As Gloucestershire prepares for a second Coronavirus lockdown, there are still plenty of ways of keeping fit and active even with gyms and leisure currently closed.
The government has imposed new regulations about how you can stay fit during a lockdown period that is subject to end on Wednesday, December 2.
The NHS recommends you undertake around 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise. This can be anything that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up, such as, cycling, jogging or even walking.
Exercise has many health benefits, beyond the obvious. In fact, by exercising for 10-20 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
With the early nights drawing in, often the last thing we want to do is to go for a run in the winter wet and cold, but exercise can even improve your brain long term, by reducing your risks of depression.
In this latest round of lockdown, it has been encouraging to see exercise mentioned and prioritised as a reason to leave the house.
Since Thursday, November 5, the new regulations on exercise permits you to exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with or as part of a support bubble.
You can also use outdoor public spaces which include:
- Public gardens and ground
- Neighbourhood streets, beaches and the countryside
- Outdoor playgrounds.
Research by Sport England has shown that children taking part in physical activity for an hour or more dropped from 47% to 19% during the first lockdown. Meanwhile, schools have offered fewer PE lessons and sports activities since reopening in September.
Now that leisure and sports facilities have closed around Gloucestershire, not only space, but also opportunities to stay active have reduced. Below, you can follow the Government guidance to ensure you stay safe when exercising in the lead up to Christmas.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:
- Leisure and sports facilities such as swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, gyms, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges.
These businesses and places are however permitted to open for a small number of exempt activities, which include:
- Education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where it’s part of their normal provision).
- Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children.
- For elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios).