Top tips for staying active and strong during your 12-week self-isolation

Keeping active not only keeps you strong and functioning well, it is also important for our mental health and it helps boost our immune system. So during this challenging time, I have prepared some top tips to ensure you keep active and strong. You’ll be pleased to know that there is a lot we can do together during this time to remain strong.

Routine

Exercise can help give you some routine and purpose to your day. I would encourage you to do exercise every day but to break it down into three different sessions (balance, strength and cardiovascular) with each type of session having a different focus.  For example, you could try a morning, an afternoon and an evening session. But work with your bodies natural energy rhythm, if you feel very fatigued in the morning, then you may want to spread them out differently during the day. Try different things and find what works best for you, you’ll soon find your routine. The three sessions I recommend are:

I have prepared some general balance and strength programmes to keep your muscles strong, please get in touch with Supportive Services and we will send these to you. However, if you feel you need something more bespoke, for whatever reason, please get in touch and we can arrange a remote video consultation to ensure your needs are being met.

The cardiovascular element is a little more challenging when you are confined to your home, however it is so important to elevate your heart rate slightly and breathe more deeply every day. This not only keeps your heart strong, it is great for your breathing and lung capacity but also helps beat treatment related fatigue.

Ideas for cardiovascular:

  1. Marching on the spot, lifting your knees and arms as high or low as comfortable.
  2. Going up and down a step.
  3. This is a wonderful form of exercise and fun to do with someone.
  4. Home exercise equipment: if possible, investing in a piece of equipment at this time is an ideal way to keep your cardio element up.

The length of time you do the above will vary on your current level of fitness. I would recommend that you start off slowly and gently. To begin with try 1 or 2 above at a continuous rate for 3-5 minutes. If you have an exercise bike, then slowly building up to 20-30 minutes of light resistance per day is a good goal. But again this depends on your baseline function. Get in touch if you would like individual advice.

Online Content

There are many exercise classes emerging online. It’s important to find something you like as you will more than likely continue with it and also be careful to choose something that is at your level so you do not increase fatigue or strain anything. I’m delighted to say that we hope to be hosting free weekly virtual exercise classes.

Please contact supportive services directly if you would like to join in. They will give you all the information you need to partake. These classes are live which means you can say hello, ask questions and connect with others.

Social element

Exercise is often better with someone. Invite your partner to exercise with you or if you are alone you can use things like FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype to connect with people. Having an exercise buddy may also motivate you on the days you are feeling more tired or just not in the mood to exercise. You may have family members or friends who have asked how they can help, maybe this is something they can do with you from afar.

We are here for you

Finally, I cannot emphasis enough that we are here for you during this time. If you have any questions or would like or need more support then please get in touch so we can arrange a 1-1 remote video consultation. Some private medical insurers are covering remote consultations for physiotherapy, for those who are not you can self pay. Please get in touch for more details.

Contact details for Supportive Services:

supportiveservices@theloc.com
+44(0)207 317 2628

Louise Malone MCSP HCPC

Specialist Physiotherapist Oncology