A new online resource has been launched to support everyone in Suffolk to get active from the safety of their homes and gardens or during their one session of daily exercise away from their home during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Keep Moving Suffolk is the brainchild of the county’s Most Active Partnership, a group of key public service and voluntary agencies working together to make a positive impact on physical health and mental health activity in Suffolk.
The key focus is the website – www.keepmovingsuffolk.com – which is full of local and national information and resources that have been developed specifically to make it easy for people to become, or remain, active at home during these challenging times.
The website has come about as a means to address the need to give people a range of alternative options whilst we are all required to isolate following the closure of gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools and the cancellation of classes and activities. Without us all taking positive action, physical activity levels could tumble and cause a long-term impact on physical and mental health and wellbeing in the county.
Dr Craig Sheridan, a practising doctor and sport and exercise medicine specialist working on the frontline at Ipswich Hospital in the fight against the pandemic, has been involved in helping to get the Keep Moving Suffolk resource off the ground:
“During this difficult time it is important for us all to stay mentally and physically healthy. Exercise is an important way to improve mental wellbeing and is recognised to be positive in managing depression in older adults as well as improving sleep, feelings of fatigue and quality of life. Improvements in our cardiorespiratory health can happen within a few weeks of commencing regular, moderate intensity exercise and regular physical activity reduces the risks and complications of many diseases and infection.”
Dr Sheridan added: “For those who are currently free from Covid-19 symptoms, there are clear benefits to starting or continuing to exercise whilst in social isolation. It is important to note that strenuous exercise is not advisable for those with symptoms of infection, particularly with a fever.”
Current Government advice states whilst we are all in isolation, each person is allowed to leave their home once a day on their own or with members of their household to exercise, provided they observe official advice on social distancing. Individuals should stay close to home and avoid places where it may be hard to follow social distancing guidelines.
The website, which is being complemented by a range of social media resources, provides an extensive range of tips, tutorials and information to support people to exercise outside and inside the home, as well as tailored resources specifically for older people and for children. It also includes information on taking care of mental health and where to get advice if people have long-term health conditions.
Speaking specifically about the resources available to support children to be active, Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention said: “With the majority of schools closed during the Covid-19 infection period and with children learning at home, it’s really important that our children keep active. We know exercise makes us happier, energised and more optimistic so there is clear evidence that regular exercise improves children’s concentration and ability to learn. I am sure this resource will be a vital tool in the ‘kit bags’ of parents and carers right across the county in the weeks and months ahead.”
“I encourage everybody to share details of the Keep Moving Suffolk campaign with their family, friends, neighbours and wider contacts whether through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or encouraging them to visit the website.
“It’s a really helpful resource that has the potential to make a really positive impact on our health and wellbeing so let’s keep moving Suffolk.”
More information can be found at www.keepmovingsuffolk.com, on Facebook and Instagram at @KeepMovingSuffolk or on Twitter at @Most_Active.