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Staying Active during the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 17, 2020

Physical activity is good for the body, mind and soul. During times of stress, physical activity helps us cope with life challenges.

It is okay to go outdoors for a walk, run, or bike ride if you are not under quarantine or in self-isolation due to illness or exposure. Being outdoors calms the brain, increases creativity, enhances learning and decreases anger and aggression. While out, be respectful of one way traffic flow patterns and avoid recreational areas or parks that are closed.

  • Walk, run or bike by yourself or with people you live with. Be sure to practice safe-cycling.
  • Go to places with no or very few people and keep a minimum distance of 2m/6ft from others.
  • Talk to neighbours over the fence or at a distance, like at the end of the driveway. Ensure this doesn’t lead to groups of neighbours chatting together – keep at least 6 feet apart (two arms lengths).
  • If you go fishing, make sure you do so in a place that is open to the public, and stay 6 feet away from other people.
  • Respects the signs that say a trail, beach, park or other place is closed.
  • If walking in wooded areas, protect yourself from ticks. Apply a repellant with DEET. Wear light coloured clothing that covers exposed skin, tuck your pants in your socks and wear fully enclosed shoes, not sandals.
  • Stay away from wild animals or animals you don’t know to prevent bites.
  • Wash your hands when you get home.
  • Remember to check for ticks. If you find a tick, use tweezers to grasp the tick by the head as close to your skin as possible. Pull it straight out, gently but firmly. Clean and disinfect the bite area.

If you are self-isolating, there are some great ways to be physically active and reduce sedentary time while indoors, or on your outdoor property!

  • Take advantage of online workouts. Many of these are free such as YMCA at Home Programs.
  • Check with your local fitness or yoga studio – they may have some online options for you.
  • Have a home dance party (even if you are by yourself).
  • Use video games like “Just Dance” or Wii Fit to make physical activity fun for the family!
  • Perform domestic chores, on your own property, such as cleaning or gardening. Get kids to help outside. Outdoor chores seem more fun than vacuuming!
  • Walk on your own property or walk on the spot. If you are on the phone, stand or walk around instead of sitting down.
  • Stand up whenever possible. Challenge yourself to stand every 30 minutes. If working at home, consider setting up a standing desk by using a high table or stacking a pile of books.

Physical activity and eating well go hand and hand. Remember to stay hydrated! Check out the Health Unit’s “Healthy Eating” section on the website for tips on getting the nutrients you need for good health, including a healthy immune system.

The Health Unit has staff answering COVID-19 related questions and concerns for the public from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499. Public Health Inspectors are also available to discuss environmental health concerns. You can also get more information about COVID-19 by visiting www.healthunit.org/coronavirus or by connecting with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact

For media interviews, contact: Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550 or susan.healey@healthunit.org.