Exercise Well, Live Well
Our Living Well Team would like to share guidance on how exercise can help to support those seeking to maintain independence and improve their quality of life.
This page offers lots of advice as well as you can look at joining one of the exercise groups held at the Hospice.
Maintaining your independence and wellbeing through rehabilitation and exercise can improve your quality of life.
Our Physiotherapy team will support you in working towards the goals you may have, to help improve your quality of life and maintain independence within the limitations of your illness. This may be in one to one sessions, in a group exercise and education class or in your own home.
We can support you in a number of ways so that you can understand your condition and take steps to manage your symptoms. We provide specialist advice and guidance on managing shortness of breath, pain, fatigue, strength and mobility. We can help you to learn new techniques to reduce your symptoms and improve your overall well-being and maximize and maintain your physical independence for as long as possible
We offer a number of groups that will help you with your strength and balance and reduce falls and that will help you to self-manage your symptoms.
“Exercise Well. Live Well”
Our physiotherapists can help empower you to keep as active as possible. At St Wilfrid’s Hospice we are committed to supporting you to keep active.
Why is physical activity so important?
As human, we are designed to move. Being active helps our mind and body in a variety of ways:
- Improving our quality of life.
- Maintaining our independence.
- Keeping your heart and lungs healthy.
- Reducing pain.
- Maintaining and improving range of movement.
- Promoting bone and muscle strength.
- Improving your balance and thereby reducing your risk of falls.
- Boosting self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy.
- Lowering our chances of developing other health problems.
How much exercise is recommended?
The national guideline for adults is to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week. Moderate-intensity means you get a little warm and breathe slightly faster (but still be able to hold a conversation) when you are being active. This level will vary from person to person. It is also advised people do strengthening exercises twice a week. If you are just starting activity, you need to gradually build this up, start with 10 minutes a day.
Any activity is better than none!
- Start slowly and build up gradually.
- Ensure you are feeling well enough to complete the exercise or activity.
- Wear well-fitting footwear and comfortable clothing.
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you have bone problems, avoid high impact exercises such as running and Zumba
- Avoid uneven surfaces and activities that risk falling, especially if you have bone problems.
- If any exercise or activity causes or worsens pain or other symptoms, stop doing them and contact your healthcare professional.
- Avoid bending forwards or repeated twisting if you have back or bone problems.
- If you have lymphoedema, wear your garment if you have one and avoid heavy repetitive exercise.
Should exercise hurt?
Exercise should not hurt. Pain during an exercise (beyond the usual aches and pains that are normal for you) means you should stop that activity and perhaps try a different one. Muscle soreness after exercise is a normal response if you haven’t exercised for a while. It should settle in a day or two.
- STOP any exercise which causes you excessive pain or makes you unsteady.
- STOP exercising if you experience excessive shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or palpitations and seek medical advice.
Activities to do at home
Everyone is different, every home is different. Here are a few ideas to help you to keep active.
- Find ways to get up more frequently from your chair: You could keep the TV remote next to the TV for example so you have to get up every time you need it.
- Use the stairs if you have them and can manage them safely: Maybe use the upstairs toilet during the day to encourage you to use the stairs more often.
- Do some house work – vacuuming or light dusting depending on the intensity levels you need.
- Go for a walk around your home or your garden – put a coat on if it’s cold outside but take care if wet and rainy.
- Gardening is a lovely way to be active, being around nature is also very good for lifting your mood too. You can be digging, mowing, weeding, planting, potting, watering. Consider gardening at your garden table or using a small watering can for lighter exercise.
Sticking to it
Being active and doing exercises isn’t easy for everyone. There are a few ways to keep you on track:
- Keep a diary – you will be able to see how much you do each time and how you improve.
- Stick to a regular routine, like taking you medication at regular times, do so with exercise or activity. Set a timer on your phone or kitchen clock.
- Try and find something that you like doing. If you can’t really think of something then do activity whilst doing something you like – for example do chair exercises when watching TV.
- Find an exercise buddy, you can send your buddy updates to motivate you
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day, you are human. Try and get back on track as soon as possible.
- Loved ones can help to motivate you but be firm if you feel they are pushing you too much, it is important to do things at a pace and time that works for you.
Here is some useful advice about staying active
- Listen to a podcast on Coping with breathlessness.
- Read our Physiotherapy seated exercise handbook.
- Watch a video demonstrating seated exercises.
- Watch a video demonstrating bed exercises.
- Watch a video demonstrating standing exercises.
- Join an exercise group/class.
- If you need advice please call our Physiotherapy team on: 01243775302