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New campaign to help residents’ fitness ready for lockdown lifting

Published Thursday, 1 July 2021

Residents wanting to renew or build fitness lost during lockdown are being urged by a new campaign to build more activity into their lives.

Health and activity experts from York and North Yorkshire recognise that many people have been less active during the pandemic. Shielding, worries about catching covid and lockdown itself have meant everyone has been affected.

The #WhatsMyNextStep partners, including York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Vale of York CCG, Age UK York, York CVS, Healthwatch York, Live Well York, North Yorkshire Sport and City of York Council, advise that if you haven’t already begun, now’s the time to start getting more active around the home!

Exercises for a more active life

Simple steps to building more activity into daily routines at home are recommended, within any medical advice, of course. To help residents get ideas, the partnership is offering reliable sources of ideas and health advice, to help improve muscle tone, build core strength and improve balance.

The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week for adults.  Adults should do some type of physical activity every day and any type of activity is good: in fact the more you do, the better.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, at City of York Council, said:

However you're feeling and whatever you're dealing with, we can offer plenty of help and encouragement to help you get moving more, so that you'll feel better for longer. By gently getting more active now - following any medical advice you’ve been given - you can you prepare for lockdown lifting completely and enjoying getting out and about.”

Vicky Mulvana-Tuohy, Deputy Chief Allied Health Professionals, York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

In times of lockdown over the last year it's been easy to lose the routine of exercise and physical activity, but the more time we spend being sedentary the worse this is for our health.  This reduction in activity can lead to deconditioning which can result in muscle weakness, and can impact on our mood and our ability to do the things we love to do.

“The good news is that this deconditioning can usually be reversed.  Simply moving about helps to maintain our muscle strength and circulation, so doing simple exercises every day, such as walking or gardening, will significantly improve your strength, fitness and wellbeing.”

Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical chair of the Vale of York CCG, said: 

"Many of us aren't as fit as we were before lockdown, so as we come towards lockdown easing it's a great time to think about getting more active around the house and even out of the house. Hopefully you'll find the resources that are available here helpful for you to do that.

"I know that I haven't been as active as I needed to be, so today, I normally go for a walk with the dog but actually I'm going for a run."

Alison Semmence, Chief Executive of York CVS, said:

Throughout the pandemic we heard from so many people facing challenges with being active. This included those shielding at home, those without easy access to outside space, and those whose caring responsibilities that left them with little time for themselves. This partnership allows all of us, including the wide ranging support available from voluntary and community organisations, to play our part in helping people get back into activity.”

Siân Balsom, Manager of Healthwatch York, added:

Working together we can also make sure people have information about what’s available in their area. We can also make sure anyone who needs a little extra help to get active can find it. We can help people make some small changes that build up to a big difference!”

To get more active at home and to find a way to fit more activity into your lifestyle and level of fitness, these are great sources of ideas:

Please remember:

  • To follow any medical advice you’ve been given
  • Do what you can and start slowly. It’s fine to push yourself a little, but don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable
  • Stop if you feel any pain or are lightheaded, and rest and stay hydrated
  • A little soreness after exercise is normal for the first day or two.