Amongst all the doom and gloom around the coronavirus outbreak, up and down the country people are going to great lengths to keep active during the crisis.
Scottish javelin record holder James Campbell ran a marathon in his back garden and raised over £26,000 for the NHS.
Rory Southworth scaled the height of Snowdon by climbing up and down a step in his back garden more than 7,000 times.
Individuals and companies have also been using social media to encourage people to exercise.
Joe Wicks, otherwise known as The Body Coach, is running live-streamed PE lessons from Monday to Friday. Proceeds from his PE lessons have gone to the NHS.
DW Fitness First Solihull are providing free classes on their Instagram channel.
Impact of physical activity
Dr David Poots, senior occupational health physician at BHSF, has spoken about how physical activity can have a positive impact on mental health, particularly during the lockdown.
“Even though we have been advised to stay at home by the government, it is equally important to keep active.
“It could be easy for individuals to become despondent and depressed due to the coronavirus situation. There could also be the risk that people fall into the Christmas holiday trap of eating and drinking too much.
“However, there is strong evidence physical activity is good for mental health. Regular physical activity lasting 45 minutes three to five times a week can help to boost your mental wellbeing1.
“There is also evidence that adults who exercise daily could reduce their chances of getting depression by 20-30%2.
“Exercising regularly can reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem. It can also help to improve the quality of life for people who have mental health problems.
“Activity can be as simple as going for a walk, joining in the ‘Run for Heroes’ 5K challenge or just enjoying the sun.
“Yoga can help you focus on strength, breathing and flexibility. Up to 460,000 Brits take part in yoga classes each week3.
“Meditation can help to reduce stress, control anxiety and enhance self-awareness. Research has shown over a quarter of UK adults meditate as a way to improve their mental wellbeing4.”
War veteran Captain Tom Moore completed his challenge of walking 100 laps around his garden before his 100th birthday, with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together. Captain Tom has raised over £20 million and thanked people who have donated in an interview with the BBC.
“I think the amount raised demonstrates just how much we all value the dedication and sacrifices made by our NHS workers. I have fought during a war and they are now fighting in a war too.”
Dr Poots has congratulated Captain Tom on completing his challenge and praised the war veteran for being an inspiration.
“As a nation, we have been inspired and motivated by Captain Tom. He has every reason to sit in the house, instead, he has been out in his garden taking exercise and fundraising at the same time. If Captain Tom can keep active, so can we!”
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2 – Health Do. Start active, Stay active. 2011.
3 – https://www.finder.com/uk/yoga-statistics