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Focus on your health and well-being during pandemic

Focus on your health and well-being during pandemic

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

WEST Lancashire Partnership is highlighting to local residents of West Lancs during the ongoing pandemic that your wellbeing and the wellbeing of our loved ones is paramount.

Wellbeing starts at home. It is essential you look after yourself as best you can, beginning with some simple steps such as getting enough sleep, fresh air and eating a balanced diet.

While not everyone has a yard or garden to spend time in, any time in the fresh air possible is a real health and wellbeing booster, and vitamin D from sunlight in particular helps us to improve the immune system and absorb minerals for healthy bones, teeth and muscle.

The government is currently allowing one exercise a day, so residents are encouraged to make the most of this by heading out for a walk or at least some time outside each day. For those who are unable to leave their homes for various reasons such as shielding, it’s important to move each day and get your heart rate up, especially as exercise helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, helping maintain a healthy weight and helping to keep bones strong.

Claire Heneghan, chief nurse at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We recognize everyone’s circumstances and living arrangements will be hugely different across West Lancs.

“We fortunately live in a time where many of us have access to the internet and during the pandemic, there are many accessible resources available for free online. However, physical exercise and wellbeing is hugely supported by a general sense of wellbeing and this is linked to our mental health.

“Whether it is doing something you enjoy like cooking or something you find relieves stress like cleaning or gardening, do it. Staying connected is also crucial when we are all removed from so many that we want to spend time with. Phone calls, video chats or even writing a letter, should not be underestimated in their power to make us feel better.”

Active West Lancs will resume its programme of health activities when it is appropriate to do so. Keep an eye on the Active West Lancs website https://activewestlancs.org/ for any online activities and courses it may run in the near future. In the meantime the Sport England website has some great exercise tips and advice https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout.

Councillor Yvonne Gagen, portfolio holder for Leisure, said: “Supporting each other at this time is essential but that care starts with yourself and has never been more important. Make sure you take regular exercise and there are lots of things you can do while still meeting government guidelines on activities.

“We are working in partnership with a number of organisations and our joint response to the pandemic with the CCG, West Lancs CVS and health providers is making a real difference to people's lives. We are mobilizing volunteers and the West Lancs Together service which gives a variety of support to vulnerable people who have to stay at home and have no-one to support them, including delivering food parcels and other essential supplies.”

There are a number of resources people can access for free.

- NHS Live Well: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

- NHS Fitness Studio: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/

- Joe Wicks’ daily P.E. videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1/videos

- Sport England website: https://www.sportengland.org/stayinworkout#get_active_at_home

- Change 4 Life website: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes

- Big White Wall: http://www.bigwhitewall.com/

- Mental health helpline 0800 915 4640 24 hours a day or www.healthierlsc.co.uk/mentalHealthSupport

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