No one is quite sure what is and isn't safe to do during self-isolation. Here's the lowdown on exercise - plus our top 5 tips for other self-isolation activities
Content Updated 28.09.20
It’s all a bit doom and gloom at the moment due to the coronavirus outbreak and one of the most Googled questions right now is – can you go for a walk if you are self-isolating?
With so many local restrictions in place and guidelines changing all the time, it’s hard to know when to self isolate and what is and isn’t allowed . But the government advice remains that anyone who has presented symptoms of COVID-19, or come into contact with anyone who has, should self-isolate.
So, can you go for a walk if you are self-isolating?
According to the official advice, if you are self isolating you should remain at home for a period of 14 days. And that includes not going outside to exercise during that period. The advice is to exercise at home or in your garden if you have one.
If you are NOT showing symptoms, you can go for a walk or run outside as long as you stay two meters away from other people. This means selecting a route which is not likely to be too congested and carrying tissues with you if you need to cough or tend to have a runny nose from the cold.
However, if you are self-isolating because you HAVE presented symptoms, or come into contact with someone who has, then you cannot go for a walk or run outside.
Instead, you need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you live with others, the whole household will need to isolate for 14 days – this means not leaving your home or opening the door to directly receive deliveries.
What else can you do to look after your wellbeing?
The official government advice reads: “We know that staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you don’t have much space or access to a garden.
“It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it.”
People are advised to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. You can also consider cooking (if you can find the ingredients amongst the ransacked shelves), reading, online learning and watching films.
Living’s top tips for self-isolation activities
1. Get your workout in at home
Try looking at YouTube exercise videos and get a good workout in at home. Some will require equipment and yoga mats, but many don’t and you’d be surprised how much of a sweat you can work up if you’re feeling up to it. Our favourite channels include PopSugar Fitness (especially kickboxing!) and the company has just fast-tracked the release of its new fitness app, Active by PopSugar, and is offering it to users for free. The app, which is available on iPhone, Android, Roku and Chromecast, gives users access to more than 500 workouts from yoga and pilates to dance cardio and strength training.
Fitness influencer Joe Wicks has also just announced free PE lessons on his YouTube Channel for children who are out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Use technology to be social
Aside from the usual social media, you can use Facetime, Discord or Houseparty to keep in touch and dish the goss with friends. If movies are your passion, you will definitely want to check out the Chrome extension https://www.netflixparty.com/. It allows users to chat while they watch the same film at the same time. Yaaaas Queen!
All you have to do is log in, share a viewing link with friends, choose one person to be in charge of picking what you watch (that’s the real challenge) and, as your chosen show plays out in the bulk of the screen, a chatroom pops up and you can discuss the show.
3. Take a break from the news
We’re all for being well informed but it’s information overload right now and it’s super depressing. Why not check out Audible and listen to some books on your reading list while you lazily draw pictures of cats? There’s a load of free listens on their too, from fantasy to dark real-life crime dramas.
4. Look after your mind
There are loads of sources of support and information that can help you do this such as the Every Mind Matters website. There’s even a mental wellbeing audio guide.
5. Play video games
I realise that gaming isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you try it, you may be surprised how much you enjoy it. Video games allow us to be social in the comfort of our homes and improve though processes and hand eye coordination. There’s something for everyone, on consoles, PC, or your smart phone. Mysteries that need solving, games which require strategic thinking, or games which place emphasis on teamwork and fun. Whatever platform you choose, you’ll find something which is right for you. Personally, I’m addicted to Planet Zoo on PC (because tiger cubs and baby Red Pandas!) and Sea of Thieves, because being a pirate with my friends is more fun than reading the news right now.
Remember government advice is changing regularly so it’s best to check out the latest guidelines regarding whether you can you go for a walk if you are self-isolating. Read more up-to-date coronavirus advice from the government.