Exercise plays an important role in both your physical and mental health. In fact, it is widely recognised that exercise improves your wellbeing and can help to reduce symptoms such as breathlessness.
While you might not be able to go to the gym or your local pool or attend pulmonary rehabilitation or Lungs in Action classes at the moment, it’s still important to keep your body moving and maintain your exercise habits.
When Shirley Daniel, who lives with lung cancer, had to give up her senior’s exercise class, it took a while for her to find her drive again.
“Nobody was there to make me do it, I had to motivate myself. I started riding a stationary bike for 10 minutes or so, depending on the day, and doing some simple exercises. I would set a timer and do one or two minutes and just try to increase the length of time each day. Set yourself a goal like not having a cup of tea until you do 10 minutes of movement,” Shirley said.
Shirley says it’s important to listen to your body and be kind to yourself.
“If I’m feeling good I may do a session in the morning and another little bit in the afternoon. If I’m having a really down day I don’t try to over do it. But when you’ve done it, it makes you feel so good.”
If you’re not used to exercising at home it may feel a little daunting and you might find it hard to stay motivated. Pulmonary Exercise Manager and Exercise Physiologist Emma Gainer says Shirley’s tips for setting small goals and building up each day are a great way to get yourself started.
“An at-home exercise program may look a little different to what you are used to, but in times like these using every opportunity to keep moving is vital,” Emma said.
“Lung Foundation Australia’s Better Living with Exercise booklet and our new Maintaining Movement series can help with planning your routine, tracking your exercise progression and support you with how to complete the exercises on your own.”
Emma’s tips to keep active at home:
- Dust off any old equipment you have at home
- Use common house-hold items such as cans or recycled milk containers filled with water
- Keep your exercise equipment in sight as a reminder
- Take your session outside and enjoy some fresh air
- Link in with friends and family to do virtual exercise sessions
- Team up with your household and keep each other motivated.
Join Emma for our free at-home exercise series to learn simple exercises that can be completed at home with objects found around the house. Don’t
forget to read our Exercise Safety in the Home guidelines before you start.
To view the Maintaing Movement series, click here.