Thursday 9 April 2020

Why Getting Out For Your Daily Exercise Is Important

To start off, I feel that I need to caveat this post by saying that I am not suggesting that you go outside for anything more than your one form of daily exercise. If you are one of those people lounging around in parks with your friends, or going to the beach amongst massive crowds of people, or having people over to your house to socialise; shame on you. Not only are you putting yourselves and others at risk, but you are prolonging the lockdown for everyone else. Few people like being confined to their homes, unable to see friends and family, but it is a necessary evil.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it. Within the UK the current ‘lockdown rules’ state that you can go outside for some form of exercise either alone or with members of your household once a day. When I was first sent to start working from home all the way back on the 17th March, I didn’t go out at all. I had my shopping dropped off by friends, and I wasn’t going outside for anything else.

This was fine for the first week, but as you would expect I slowly began to get more and more stir crazy. My sleeping pattern started to fall all over the place, with me staying up until the early hours because I wasn’t tired and couldn’t get to sleep. In the mornings I was struggling to get out of bed, probably because of my late night and poor quality sleep. On some days I was dragging myself out of bed just 10-15 minutes before I was supposed to be logged onto my computer and working. This meant that the start of my working day was sleepy and not particularly productive, as you would expect. Not to mention I was breaking my rules around working from home because I hadn’t even got dressed.

Sleep and work weren’t the only things I was suffering with. I was starting to suffer with lower back pain, as well as feeling generally lethargic and tired during the day. I record my daily steps on my Fitbit, and most days I was barely breaking 2,000 steps, which is significantly less than normal. All of this lumped together, along with the generic stress of what’s going in the world started to have a negative impact on my mood.

Our home backs onto a woodland with lots of various walking trails running through it, so one day when the sun was out I decided to pop out for a walk to get a little exercise and fresh air. I’d started off listening to music as I walked, but my phone died as I got onto one of the trails. I’m glad it did, because it meant I could enjoy the tranquillity of my walk. I didn’t come across a single person, and other than the odd bird chirping away or the rustle of leaves it was silent and peaceful.

That evening I slept far better than I had for the previous few weeks. Since then I’ve had a couple more walks and I’m really enjoying them. I’ve been going alone, which has been a nice way for Mike and I to have space from each other for a small amount of time. Not that we don’t enjoy each other’s company, we do, but I always feel that a little time apart is healthy in any relationship.

With more regular walks my back pain has started to subside, so I would imagine it was caused by inactivity along with lots more time sitting. My sleep is better as I’m feeling tired when it’s time to go to bed. I’ve even been hitting my daily step target on the days I’ve been out. Given that I’d usually be in the gym in the evening and am quite an active person, I’ll probably start switching up some of my walks to runs, to keep my cardio up, which will make me feel even better.

Now I know I’m lucky to live in close proximity to walking trails, and that a lot of people don’t. even so, I would still recommend you get out of the house for your daily exercise. Even if you weren’t an active person before, you probably still covered some ground walking to and from work or whatever mode of transport you used. You probably moved around a lot more at work than you are now if working from home. You don’t need to go on a long run or cycle, it can just be a short walk around the block, and it’ll do you some good.

I’m not suggesting daily exercise so much from a fitness point of view - although that is of course good too. Ultimately if isolation means we gain a little weight, it doesn’t matter, we are in the middle of a pandemic after all. For me, my daily walks are my chance for a tiny pocket of escapism, to help with my mental wellbeing, something that is very important for us all.

On the basis of how much it has helped improve how I’m feeling, I would suggest any one who hasn’t been using the allowance of a walk outside their home to do so. It goes without saying that you should adhere to the rules that come with it, and maintain good distance if you do come across other people while you are out and about. I would also recommend against touching anything. For example, I’ve been avoiding the paths that require me to go through a gate, simply because I have no idea who might have used it before me.

A simple walk outside might not fix all the anxiety a lot of people are feeling at the moment, but if there is a chance it will help, even just a little, it’s worthwhile giving it a try.



  1. I'm definitely not getting enough exercise at the moment because it makes me a little anxious at the moment but I know when I do, I always feel so much better even after a little walk!
    Sarah x

  2. I need to move more at the moment. It is a bit nerve-racking at the moment. I went shopping for the first time today and I admit, it was quite scary but getting outside and feeling the heat was lush!

    Em x

  3. I am currently in isolation and I am missing the daily walks... Although the Norfolk weather has been absolutely lush which I am so so happy for! I cannot wait to get out the house! Stay Safe!
    - Hannah |

    1. Other than a walk every other day or so, I've not left the house either, so I'm very grateful for them, or I'd have gone mad by now!

      It's typical that the weather has been beautiful isn't it!?

      You too, take care and stay safe.

      Em x

  4. Couldn't agree with this post more! I've found that going a walk every few days has helped a massive amount, little bear was going stir crazy and in turn, making me feel like I was losing the plot Haha. After not being able to sleep and having a tough time with it, I find I actually sleep when I've been out.

    Jordanne ||

    1. It's amazing what a difference it makes. I'll bet it's not easy with little bear being cooped up inside either.

      I hope you are managing to get a little more sleep of late?

      Em xx

  5. It's something I've always enjoyed but always struggled to find the time for - now time is something I have a lot of it's been quite nice.

    They are wonderfully peaceful! I've been going slightly later in the day, so no one else is out which makes it even better.

    That sounds great! I'm glad you have somewhere to go walking too :)

    Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.

    Em xx

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