Let’s Keep Moving
Last year was unprecedented and tested everyone both physically and mentally. One area which was particularly affected was the leisure industry, writes Tracy Hargreaves
During the first lockdown the weather was glorious and a lot of people got out on their bikes or took up walking, but for those who worked in the fitness industry they had to adapt to a new way of working.
Gyms were closed, leaving hundreds of fitness instructors out of work, but more importantly unable to provide mental and physical support to their members.
Exercise has long been associated with health benefits and the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many of us have stayed at home and sat down more than usual.
But with the pandemic looking set to remain for some time, it’s very important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible and the World Health Organisation’s Be Active campaign aims to help you do just that – and to have some fun at the same time.
Remember to take a short break regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes to improve blood circulation and muscle activity.
Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers – all conditions that can increase susceptibility to Covid-19.
Regular physical activity can help give our days a routine and be a way to stay in contact with family and friends. It’s also good for our mental health – reducing the risk of depression, cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia – and improve overall feelings.
CIMPSA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) has been working hard to promote all these benefits and has been urging government and local authorities to think again in those areas where gyms are closed to reopen them for everyone’s wellbeing.
It has also been protecting its members by recommending other ways of teaching such as zoom and online classes, offering opportunities for fitness instructors to retrain and reactivate with free online training courses, as well as providing up to date information on what the government guidelines mean for gyms, classes and personal trainers. Not an easy feat when the whole country has different rules!
But whether you go to a gym or not, adults should aim to do at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or at least 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week. Find something you enjoy and you will soon see the benefits, both physically and mentally.