The message is very clear, if we all stay home, it will save lives. Exercising is important for everyone to maintain good physical and mental health however it will now be restricted to one form of outdoor exercise per day. This may be in the form of a walk, run or cycle and must be carried out alone or with members of your immediate household.
When exercising outside it is important to remember these key things:
- Stay local – Don’t go too far or anywhere unfamiliar.
- Participate in low risk, familiar activities.
- If you see other people out exercising, remember to keep social distancing and leave a 2m space between you.
- Most car parks will now be closed so aim to visit on foot or by bike.
- Play parks and outdoor gyms will no longer be open.
Plan your days to include one form of exercising outside, it can be something to look forward to and the fresh air will be beneficial. Exercise can be so helpful for boosting your mood and getting your body moving, if only for 15 minutes.
If you are unsure of walks or trails available to you in your local area, there are plenty of options available on WalkNI.com. Please be aware that many walks will have their access points cut off and may not be easy to get to. Use your brain and try to keep as close to home as possible.
Update: 24/04/2020 – The NI Executive has amended the Regulations to clarify the circumstances in which a person can leave the house to exercise, including reasonable travel to exercise.
For example, a drive to a safe space or facility would be permitted. However, taking a long drive to get to a beach, or resort where numbers of people may gather is unlikely to be regarded as reasonable, even for exercise. Full press release
Update: 29/03/2020 – Health Minister Robin Swann has urged the public to do everything possible to avoid accidents throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. “Taking care includes making sure you are safe while out taking your daily exercise. If walking or cycling, don’t be lulled into complacency by the quiet roads. And if you have to drive, fight any temptation to increase your speed because there’s no traffic around. Full press release.
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