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Stay at home and stay healthy

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A message to students and parents from the Health and Physical Education staff.

As new COVID-19 cases continue to emerge many healthy individuals are being requested to stay at home. In Australia, fitness centres and other locations where individuals are normally active, will remain temporarily closed. Staying at home for prolonged periods of time can pose a significant challenge for remaining physically active. Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge the mental health of citizens. Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. These recommendations can still be achieved even at home, with no special equipment and with limited space. The following are some tips on how to stay active and reduce sedentary behaviour while at home:

Take short active breaks during the day. Short bouts of physical activity add up to the weekly recommendations. You may use the suggested exercises below as inspiration to be active every day. Dancing and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are other means to stay active at home.

Follow an online exercise class. Take advantage of the wealth of online exercise classes. Many of these are free and can be found on YouTube. If you have no experience performing these exercises, be cautious and aware of your own limitations. Please avoid attempting activities that are beyond your fitness or skill level.

Here are some good examples worth looking at:

Fitness Marshall – online dance videos

Joe Wicks PE videos

Apps for download

Centr – Chris Hemsworth fitness app – free for 6 weeks

7min workout app

Smiling Minds

Down dog

 Walk. Even in small spaces, walking around or walking on the spot, can help you remain active. If you decide to go outside to walk or exercise, be sure to maintain at least a 1.5 metre distance from other people.

Stand up. Reduce your sedentary time by standing up whenever possible. Ideally, aim to interrupt sitting and reclining time every 30 minutes. Consider setting up a standing desk by using a high table or stacking a pile of books or other materials, to continue working while standing. During sedentary leisure time prioritise cognitively stimulating activities, such as reading, board games, and puzzles.

Relax. Meditation and deep breaths can help you remain calm.

Weekly physical activity challenges will be prepared for all PE classes and will be posted on Daranet. Please encourage your children to participate and perhaps even try them yourselves!

For optimal health, it is also important to remember to eat healthily and stay hydrated. WHO recommends drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Ensure plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit the intake of salt, sugar and fat. Prefer whole grains rather than refined foods.

Good luck and stay safe.