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Keeping physically active during COVID-19

20th April 2020

Staying physically active during COVID-19 is vitally important, and has lots of benefits to physical and emotional health, writes Madeleine Guthridge, Physiotherapist at Macedon Ranges Health.

Exercise is one of the 4 reasons you are able to leave your house, but you must ensure you remain 1.5 meters away from others. There are also lots of fun and effective ways to exercise in your home. This is a great time to think about the best way for you to keep active during the current restrictions.

The current government regulations may have changed the way many people choose to exercise and stay active. Exercise classes, group exercise programs, outdoor gyms and playgrounds and indoor exercise facilities are all currently closed. Some personal training sessions are continuing to operate with a maximum of 2 participants (including the trainer) and strict social distancing requirements of 1.5m. You are still allowed to exercise in groups of 2 (practicing social distancing) or with members of your household (who are exempt from maximum of 2 people rule).

For people experiencing difficulty with movement and needing support, Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology appointments are an essential service and will continue to be available at Macedon Ranges Health either in person or via telehealth.

The key concepts for you to know:

  • Try to be active on most days, or everyday, of the week
  • The amount of physical activity you need each day depends on your age group

Infants (0-1 year): 30 minutes per day

Toddlers (1-2 years) and Preschoolers (3-5 years): At least 180 minutes per day

Children and young people (5-17 years): 60 minutes per day

Adults (18-64 years): 30 minutes per day

Older Australians (65 years and over): Aim for 30 minutes per day

  • Remember even a slight increase in physical activity has health benefits, so start in a way that works for you, rather than trying to meet these targets straight away.
  • Build up slowly, especially if you don’t regularly exercise regularly, or you haven’t exercised recently. You can think about gradually building up the time you exercise, the number of times you repeat an activity, the intensity of the exercise (eg walking up a hill or stairs instead of on flat ground), or decreasing the rest breaks you take.
  • Think about your sedentary (sitting down) time as well as your activity levels. Try to reduce your sitting time, and get up and move frequently. Try to do some daily activites in standing rather than sitting.
  • Try to avoid long stretches of continuous screen time (that isn’t work or school related).
  • Safety is important. Make sure you drink plenty of water, wear flat, supportive footwear, take your mobile phone with you, or let someone else know where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.

If you would like more information on how much exercise you should be doing, the Department of Health has physical activity guidelines for every age group.

Madeleine Guthridge

Physiotherapist, Macedon Ranges Health


Exercising during coronavirus

Macedon Ranges Health Exercise Trainer Nicolette shares some tips for staying active whilst our usual exercise programs are on hold.

Watch for a warm up tutorial!


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