I first met Maurice when he came to talk to me about a day in his life. I was struck by how busy Maurice was: walking down to the town centre where he volunteered at Square Chapel, an active part in Holmfield Bowling Club, writing his life story and only stopping to relax in the evening.
Recently Maurice got back in touch and gave me an update on how he’s been being active during lockdown. Maurice has kindly given permission for me to share it with you to show the positive impact a little bit of activity each day can have on your well-being. It’s a surprising read.
When we were in conversation a few weeks ago you asked me if I would update you on the effect that the lockdown has had on my life. Well here goes.
You may recall as a 77 year old man I had quite a busy life. Three, four hour days as a volunteer at Square Chapel Arts Centre, three days each week crown green bowling and the seventh day also out and about usually for lunch. Well, what a lesson in my life has COVID-19 lockdown taught me.
I have now read two books, something I had not done for several years, I have bought a puzzle book, a half done jigsaw sits on the kitchen table and I am loving my morning exercise routine with help from Holly Dolke on YouTube.
Lunch of course is at home everyday and I’m thoroughly enjoying my one hour brisk walk in the afternoon. (During my conversation with Maurice he told me more about his walks. Following government advice, Maurice stays local and uses a combination of roads and footpaths. As well as being great for physical health, Maurice told me how it made him feel much better, enjoying the sun and just being outside. In addition to this, on Maurice’s walks he gets to have chats with people he meets along the way, whilst keeping a safe distance. Many of us can feel a little afraid of going out having been in lockdown, but seeing a friendly face and having a quick conversation does wonders to brighten your day).
Evenings I have always been content with my bath, dressing gown and television. How good lockdown has been for me. Following an important loss in my life, unwittingly I jumped onto a treadmill of far too busy a life which possibly I really may not have been enjoying as much as I thought I was. When life after lockdown returns, I am determined to continue to have two or three days a week not racing about. My days at Square Chapel, which has now closed, will now be free time. Crown green bowling I am missing and can’t wait to get into competitive action again. My life has changed, I am content, I feel relaxed and both physically and mentally healthier.
Lockdown has affected us all in different ways. Maurice shows us that including small amounts of regular activity into our day isn’t just about keeping fit, it’s about feeling better in body and soul. If you‘d like some inspiration to help you start getting active safely, have a look at Keeping Active During COVID 19. It contains links to We are Undefeatable and walking guides. If you’d like to share how you have been active during COVID 19 please let me know Suzanne.Straughan@nhpltd.org.uk.