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Following recent government announcements, including being allowed to exercise outside once a day, we wanted to give you some advice and information about how you can follow these guidelines at work and at home. Luckily at Blythe Valley Park we are surrounded by our 122-acre country park with walkways, cycle ways and lots of wildlife – even though not all of us can enjoy our country park at the moment, we’d still like to share some information about the benefits of exercising and getting outdoors when you can – while respecting social distancing guidelines and government protocols.

For our BVP occupiers who are still working in the office and for our new BVP residents who are living on site, we want to remind you that our country park is open for those wanting to get some fresh air. If you are currently working from home and getting used to a new routine, the information below still applies to you!

With the current uncertainty, getting outdoors is more important than ever to help maintain positive physical and mental wellbeing. Being outside can help clear your head (making sure you’re also practising social distancing of course and ensuring you only exercise outside once a day as per government advice). Not only can you get in your daily exercise by going for a run, walk or cycle around our country footpaths – you can also help your mental wellbeing by connecting with nature and releasing endorphins to boost positivity. If you don’t have our country footpaths at your doorstep, just find an open space near you!

Physical activity can do wonders for your mental health – and it’s really important that we take extra care of our mental health in the current climate. Research has found that physical activity can:

  • Improve sleep – exercise tires you out, so you’re more likely to get well rested at night
  • Create a happier and more positive mood – as we mentioned above, your body produces endorphins when exercising, which can create an overall positive feeling in your body
  • Manage stress and anxiety – another hormone called cortisol is released into the body when exercising, which helps us manage stress, and in turn can help reduce anxiety and anxious thoughts.

If intense physical activity isn’t for you, then you can always just sit outside with nature and observe your surroundings. Spring has now begun so there’s lots to see in our country park including blossoming trees and plants, and new wildlife! If you’re not at BVP, you can always sit in your garden or visit a local park or open space to observe the nature around you.

Mental health charity Mind lists on their website some of the mental benefits of spending time outdoors:

  • Helps to reduce feelings of stress
  • Improves your mood
  • Helps you to take some time out and can make you feel more relaxed

If you’re working from home, it’s still really important to try and get outdoors if you can, while still respecting social distancing. Keeping a healthy routine involving exercising can improve your mental health at this time. We hope the information above helps all our BVP occupiers / residents at work or at home.

If you’re a member of Virgin Active at BVP and you’re missing your classes, or if you just want some tips on exercises to do at home, then why not follow Virgin Active on Twitter and Instagram?… They post numerous videos a day showing exercises that can be done at home – alone or with your family. Give them follow – Insta: virginactiveuk  / Twitter: @VirginActiveUK. Or you can download the Virgin Active app, which is offering a range of online workouts to keep you healthy and fit at home.

If you fancy some structured at home workouts targeting different areas of the body, then give @Gymshark a follow on Facebook. They have live 1 hour workouts streamed from Facebook throughout the day from 10am – 10pm every day ran by qualified personal trainers from across the UK – there is something for everyone! You can also download the Gymshark conditioning and workout app which gives you structured workout plans led by Gymshark athletes that helps you track your progress.

If you want to download any walking routes around the BVP country park, you can download 30 minute or 1-hour routes by clicking on the downable links to the right.

For more information about the mental and physical benefits of exercise and being outdoors, visit the Mind websites below:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/physical-activity-and-your-mental-health/about-physical-activity/#.V72m6PkrLAU

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/

For government updates on what protocols we should all be following, please check the Gov.uk page – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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