Coronavirus and exercise

Woman exercising

Staying active

Keeping physically active is important for our physical and mental wellbeing.

Current Government guidance advises that we can exercise outdoors as often as we like as long as we follow the social distancing guidelines.  We can exercise with members of our household or with up to six others outside our household while staying two metres (6ft) apart. Outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course can also be used while staying 2 metres apart. Hands should be washed frequently before and after exercise. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Why is being active so important?

No matter how young or old you are, regular physical activity helps you feel fit, relaxed, gives you more energy and helps protect you against a range of diseases including heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. It can also help you to maintain a healthy weight.

For children and young people being active helps develop a strong heart, and strong muscles and bones. For ideas, resources and support for keeping children and young people active at home visit the Active Sussex website.

For older people it especially helps with balance, co-ordination, maintaining bone strength and the flexibility of joints – which means you are less likely to have a fall. See our Coronavirus and older people page for a list of useful online resources which includes safe exercises to do at home.

Keeping active while socially distancing and self-isolating

While people may be unable to participate in their regular activities, there are plenty of other forms of exercise and activity which can be enjoyed. A walk on your own, with members from your household or a socially distanced walk with someone outside your household can be enjoyed. If you have a dog, taking them out for daily exercise will allow you both to enjoy a short time away from home.

Exercising at home is also a fun alternative, with a number of resources detailed on the TV schedule as well as online.  Some local services are providing online video classes to enable you to carry on with, or join in a new activity. Check your usual provider for details.  There are a number of options, for every level of fitness (see below).   If you have a garden, doing these exercises outdoors will have further benefit.

Avoiding extended periods of sitting, reclining or lying while awake is important – for example get up every hour and make a drink or do some housework.  There are many online resources including: