Posted on 30/09/2020

Why it’s important to exercise while socially distancing at home

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Why it’s important to exercise while socially distancing at home

This October is balance and falls month at NRS Healthcare and we’re focussing on all the ways to help take care of yourself and your relatives.

Starting with exercise.

Why it’s important to exercise

This year has been an unusual one in which many people were asked to shield themselves at home – you or one of your relatives may be among them. But by staying indoors to keep safe, it reduced the opportunities for exercise. This could have had a knock-on effect on your balance and so increase the risk of falling.

HomeCare Insight reported concerns from Angela Gifford, CEO of Able Community Care, that many older people just weren’t getting the exercise that they used to due to shielding. They lost even simple opportunities for exercise such as pushing a trolley around a supermarket, raising concerns that this could increase the number of older people being admitted to hospital with broken bones due to falls.[1]

Falls can have a massive impact on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing at the best of times and right now there is added stress on top of any hospital visit. Studies have shown that exercise can help reduce the rate of falls in older people.[2] So it’s a good idea to try to move more now to help minimise your risk of falling in the future.

Exercises to try

If you have struggled to keep active over the last few months, then it’s a good idea to start small and check in with your doctor that there aren’t any restrictions on what you can do. Throwing yourself into a new exercise routine will likely do more harm than good if it’s not at the right level!

Older man exercising with a step

The NHS has a series of very gentle exercises on their website that are designed to help improve balance and mobility. This is a great starting point that can help to build confidence up again. The exercises don’t need any specialist equipment either, just yourself and a wall or rail for support.

You may also like to try using equipment like the Pedal Exerciser with Digital Display – this is a low impact way on increasing your movement and can be used from your chair. It’s suitable for gentle exercise but isn’t a replacement for a full-size exercise bike.

If you have any concerns about your balance, please speak with your doctor as they may be able to help treat or alleviate their symptoms. They may also be able to offer further help and tips with moving more.

 

 

[1] https://www.homecareinsight.co.uk/nationwide-exercise-programme-needed-to-get-older-people-moving-again-says-live-in-care-ceo/

[2] https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/54/15/885.full

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