Introducing Ann, one of our Active Together Champions!
I've been walking and organising the return of socially distanced Walking for Health Groups at Gorse Covert Loughborough, which has now encouraged over 70 or so walkers over the age of 60 to start walking more (across all of the groups). Some are over 90! It was essential during lockdown for me to get outside and be active by walking and gardening. Not only to ensure my physical wellbeing but also my mental state of health as I suffer from anxiety and a painful knee joint. Certainly, I became more in tune with the countryside and wildlife around me which certainly lifted my mood and reminded me of long walks with my dad as a child. Speaking to others whilst out walking even if only to say hello was really helpful, especially during March and April. My two Cocker Spaniels also didn't sit still for long and needed walking, they certainly didn't know about social distancing though! Walking outdoors always makes me feel better and lifts my mood. In a physical sense my mobility is much improved when I exercise and I am in less pain so from my husband's point of view I am in a better mood! I have always been active and wasn't intending to stop because of COVID. At 64 I am well aware that my joints are as not as good as they were, keeping active is important to keep them moving. After being on crutches for some time years ago I am certainly motivated to keep moving and out of pain. I also wanted to keep active and fit to look after my 2 year old granddaughter and easily get up off the floor and be quick to chase after her - motivation enough! Since lockdown eased, I have been out walking more and walked longer distances, for example in Norfolk on the East Coast. From this week I will back attending indoor Pilates classes once more. My motivation was tested during lockdown, for strength and stretching I missed my Pilates classes and have only until recently been able to restart. My motivation levels were not good enough to follow the classes on-line on my laptop. With my eyesight being an issue, I struggled to watch and follow the instructions and do the exercise at the same time. I much preferred to be outdoors doing some stretching exercise when gardening.
My advice if you're thinking of getting more active:
As long as the environment where the activity is taking place is COVID secure, take small steps to gain confidence. A walk with others in a socially distanced way is a starting point. The seasons are changing but there is still plenty to see out and about and there is always a friendly face and smile from someone.
If you liked Ann's story and want to find out more about being active, visit Active Together