We Are Undefeatable Somerset Ambassador, Chrissie, Covid-19 Blog: "Half hour of gentle exercise each morning sets me up for the day".
Posted: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 18:04
I don't know if you have also been bombarded with funeral plans over the past few months but having no intention of departing life at this point in time, my focus has been on trying to keep myself relatively fit despite all the restrictions that have been imposed upon those of us of a certain antiquity.
I think it is important, especially when you live alone, far from relatives and friends, and in rural areas even neighbours, to have a routine mapped out to start each day otherwise you can be in danger of becoming lethargic and then placing both your physical and mental health at risk.
It is surprising what can be achieved if you put your mind to it and even the most simple of exercises carried out on a regular basis can mean the difference between remaining mobile or letting yourself give in resulting in the inevitable expanded waistline for starters and as the months go by, a deterioration in your general health and well- being.
At the start of the pandemic and being instructed to go into self- isolation because of my age and medical issues, it was important to follow a good exercise routine. I started with Jo Wicks 10 minute 'Home Workout for Seniors', not strenuous, yet enough to keep those core muscles working. I added the NHS sit to stand, mini squats and calf raisers using a chair to hold on to, ideal for me as my balance is not particularly good so I needed something to eradicate that fear of falling. This half hour of gentle exercise each morning sets me up for the day.
When I was more mobile, I used to enjoy cycling with my two boys, but now my uneasy stance means that unless I get myself a tricycle cycling is not the best idea! However, with a good static exercise bike set up by an open window or better still outside (when it's not raining) looking out on to the fields and moorland I can get a sense of the enjoyment I had cycling through the countryside en route to a favourite picnic spot. My bike may be in a fixed position, but even so, the scenery changes as trees and hedgerows come into leaf, fields fill with buttercups and wild flowers, hay is cut, animals moved, and the birdsong somehow sweeter than ever now that one has time to listen and to really take note of the world about us. I may not be seeing people but these daily sessions with nature are so good for the soul so I aim for at least half an hour on my bike every afternoon. Despite all this I am still restricted in my movement but certainly no worse than before lock- down and indeed maintaining an acceptable weight for my height.
We have all had to adapt to the 'new normal' of staying at home and not seeing friends or family, and now we are having to re -adapt to another 'new normal' of restricted meetings with those that we care for and also preparing to enter the big wide world beyond our garden gate to see what has been happening to the world outside our 'bubble'.
It's all very strange. People look different, mostly I think because we are all in need of a hair-cut; some of us are wearing face masks but after more than 3 months of rural- isolation, much as I craved human contact - the thing I missed the most... I am not itching to meet up with others at the moment. My cat and I have enjoyed one another's company although conversation has been somewhat restricted. There has been very little traffic prompting my cat to take advantage of the warm tarmac, which he seems to find so attractive, as he basks in the sunshine in the middle of the lane. I keep telling him that cars will return and he must not think he will be king of the road for the foreseeable future.
Yes, things may never be quite the same as before but if we do our best to look after both our physical and mental health remembering all that we learned from our fitness programme then we will get through and before long, we will be back in the fitness suite at the Beach Hotel as though nothing had changed because after all, we must never forget, WE ARE the UNDEFEATABLE!
Chrissie Payne, 77, Osteoarthritis.