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Winter Wellbeing – stay active during the colder months

November 10, 2017

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter. This week, we urge people to keep active during the winter months. 

The dark nights and cold weather can leave us feeling low but regular exercise is great for your physical health and fitness and has also been proven to help your mental wellbeing.  If you can stay active, even moderate exercise can bring health benefits. 

Councillor Liz WardlawCouncillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “As the colder weather sets in, it can be tempting to stay wrapped up indoors. But staying physically active during winter will help you to stay warm and has numerous health benefits.

“Regular, moderate exercise helps to reduce tiredness, anxiety and depression, improves your mood and quality of life, strengthens your muscles, joints and bones and reduces the risk of health problems.

“Another important benefit is that it can help you to make new friends and prevent you from becoming lonely, as there are many groups and classes available across Cheshire East that you can join. Please remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plan.”

If possible, you should try and get up and move around at least once an hour. If walking is difficult, chair-based exercises and simply moving your arms and legs are helpful.

Health and wellbeing manager Donna Williamson, of Everybody Sport and Recreation, the trust that manages the council’s leisure centres, said: “To feel the benefits, it’s really important to exercise regularly and an ideal way to start increasing your physical activity is a daily 20-30 minute walk. We also have qualified Nordic walking instructors to lead you on exciting trails as part of a group. 

“If the weather won’t allow you to spend too long outside, there are plenty of indoor activities available and numerous classes running at our leisure centres and swimming pools across the borough.

“We have great fitness activities for all ages and abilities. For the over 50s there are aerobics classes and walking football and walking netball sessions, which take place at leisure centres and are a great way to get back into the game.”

For more information about Everybody Sport and Recreation facilities and classes, visit: everybody.org.uk or email: enquiries@everybody.org.uk 

Exploring Cheshire East’s landscape and attractions on foot is a great way to keep active and have fun during winter. Throughout the year, the council’s ranger service team runs a variety of activities and events in the borough’s parks and greenspace. You can find out more by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk and searching for ‘ranger service’.

If you want to get out and explore on your bike, make sure you wrap up warm and take your bike for a health check to test that the tyres are in good condition. You should always wear reflective clothing and use bike lights and reflectors. 

If you need support to live a healthier lifestyle, the One You Cheshire East service is available. This includes information, advice and free services to help residents to eat well, drink less alcohol, move more, lose weight and be smoke free. More information can be found by visiting: www.oneyoucheshireeast.org or calling 0808 1643 202.

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil and on Twitter: @CheshireEast

Details of events taking place near you, which can help you to keep active, can also be found via www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell and by clicking on the community activities tab. 

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.