up over time.
  • Wear comfortable flat shoes, not slippers
  • Make sure your floor is clear of things that might trip you up (for example wires or the edges of rugs)
  • It is important to listen to how your body feels while exercising and stop if you experience anything that does not feel right to you.
  • If you are not sure about your balance, find something stable to hold onto while doing exercise.
  • Muscle strengthening exercises can make your muscles feel more tense than usual – they might shake a little and feel warmer during the exercise and feel a little achy the next day– this is normal.
  • Seek medical advice however if you experience dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath or muscle pain that does not go away

The Age Scotland helpline

Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free to speak to an adviser. Open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

Help us support more older people

Demand for our vital services is increasing rapidly. Please help us to be there for older people in Scotland who desperately need us during this crisis.

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