COVID-19 – being active

Government announcement – Return to Play

Recent announcement of reopening of gyms, leisure centres and grassroots sports clubs from Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport – The Government has outlined the measures that will allow outdoor pools to reopen from 11 July and indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities to reopen from 25 July, ensuring millions of people can get back into more sport and fitness activities. Recreational team sports will be permitted to begin returning outdoors from 11 July.

Join The Movement to keep your body and mind healthy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means that day-to-day life looks different at the moment.

However, one thing that remains the same for most of us is that being physically active is great for our body and mind!

In fact, it can actually prevent many illnesses.

You may need to change HOW you get active though, based on the latest government advice. So we’ve pulled together some resources that could help whether you:
• are practising social distancing generally
• are staying at home to self-isolate
(but don’t have coronavirus symptoms)
• are working from home
• have children who aren’t in school

Get your heart beating

  • Sport England have launched their ‘Join the Movement’ campaign with lots of ideas on how to be active as the situation around COVID-19 evolves – check out their page packed full of ideas including outdoor and at home activity advice
  • Try FitForMe Home Activities
  • Follow an NHS yoga workout to improve strength and tackle stress
  • Activity Alliance is sharing the top ways to adapt activities so more people can stay in and work out. The STEP tool is one of the most effective ways to use
  • Couch to 5k – Couch to 5k is a nine-week programme of podcasts that does exactly what it says on the tin – taking you from the couch to running 5kms
  • Try Joe Wicks’ 7 days of sweat
  • Learn a dance step
  • NHS gym-free workouts
  • NHS ten-minute cardio and toning workouts
  • This Girl Can home exercise guide
  • NHS Fitness Studio
  • Pop Sugar Fitness – Over 500 ad-free workouts from celebrity trainers and fitness experts
  • Fitness Blender free workout videos
  • Join in with Mayathon.  Buddy-up (virtually) with a friend, family member or colleague and support each other to do 26 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Working from home and need inspiration on how to ‘move more & stress less’?  Check out our My Active Work Life page.
  • Everyday activities such as doing the vacuuming, hanging out the washing, mowing the lawn or dancing around the kitchen also count towards your daily activity levels
  • Public Health England –  have released the Active at Home booklet, full of information and advice about how to be more active at home for older adults and people with health concerns.
  • Let’s Ride Local – British Cycling have created Let’s Ride Local to encourage safe and responsible cycling – the website includes tips and advice on riding locally, as well as instructions on teaching children how to ride.
  • Active 10 – The Active 10 app, from the NHS, is a great way to help you monitor and gradually increase your brisk walking levels over time.

Activity resources near you

We know lots of you are looking forward to being able to use indoor gyms, sport and leisure facilities when they’re able to re-open.

Many providers in Merseyside are providing alternatives that you can take part in in the meantime, such as online workouts, and are already working hard behind the scenes to plan the safe re-opening of their facilities and sessions when that’s possible.

Once the government has produced full guidance and announced a date for re-opening, local facilities will be able to update you via their websites.
Here are links to Merseyside’s local authority-run leisure facilities and schemes to check out and keep an eye on:





St Helens


Pregnancy activity during the COVID-19 outbreak

Our BeFit4baby page has resources to help pregnant ladies get all the benefits of exercise, even in these unusual times. Just visit

For kids and families

Mental health and wellbeing

Getting physically active is a great way to look after your mental health. As well as getting moving you might also like to check out these extra resources.

  • Mental health charity Mind has put together detailed advice and information on coronavirus and wellbeing
  • Practise relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. Try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters, and read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.
  • Gardening can also help tackle depression, stress and anxiety, and reduce high blood pressure, as well as improve your physical health, so it’s a great time to get outside and brighten up your patch. Don’t have a garden? You could try planting some flowers in a window box, growing herbs indoors, or putting out food for the birds where you can watch them from a window.
  • Plan for the future. You could research walks you want to do, plan a new cycle route, or get the kids to make a list of five new activities they’d like to try once the outbreak has passed.
  • Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Their website has a suite of resources for you to access.
  • Mental Health UK have resources for staying active as well other resources to help with your mental health.

The legal bit.

If you choose to take part in any of the workouts or activities being signposted to from this page then it’s important you know that you do so at your own risk.

Is physical activity suitable for me if I have a long-term health condition?

This is something that is very much personal to you as an individual and your particular condition. However, this is the advice from the national We Are Undefeatable campaign, which is led by 15 of the major health charities and backed by expertise and insight from Sport England:

‘A small proportion of people with specific conditions who are symptomatic (i.e. with cardiovascular, metabolic or renal disease) may need medical advice. However, most people can take part in low and moderate-intensity physical activity without visiting a healthcare professional first.’


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