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Coronavirus Guidance for Exercising Outside (Update)

Wednesday 1 April 2020

The Government of Jersey has said that everyone who is not an essential worker needs to ‘stay at home’ at all times, except for a limited number of reasons and for a maximum of two hours per day.  

The reasons to be outside the home are: 

  • When you need to shop for food, medicine, and other basic necessities, which should be as infrequently as possible. 
  • For daily exercise. This can include walking, cycling, running, exercising or caring for animals, provided you maintain social distancing from everyone outside your own household.
  • For any medical needs, including providing care.

‘Any travel to locations around the island for exercise or fresh air and shopping for essentials can be via car or other means as long as you have a safe social distance of two metres from anyone outside your own household. HOWEVER time spent travelling is considered part of the two hours a day.

 As we are all getting used to the ‘new normal’ of ‘staying at home’ it is imperative that we all follow the latest advice from the Government of Jersey ‘Stay at Home’: Advice for islanders  

 We are all adjusting to these new guidelines and its natural to be anxious about the current situation but one thing which remains the same is the importance of staying active.  It is crucial that we all continue to keep active throughout this period to keep both body and mind fit and healthy.   Exercise can help to boost your immune system and has a hugely positive impact on mental and physical wellbeing. Staying active will help to: 

  • Reduce anxiety and improve your mental health 
  • Help improve balance, posture, flexibility and prevent falls 
  • Improve your muscle and bone health 
  • Help control symptoms of chronic diseases 
  • Improve the health of your heart 
  • Give you more energy 
  • Reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke 
  • Help with relaxation and sleep quality 
  • Reduce pain 

Jersey Sport, as the independent body for sport and active living in Jersey, has been in constant dialogue with Government officials to ascertain exactly what the current advice means and how this should be interpreted. In consultation with the Government of Jersey and the Assistant Minister for Sport, Jersey Sport has issued the following advice on how to safely continue to exercise and enjoy our beautiful island.   

Can I exercise outside?  

 You can continue to exercise outside as long as it is part of your two hours you are permitted outside each day, however: 

  • You must strictly adhere to social distancing meaning that you must stay 2 metres away from everyone else. 
  • You must not meet with anyone outside of your own household to exercise. 
  • You can travel to locations around the island for exercise by car or other means (such as walking / cycling) but the time spent travelling is considered as part of your two hoursThe Government of Jersey’s latest advice on social distancing, which we are all now advised to do. 

It is worth noting that studies have found that after an intensive exercise session (e.g. to fatigue), your immune system does not function as well as it normally does. This means that in the hours following the session, if you have been exposed to someone who has been sick with the flu or Coronavirus, your body’s defences are down.  It may be worth considering avoiding intense workouts whilst the risk of contracting coronavirus remains higher. 

Is it OK to exercise in groups outside?  

NO – you must not meet with anyone outside of your own household to exercise.  

If you are using some of the islands shared paths, please ensure you do not close pass othersIf you come across others whilst outside then ensure you keep a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between you and other people. 

Should I wear a mask when exercising outside? 

You may want to consider wearing a cloth mask or buff over your nose or mouth. 

The Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, states  “There is limited direct data and evidence on the use of cloth masks and the effect they have on reducing the spread of Coronavirus within the community, so it would not be appropriate to produce a definitive direction that these must be used.  

“However, they may very well provide benefit and reduce transmission and they do not do any harm if used properlyUsing a cloth mask may well reduce the transmission of large respiratory droplets onto others… Wearing a cloth mask is absolutely not a substitute for appropriate social distancing, stay at home guidance or good hand and respiratory hygiene. (Dr Ivan Muscat – Gov.je) 

Should I avoid touching things outside? 

It may be possible that a person can get Coronavirus by touching a surface or object (e.g. traffic light button) that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Consider wearing gloves, avoid touching your face and maintain excellent hand hygiene. 

If you are using ‘communal’ bikes it is suggested that you wipe handlebars down with an antibacterial wipe before use and wear gloves. Be sure to wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards and avoid touching your face. 

Can Coronavirus be spread through sweat? 

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets (WHO) 

It’s hard to stay motivated, what can I do to help myself? 

Consider setting yourself small goals each day with maybe a weekly bigger target.   

Aim to continue to exercise at the level you were before the Coronavirus outbreak. No matter what your level of physical fitness, aim to exercise at a ‘moderate intensity’  meaning that both your heart and breathing rates should increase, and you might break a sweat, but you should still be able to hold a conversation. 

If after any form of physical activity, you feel more breathless than usual or just unwell, stop and don’t do any more until your symptoms have resolved.  If you are worried, seek medical advice. 

Some ideas for exercising outside and enjoying our island (we have included some links to helpful resources): 

  • Actively Travel to the shop – walk, run or cycle 
  • Take a walk or run on one of our many beaches, parks and coastal paths   
  • Take a bike ride along the green lanes or along the cycle routes 
  • Consider a scavenger hunt with your children 
  • Get on your wellies and enjoy playing in some mud in St Catherine’s woods or splashing in the rock pools on the beaches 
  • Make the most of local parks.  
  • Take a football out and enjoy a kick around 
  • Do a ‘bug hunt’ or look for local wildlife / birds 
  • Consider flying a kite 
  • Get out in the garden  
  • do some weeding 
  • consider planting some flowers or some vegetables  
  • do you have a trampoline – get out jumping! 
  • Set up an obstacle course for you and your family 

Whatever you do outside, please #ExerciseResponsibly.  Being able to exercise outdoors in our beautiful open spaces, beaches and countryside is a privilege and we do not want to lose this privilege.  

If you are out and about, we’d love to see what you are up to.  Please don’t forget to post on your social media channels and use the hashtag #MoveMoreJersey.  

For more ideas and hints / tips on exercising then please go to our Move More website and monitor our social media channels for up to date information. 

Follow us on Instagram @jerseysportje and Facebook @jerseysportofficial 

Move with us on Instagram and Facebook @movemorejersey and visit: http://www.movemore.je  

 

Please note guidance from Government is regularly changing and this guidance note will be updated accordingly. For up to date Government of Jersey advice on Coronavirus please see: https://www.gov.je/health/coronavirus/Pages/index.aspx