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Winter Wellbeing – stay active during the colder months

8 January 2019

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. 

If your new year’s resolution was to exercise more in 2019, you would not be alone. 

Regular exercise is great for your physical health and fitness and has also been proven to significantly improve your mental wellbeing. But it can be hard to stay motivated during these colder and darker months. 

Cllr Liz WardlawCouncillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “It can be tempting to stay wrapped up indoors at this time of the year 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.

“Exercise is also great for your mental wellbeing as you can meet new friends – preventing loneliness and isolation. 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 can help to stave off winter-borne illnesses. 

Health and wellbeing manager Donna Williamson, of Everybody Sport and Recreation, the trust that manages the council’s leisure centres, said: “It is really important to exercise regularly and an ideal way to start increasing your physical activity is a daily 20-30 minute walk. Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor activities, we have something for everybody, from Nordic walking to walking football and netball.

“If you have a long-term health condition, such as  COPD or fibromyalgia, a disability or worry and struggle to exercise, ‘move it or lose it’ is a fantastic class that we offer. 

“The classes have been developed by experts to help you to improve your flexibility, aerobic health and balance for greater strength. All the exercises can be carried out seated or standing, depending on your ability.” 

Exploring Cheshire East’s landscape and attractions on foot is another 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 our ranger service website page.

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 and brakes 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 the One You Cheshire East website or by calling: 0808 1643 202.

For further winter-related advice, visit Live Well Cheshire East and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council’s Facebook page and on Twitter.

Details of events taking place near you, which can help you to keep active, can also be found by clicking on the community activities tab at Live Well Cheshire East.

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.