Lockdown is causing changes in everyday schedules and is disrupting exercise routines for many of our Lites colleagues. Exercise is especially important now because it can reduce stress, prevent weight gain, boost the immune system, and improve sleep.

You can safely engage in physical activity by exercising with family, getting outdoors, using online fitness resources, taking a virtual class, setting exercise goals, and doing calorie-burning chores.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted just about every aspect of our lives — and exercise routines are no exception. Work-from-home, remote learning, and gyms closures has changed how, when, and where we exercise.
Although it might be tempting to skip your workout during these challenging times, the HSE say that exercise — while undoubtedly crucial under normal circumstances — is essential to your physical health and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s why we are encouraging our team to stay active and how they can exercise safely during the pandemic.

What COVID-19 concerns may affect physical and mental health?
If you’re working from home, you may find that you’re sitting for more extended periods. And, changes in your daily routines — such as caring for kids who are home from school — may make it more challenging to find time to exercise.
COVID-19-related concerns may affect dietary habits, leading to higher calorie consumption that could promote weight gain. Limiting trips to the shop, skipping fresh fruits and vegetables in favour of stocking up on calorie-dense, non-perishable foods. All the extra hours you’re spending at home may make you more likely to snack, “stress-bake,” or prepare high-calorie, comfort-food meals.
Additionally, many people are coping with fear, anxiety, stress, sadness, boredom, and isolation — all of which can have a negative effect on diet, physical health, and mental well-being.

Why is exercise important during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Regular exercise is essential for everyone under normal circumstances. However, here are a few reasons why exercise is especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic:
• Exercise boosts the immune system: Research shows that regular, moderate-intensity exercise has immune-boosting benefits that may help your body fight off infections, including COVID-19.
• Exercise may prevent weight gain: Exercise can help you burn extra calories caused by dietary changes and offset the effects of sedentary activities.
• Exercise reduces stress and anxiety: Exercise is a proven mood-booster and can help adults reduce stress levels and build emotional resilience.
• Exercise improves sleep: There is evidence that suggests regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality — and getting a good night’s sleep has also been found to boost your immune system.

How can I stay physically active despite COVID-19 closures?
There are many ways you can be active, even if you can’t go to a gym.
Here are a few suggestions from our team on how to help you get moving:
• Exercise with family: Exercise is an excellent opportunity for family fun. Walks, cycling, dance parties, living-room yoga sessions, or a garden kick around are just a few examples of how you and your household members can exercise together.
• Get outdoors: Walking, cycling and jogging can help you get some much-needed fresh air while staying safely away from others. Don’t have time for a full-length outdoor exercise session? Consider breaking your workout up into several 10-minute sessions. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a few brisk walks around the block can add up to a full workout.
• Follow along with online exercise videos: Whether you enjoy yoga, cardio kickboxing, Pilates, strength training, dance, or another type of workout, chances are you can find a service that offers online videos. Additionally, many exercise studios and other community organisations are now providing on-demand virtual fitness content.
• Tackle calorie-burning tasks: Tasks such as working in the garden, washing the car, or cleaning out the garage provide excellent opportunities to build muscles and burn calories. In addition to the sense of accomplishment you will feel after your workout, completing a household task will yield even more feel-good benefits.
• Challenge yourself: Set an exercise goal — such as doing yoga five days per week or beating your best 5K time — and plan to work toward achieving it.

Lites Group are looking to get everyone in our organisation moving for the month of Jan and February. We have created a Strava Club which everyone can join.
Strava is an App used by Athletes to track their activity and share their progress.
For the month of Jan in our business the target is do as many KM ‘s as possible either walking, running or cycling (within government COVID restrictions).

All exercise counts walking the dog, pushing a buggy anything which involves moving outside.

Many of our colleagues in Lites have seen the benefits of regular exercise. We want to share everyone’s achievements no matter how small they are.