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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has affected our day-to-day lives. Being active and taking more care to look after our families and ourselves, is now more important than ever.

The best way to do this is through a combination of keeping active, eating well and looking after mental health.

Staying active at home

There are lots of ways we can keep moving while we’re feeling well, whatever our age and whatever space available.

We can build activity into our day; gardening, chores like vacuuming, and climbing the stairs are all great ways to keep moving. There are lots of free resources available for support and inspiration.

Online exercise classes

Our weekly programme offers a wide range of different physical activity sessions which can be accessed via any laptop, smartphone or suitable connected device. We hope that the programme can support people to take part in physical activity on a regular basis with our friendly tutors. Check out all the sessions at the Bedford Sport Live website.

  • Bedford Sport Live - programme offering a wide range of activities which are streamed live at set times. Add structure and routine to your day by joining the class and progressing your health and wellbeing.
  • Keyboard Warriors - it's important to take short breaks whilst working from home and to stretch your body. 15 mins will help to refresh your thoughts and energise you for the rest of the day.
  • engAGE together - specialist chair-based programme is designed to be very gentle and interactive. All sessions are delivered seated and have a focus on social interaction and mental wellbeing.

The Higgins Bedford is inviting residents to get inspired through its Sketch Friday and virtual knitting group

Top tips to help you stay active while at home

  1. Buddy up - if you can buddy up with someone in your household or virtually it can make home workouts more fun and keep each other motivated.
  2. Build activity into your daily routine.
  3. Get active your way - we’re all different, find the activity that works for you

More information for specific groups and types of activities to suit you: 

Your Wellbeing Bedfordshire

The Community Referral (Social Prescribing) Service supports adults to access help and information to meet social, practical, emotional and economic needs, and helps them to manage their own health and wellbeing. The service will accept self-referrals.

Protect your mental health 

As we have to stay at home it is important to take care of our mind as well as our body. It is common to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation.

Every Mind Matters has expert advice and tips, focusing on looking after our mental wellbeing 

The charity Mind also has some great resources to help.

Top tips for mental wellbeing

1. Connect with others – maintain healthy relationships with people you trust.

  • If you haven’t got anyone to talk to you can call emotional support lines such as Samaritans and Mind BLMK

2. Be active - It is important to eat healthily, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Build physical activity into your daily routine.

3. Don’t constantly watch the news if it makes you anxious. Use trustworthy sources such as GOV.UK, the NHS or Bedford Borough Council

4. Have a routine - try to follow your ordinary routine as much as possible. Wake up and go to bed at healthy times and make sure you get enough sleep.

5. Take care of your immediate environment – as you are spending a lot of time at home, it's helpful to keep things clean and tidy.

6. Keep your children informed by explaining the facts but avoid over-exposure to the news. 

  • Kooth is free, safe, anonymous online support for young people.
  • Young Minds charity can also provide some useful guidance for young people. 

7. Working from home can be challenging and isolating. Try to keep a structured day with a routine for your normal work and continue regular communication with colleagues. If you are new to working from home it's important to stick to your normal work hours as much as possible, for example always log off and pack away your laptop at the end of the day.

Bereavement support during COVID-19 outbreak

Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they affect people in different ways. It is a difficult experience in any situation and the Coronavirus pandemic means it is taking place under very challenging circumstances. Because of this, it is really important that people bereaved by any cause at this time are cared for and receive support.

We know that early self-care, and care from others, can mean that it is easier, over time, to make a recovery, with good mental health. Read more about the support available in our Bereavement Support Information leaflet. (PDF)

Eating healthy to stay healthy

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active are important to maintain good health and wellbeing across all ages. Let’s use this experience to develop our cooking skills, try some new healthy recipes and have some fun with the whole family.

Top tips for healthy eating:

  1. Don’t panic buy – there is enough food to go around. Just purchase what you need for a week.
  2. Aim to eat 5 portions a day of fruit and vegetables. Tinned, dried and frozen fruit and vegetables also count, and try having fruit as a snack or add extra veg to your meals.
  3. Drink plenty of water. The Eatwell Guide says an adult should drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count.

See more advice on healthy eating 

The information above has been created using advice from the NHS, Public Health England, Sport England and Government COVID-19 Guidelines.