Regular exercise helps to keep your body healthy and prevent other diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise produces chemicals in your brain which help improve your mood. It can also help you to sleep better (www.NHS.uk). Exercising and staying active will help you to maintain your current levels of function and for some people it may allow you to continue to improve.
How much exercise?
The Department of Health guidance is that everyone should aim to do:-
• about 20 minutes of exercise every day or five 30 minute sessions, which equals 150 minutes of exercise each week.
• 2 days a week should include strength and balance activities.
What can I do?
There are lots of different options for staying active:
Ways I can stay active
Gym programme (at home or locally) Many have adapted equipment, instructors and schemes for exercsing in a supervised way (Speak mto your GP aboput a referral to Execise on Prescription)
Exercise in water – swimming, walking in the water or specific exercises
Exercise through sport – e.g. adapted cycling and walking football (see Activing Alliance on teh next page.)
Exercise in sitting or lying e.g. seated exercises in a chair or wheelchair
Everyday tasks e.g. gardening or housework
You may have already been provided with your own personalised exercise programme from your Physiotherapist at Northumberland Head Injuries Service. If so, it is best to follow this as it has been specifically tailored to you.
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
‘Love Activity, Hate Exercise?’ Is a campaign by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, giving advice and guidance on how to become more active, whether at home or in the community.
www.csp.org.uk Follow this link and type Love Activity, Hate Exercise in the search box. Select the first option with this title.
This charity is dedicated to supporting members and disabled people to make active lives possible. The website talks about many aspects relating to exercising and being active with a disability with ideas and links for other organisations to contact for further information. They are part of the English Federation of Disability Sport.
If you have any concerns or questions about exercising, your abilities or limitations you can always discuss this with your GP or Physiotherapist.
Active Northumberland are responsible for Northumberland County Council leisure centres etc. You can explore their website which provides all sorts of information about support and classes available. They also have an active at home app that can be downloaded.
What approach should I use?
– Setting reminders. on your phone to do your exercises regularly may help you to carry them out. Or you could link them with a daily task such as after going to the toilet or when you first get up.
– Be realistic. Find a way of exercising that you enjoy. That way you are more likely to keep it up.
– Start small. Set yourself small goals and focus on those ‘wins’. You can easily build up from there.
– Pace yourself. Little and often is much better than doing all your exercises at once, although this may work for some.
– Don’t give up. Stay positive and remember how far you’ve come rather than focusing on what you haven’t achieved yet.
How can I exercise at home?
The following websites have videos for a wide variety of activities and exercises you can do at home.
NHS Home Workout Videos
The NHS has created 24 instructor-led videos covering aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, Pilates and yoga at beginner and intermediate levels. These workouts have been created by fitness experts and range from 10 to 45 minutes. Most of the ‘move more’ exercises are aimed at people who can stand.
We are Undefeatable
This site contains information for those managing a long term health condition. It gives guidance on finding out what works best for you, including activities and exercises around the home and in the community. It also provides links to YouTube exercise videos for all abilities.
Overcoming MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
Although this is an MS website, the exercises are suitable for people with other neurological conditions and a wide range of activity levels. There are videos for many different exercises: fitness, stretching and strengthening, and many are seated.
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)
A collection of videos on YouTube for both adults and children. Examples include standing and seated cardio workouts, exercises for people who have had a stroke, strength activities using household items, high intensity workouts and much more!
Visit youtube.com and search for ‘The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability exercise videos’
Exercise activities on Facebook
Follow ‘Active Northumberland’ on Facebook for some simple and effective tips on keeping active at home. Video exercise classes and other activities such as Pilates included. Anyone can access this, it doesn’t matter where you live.
Follow ‘Make movement your mission’ – 3 times a day short movement classes they call “movement snacks” with adaptations. (8am, Midday and 4pm)
There are many phone apps that you may find useful. Here are just a couple of ideas:
Step Tracker: A free app on Android phones. It records steps taken like a pedometer. Also measures calories used.
Health: An iPhone app which records health data including the number of steps you take.
Wheelchair Exercises: This is an app regarding exercises and workouts in a wheelchair. All users of foldable wheelchairs, light weight wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs can do it.