Healthy At Home Blog
Staying healthy and being physically active is more important than ever right now, for our physical and mental health.
Being active in a way that is right for you (and your family), can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety, and just generally make you feel better.
We asked the LRS team to share their top tips for keeping healthy and looking after their wellbeing during this challenging time, and how physical activity is helping them to do so.
If you're looking for some inspiration, why not have a read of some of their stories below..
Click on the title of a blog to add a comment.
Posted: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:57 by Bryany Cornish
Hello Everyone! Well where do I start, at 60 who would have thought that I would have to learn more technical things just to connect with the netball family. Just understanding Facebook/Twitter/Instagram was hard enough!
My challenge was how do I support those that still wanted to socialise and do some sort of fitness throughout lockdown. Bringing them together, with so many groups (Walking Netball, Back to Netball, Clubs etc), different age groups and abilities, can be quite tricky. I was quickly introduced to 'Teams' and 'Zoom' (thinking to myself more technology that I have to get my head around!)
I had to swot up on how to use it and be safe and manage participants. For those that may not have used this before, participants can get very excited when on the call, everyone trying to speak at once, listening to phrases like 'Hello Marge can you see me?/'who else is on here that knows me?/ I am on page 3 on the left – (not realising that each participants page is in a different order!)
Using the Zoom platform to deliver sessions, made me feel so proud. Connecting with Leagues, Clubs, participants from different sessions, watching them loving the new experience being so happy that they are taking part, seeing their friends from the sessions they attend… not quite the session that they are used to but that did not matter..
I have learnt that whether you are a coach/development officer, you are making such a difference to participants lives at this time. Participants embrace the time that you spend with them and you have the opportunity to bring some joy and laughter to their day.
That in itself is worth its weight in gold… (it was worth learning the technology for too!)
Top Tip: they say you learn something new every day it's how you choose to use it that counts!!
Val Kindred, Netball Development Officer
If you are interested in joining Val at one of the virtual sessions you can contact her for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 13:04 by Bryany Cornish
As a child I was very sporty and played in every school sports team possible, playing sport meant everything to me and it became a dream come true to be able to work in the industry as jobs in sports development didn't really exist when I was growing up.
Having a family meant that I stopped playing and coaching Badminton and I haven't managed to get back to it yet. I still hope to return one day when the kids are old enough to pick up a racket and start to play. Instead I found squeezing an hour at the gym a couple of times a week allowed me to exercise and have some 'me' time.
Finding time to be physically active during lockdown has certainly been a challenge. With both my husband and I working from home, having the children at home and home -schooling it has meant time to ourselves had never been more difficult.
We made sure that we got out everyday for a walk or taking the kids out on their bikes, (our youngest learned to ride without stabilisers) and we discovered lots of new walks in the village, we are lucky to have Sense Valley on our doorstep and found lots of new trails in the woods. However, our daily exercise was taken up keeping the kids active but just to be outside in the nice hot weather made such a difference.
When some of the lockdown measures eased I started to get out on my own for a walk and really enjoyed chatting to friends and family on the phone whilst I did, it was so nice to connect with people and have uninterrupted conversations! This improved further when I could go on socially distanced walks with friends. I never really realised just how much of a difference the school run made to my physical activity levels and how I enjoyed the social part of this.
More recently, I have started to cycle with a friend, it has been so nice to be able to socialise and keep fit at the same time, our times may be slow (but improving) and we are really enjoying chatting and exercising at the same time, sometimes being more than 2 hours when we lose track of time!
I hope to continue cycling as the gyms re-open but I have to admit I'm a 'fair weather girl'!
Top Tip: don't beat yourself up about how much or little exercise you are doing, be kind to yourself and keep trying to squeeze some time to yourself whenever you can.
Annette Kendrick, Sports Development Officer (Clubs and Funding)
Posted: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 06:44 by Melissa Maiden
As lockdown began there wasn't that panic of would I be motivated to be active as for me this is an engrained daily habit whether it is a run, walk during lunch break at work, online exercise class or playing games with my children, it is something that I love and enjoy doing.
So, what was that panicking feeling?
Time! Finding time to do physical activity. Sounds silly right? we are told to work from home surely, I would have all the time in the world to fit in being active, this would not be a problem? how wrong I was!
Suddenly everything was upon me- working from home, looking after the needs of my children ( I'm banning the word 'snack' from the English language!), their home-schooling, supporting my husband, daily life chores, those ever changing up and down feelings of the current situation, no let up, going from thing to thing to thing with no real control and break. Where and how would I find the time when days went by in a blink of an eye?
I was tired, emotional, and craved my physical activity habit and then came Joe Wicks! Every morning from 9-930 he would do a PE with Joe and the boys loved him and his 'crazy' hair and 'dress up Fridays' and there was the light bulb moment, instead of focussing on the barriers around having no time to exercise I focussed on the time and moments throughout the day I could be active.
So, a new routine was created by focussing on opportunities than barriers. Every morning we would exercise with Joe Wicks, which was so much fun seeing my boys take part, laughing and smiling while attempting burpees and telling mummy she was doing it all wrong. Being active with them gave me a new sense of love for something I have done for so long.
I found I could run 3 times a week during certain parts of the day and as lockdown started easing up a Saturday was the day of exploring where we lived, resulting in discovering a vast woodland area right on our doorstep!
As lockdown has progressed and things have moved on my activity routine has adapted to the changes in positive ways by sitting back and looking at those opportunities and not focussing on the barriers and getting active 'my way'.
Top Tip: Doing something you enjoy and like will help in keeping you motivated and engaged in physical activity. Get active your way!
Melissa Maiden, Sports Development Officer
Posted: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 08:45 by Anita Bird
I would say that I am fairly active, walking my dog George, lunchtime walks, swimming at the local leisure centre, attending a community-based dance class and using my Fitbit on a daily basis.
As we went into lock-down, I had to start considering some alternatives in order to maintain my steps and to keep me going as I know how important being active is for my mental health and well-being, not to mention by weight management!!!
I had a go at PE with Jo, Salsa dance fit videos, various fitness apps, workplace challenges even had a go at the Argentine Tango with my husband!! But the things that have stuck are small bursts of activity that I have introduced into my lifestyle. 5-10 minutes of strength related exercise and brushing my teeth now includes 3 x 20 squats followed by 1 minute of running on the spot which to be honest does sound like a herd of elephants if you are in the adjoining bedroom, but did encourage my 7 year old granddaughter to copy me, much to my amusement.
I had the opportunity to offer a safe haven for my daughter (26), to shield my two granddaughters ,7 years & 3 months old. It has been both a joy and a massive challenge, trying to juggle the role of mother, nanny, wife, employee, all under a very small roof!!! Fortunately, the weather was so kind to us and being outside was definitely the best way to cope. I loved being able to inspire and encourage everyone to be as active as they could, eat well, learn and play hard, although this did not always go as I would have hoped.
I have benefited from maintaining a work routine, getting up at the same time as before, sticking to what I would be doing normally, as much as possible. Dressing for work, and creating my own workspace, even if it is in a clapped-out caravan parked on the drive!!!
Stepping out or my front door and being able to enjoy a simple walk up a country lane is a real privilege which has been invaluable during this crazy time. Learning Spanish and doing my wordscapes app has given me a little down time activity.
Having the use of technology has made home working a great new experience, having virtual meetings on a regular basis to stay connected with work colleagues both professionally and socially has been a revelation and inspirational for future work practice.
Top Tip: You are never to old too learn something new and remember to be kind, we are all individuals and need support and understanding to thrive especially during this very challenging time.
Anita Bird, Assistant Sports Development Officer
Posted: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 09:05 by Mr Liam Drake
I have always been a "Sport Billy" type and many people who know me will attest to how competitive I am! I played football – and anything else I could turn my hand to – throughout my youth and twenties before deciding that running would be my new passion. I have since trained for and completed several half marathons and the London Marathon twice, although I still regularly coach football and play it socially.
Having passed the big Four-O last year, this year has seen me take on perhaps my greatest challenge yet – a half ironman distance triathlon (70.3miles)! Training for the 1.2mile swim, 56mile cycle and 13.1mile run have been my focus since the beginning of 2020 and perhaps one of the main positives to come out of lockdown and the surrounding weeks for me has been the chance to adapt my training plan accordingly with a little more disposable time. For example, I have been able to use time that I would otherwise be travelling to and from work to get out running or on the bike.
The main problem I had to start with at the beginning of March was not being able to continue my swim training with pools being closed not long after this had started to kick in. However, with this element of the race being an open-water affair; as soon as lakes such as RaceHub in Melton re-opened I quickly donned my wetsuit and quite literally dived in! Having originally worried about the swim being my weakest discipline, it has now become a real favourite of mine and the feeling of freedom that open water swimming provides has been a revelation and something that I am keen to continue after the event at the end of September – which will definitely not be my last triathlon!
I always find my training is good for my mental health as well as my physical conditioning and whilst I have recently had the odd difficult session, the good ones outweigh the bad and I know that the feeling of pride and achievement when I cross the finishing line at an event is always worth all of the hard work.
1 – Set a target to work towards and identify a training plan / the steps you will take to get yourself there.
2 – Re-frame the LIMITATIONS of lockdown into an OPPORTUNITY! Re-allocate time you would usually spend doing things you HAVE to do, to spend that time taking part in things you WANT to do, like sport or physical activity.
Liam Drake, LRS Sports Development Officer
Posted: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:39 by Bryany Cornish
I would consider myself to be a fairly active person. I come from a typical 'sporty' family where weekends as a child were spent either playing netball or competing in cross country or watching my mum, dad or brother playing their sports.
One thing I have found as I have got older is that my motivation to stay active is not the same especially if I am exercising on my own. My motivation to play netball has become more social and I have some amazing friends who I got to see week in week out.
At the start of lockdown, I really struggled as the team sport I enjoy stopped and I couldn't see my friends. The reason why I love my job is that you get to meet lots of people, it's very social and my days were broken up by meetings or a cuppa and a catch up with someone in the office. Going from that to being in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day on my own- it hit quite hard.
I tried some home workouts but again my motivation wasn't quite there. I had spoken to a few friends who had said they had been on some local walks in some green spaces they didn't know existed. One evening I went out on a route that I found and absolutely loved it. Since then I've walked at least twice a week and have alternated the route. I've started to walk in the morning which has helped start my day as well as sometimes through my lunch hour to break up the 8 hour day in front of a screen.
I'm always on the go but over time I have embraced the new normal and I think it's helped me to slow down. It has definitely helped now lockdown has eased as exercising with friends and family is keeping me going.
Although I will go back to playing sport, I will continue to keep walking and exploring different routes in my local area.
Top Tip: try different activities as you might find something new you love!
Lucy Baginskis, Sports Development Officer
Posted: Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:21 by Bryany Cornish
I have always been a very 'sporty' person and my motivation has always been to be competitive! Playing sport in teams, playing to constantly improve and playing to win!
In recent years, due to balancing work and family commitments, my sport and passion has been golf. I really enjoy my semi-regular Saturday morning round, which is my release from everything else. However, lockdown obviously put a stop to this. It was never my intention to 'replace' golf with something different and in the early days of lockdown I was quite proud of the temporary golf net I built in the garden! But it wasn't quite the same as a competitive round.
Transitioning into full-time working from home, in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day, I needed to find some time away from the desk/screen. Luckily for me, this also coincided with having a new-born daughter. By far the best thing that has come out of COVID-19 for me, has been the opportunity to spend so much quality time with my daughter in her first year and not missing out on any of those 'firsts' that I ordinarily would have by being away from home at work.
As a family we quickly agreed on a regular regime of a lunchtime walk, which was a great way to break up the working day, step away from the laptop and into the outdoors. Whether it be pushing the buggy or carrying in the rucksack, we have found countless new walks around our village and spent some daily quality time as a family. The noticeable health benefits of a regular walk every day were just an added bonus! This has now been added to with the purchase of a child's bike seat, so we can go even further afield with more time at weekends.
Competitive sport will still always be my go-to and number one passion, but I will also continue to be regularly physical active with the family on foot and wheels!
Geoff Maltby, Sports Development Manager
Posted: Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:02 by Bryany Cornish
I am someone who likes the structure of an office environment and a regular working day. In 30 years, I can count on one hand the number of days I have worked from home. Personally, the workplace is where I think I can be most productive, I enjoy the face to face contact, the social aspect, it brings a purpose to my day. Consequently, I was the last person in the LRS team to move to a home working arrangement. But what a surprise! I have maintained a certain discipline. I have been productive. I have met all (most) of my self-imposed deadlines. Microsoft Teams has provided the platform for interaction with colleagues and friends – who knew? I had never heard of it 3 months ago!
The challenge has not been - can I be productive by working from home – that box has been ticked! The challenge has been, how can I switch off to create that home/life balance, that working in a "so called" normal office environment provides. Apart from ensuring that the morning alarm call has stayed on for my normal get up time, my "home office" (dining room table) is set up at the start of my day and is packed away at the end of the day. I have tried where possible to get up every hour or so to stroll up and down the garden – if not my lower back ceases to operate! I have tried to take that lunchtime break.
I have enjoyed exploring my locality during this period. With my usual countryside walks at Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill, Thornton reservoir, etc. being out of bounds for the majority of lockdown, my attitude is that my exercise should start from the front door. I have discovered a range of footpaths and places of interest within 3 or 4 miles of home that I never knew existed. It seems that others don't know they exist either, as it has been peaceful and tranquil and a great time to reflect. I have taken some wrong turns along the way (that's life), but there has been a small sense of achievement when I have completed a new, interesting circular walk from my home for the first time. Why not give it a try?
Noel Haines, Assistant Director, Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport
Posted: Thu, 02 Jul 2020 13:21 by Dominique Lammie
In lockdown, I have tried many new routines to stay active and nothing seems to have stuck. I'm used to set training nights and pre-booked exercise classes but when left to my own devices I have found it difficult to commit to a routine. The approach that seems to work best is to choose an activity when I want to be active and keep moving throughout the day.
I've started to run on the treadmill, which has now made its way from the garage into the house (so there is no hiding from it!). I've never enjoyed running and the thought of a long run would fill me with dread. Being unable to play volleyball or go swimming, I've needed a way to maintain my fitness. I wanted to start from the beginning and build up by following the Couch to 5K app. This has been brilliant in helping my mindset, knowing that in half an hour my daily workout is complete and anything extra I do is a bonus!
Walks around my local area have led to discoveries of beautiful woodlands and new animal friends being made. 'Cat corner' is a regular visiting spot, where there always seems to be a friendly cat waiting to say hello. Our local park has been ideal for the occasional game of football, lacrosse and frisbee as a team of two.
Treating myself to a fitness tracker has provided a constant bossy reminder to wake-up at a regular time, ensure I do at least 250 steps every hour and a way to monitor my sleep patterns. I've been particularly fascinated in the quality and amount of sleep I've had each night as this has helped me to determine the time I go to bed. Another benefit of the tracker has been the fitness challenges between family and friends which often leads to last minute laps of the house to beat someone across the finish line!
Other things I have been doing to stay healthy have included a dedicated hour lunch break which has provided a structure to my working day. This is filled by sitting in the garden, a short walk around the village or tackling some housework. This gives me a break from the screen, and I feel ready to come back to the desk and have a productive afternoon.
Top Tip: Utilising technology can be a great way to keep track of your health and motivate you to move more.
Dominique Lammie, Insight Officer
Posted: Mon, 29 Jun 2020 11:27 by Luke Green
Working from home and being within arms reach of all its comforts has proved a challenge as maintaining a healthy weight is something I am constantly trying to ensure. Being too much of a foody for my own good was always going to be big issue during lockdown.
Prior to lockdown I had signed up to several challenges, including my first triathlon, which meant my training was focused and I had an end goal to work to. The training in addition to working hard to stay "on plan" with a well-known dietary management organisation was going positively. Then COVID hit and everything went out the window. I was fearful of how the situation would impact on my motivations as I no longer had an event to look forward to. More importantly I was apprehensive and a little scared if I am being totally honest, as to how the situation would affect me mentally and if I would too easily find myself slipping back into bad "comfort eating habits".
The first couple of months of lockdown, in relation to exercising, were relatively easy as it was the only way I could get out of the house, and with 3 kids under the age of 5 I REALLY needed to get out each day! Following this structure was a key component in "switching off" for an hour each day, which helped massively with work life balance. Putting the headphones on, starting an audio book and getting out for a run became embedded in daily life because it was what I needed as a coping mechanism and it still continues to be all the way up to where we find ourselves today as lockdown continues to ease. Additionally, ensuring I have got out to exercise daily has meant I could relax the pressure I was putting on myself to maintain pre-lockdown eating habits.
As the current situation has progressed and lockdown has begun to lift, I have found myself exploring new ways to exercise and looking for national and local campaigns to take part in. Participating in Mayathon and more local activity events such as the LRS Active Together Main Events has been a fantastic way for me to keep motivated and set personal goals. This has ensured I have sustained my physical activity levels throughout the whole period. I went for my first open water swim last week which was really enjoyable, I probably wouldn't have done this if indoor pools had been available but it's now something I intend to do more regularly.
Top Tip: Explore alternative physical activity opportunities in your area, don't be afraid to try something new, it will help massively in preventing boredom and go a long way to supporting mental wellbeing.
Luke Green, Workforce Development Officer