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Your Wellbeing

Staying Active and Well

Over the coming weeks and months all of us will be spending a lot more time at home and apart from our family and friends. This will inevitably mean big changes to our normal activities and routines. As a result, looking after our mental and physical health is going to be very important. 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.

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

They have also started live streaming 10 minute movement routines three times a day at www.facebook.com/laterlifetraining

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, jog or bike ride. 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. Team sports are sadly off the agenda for now.

Chair based exercises to do at home


Look after your mental health

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.


Get Creative

Luminate@Home is a programme of online creative activities for older people who are isolated in the current COVID-19 outbreak by our sister charity Luminate.

Every Tuesday and Friday over the coming weeks, and possibly months, a new short film will be posted online at 2pm to inspire and guide older people through a creative activity that can be done at home or in a care home.

Luminate’s new programme is designed to help people stay engaged and active until the crisis has passed. The activities will be presented by professional artists who work regularly with older people in community and care settings, and will feature different arts forms including crafts, poetry, music and dance.

Look out for new videos posted on Luminate's facebook page, YouTube page, or website.


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.

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.

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