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*UPDATED* Hospital visiting changes, home testing kits, Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.

Physical Activity

Physical activity

During a hospital stay you can spend more time in bed or in a chair than normal. This causes your muscles to get weaker and make you feel like you have less energy. You can also become more unsteady on your feet. This is a normal process caused by being less active but it is something which can be improved with physical activity once you are home. Physical activity does not mean doing a big workout. It can mean as little as standing up more often and sitting for shorter spells.

It is important to improve muscle strength so you can return to your normal life. Being able to do your hobbies and interests is good for both your physical and mental recovery.  These are things you can work up to as you become stronger and less tired. But you should recognise if you are becoming over-tired or fatigued. You can read more about how to manage fatigue and save your energy HERE.

How to stay active at home

Here are some examples of how you can be more active at home:

Stand up regularly – Sitting still for long periods of time is not good for our bodies. Stand up at least once every hour or even during the ad breaks on TV! Move your arms and legs regularly to stop them becoming stiff and sore.

If you are struggling or unable to stand you can try some seated exercises.

You can also follow this Physiotherapy-led seated exercise class:  

Or why not try this exercise routine below, this includes standing exercises:

As you improve you can try some more difficult exercises:

Strength exercises

Balance exercises 

When you are recovering from illness you may find you are more breathless than normal. Remember to take breaks as you need them and gradually increase the number of times you do each exercise/activity as you feel able. There are some tips on coping with breathlessness HERE.

The Talk Test is a simple way to measure how hard you are exercising. In general, if you’re doing moderate intensity activity, you can talk but not sing during the activity.

 When to stop exercising

You should stop exercising and rest if you experience any of the following:
• Chest pain
• Increase in chest tightness
• Dizziness or feeling faint
• Much more breathless than you experienced the last time you did this exercise

If symptoms continue for more than 2-3 minutes, contact your GP.

Walking programmes

Walking is a great way to increase your general fitness and help your mood. The websites below will give you information on how to get started and keep motivated.

**Please ensure you are following the current Government guidelines on social distancing**

NHS England Active 10 - Free Active 10 walking tracker app shows how much brisk walking you're doing and how you can do more. 

Paths for all - Paths for All is a Scottish charity which aims to increase the number of people walking every day in Scotland to improve well-being and prevent ill health.

Health walks - Free, gentle, volunteer led walks that are available for everyone. Walks usually last up to 1 hour and there are over 75 walks taking place each week.

Continuing exercise

Once you are starting to get back to normal life and would like to continue to improve your fitness there are a number of schemes available in the Glasgow and Clyde area.

**Please note that some Local Authority Sport and Leisure Venues are currently closed due to coronavirus**

Vitality Classes - Specially designed for people living with a range of medical conditions, and are ideal if you are finding that a lack of strength and/or poor balance is starting to impact on your daily life.  

Live active referral scheme - Qualified Live Active Advisors will chat to you to discuss benefits and set activity goals that are suitable for you in relation to your medical conditions (if any) and taking into account the current Scottish Government guidelines around Coronavirus (Covid-19). 

Live Active Advisors are able to support you at a time and in a way that suits you best (e.g. phone call, texts, emails or video calls or face to face) depending on the latest Scottish Government guidelines around Coronavirus. All Advisors follow the latest guidelines to ensure that the physical activity goals set are safe, effective and following the latest safety measures.  They are there on hand to help support, motivate and advise so that a regular physical activity routine is established. 

Ask your GP or Physiotherapist about a referral or follow the link above for more information.

 If you are a health professional and never referred into Live Active before then please email [email protected] to chat through the referral process and scheme in more detail.


There is guidance from the Chief Medical Officers in the UK on the amount and type of physical activity people should be doing to improve their health.



You can find further guidance here for those with a disability, under 18’s and during pregnancy.


Further useful website links:

NHSGGC physical activity and NHSGGC Get Active pages provide information about local opportunities to be more physically active.

**Note sports facilities currently closed due to coronavirus**

NHSGGC PDRU page has videos of seated exercise classes suitable for those with a physical disability, all lead by NHS GG&C Physiotherapists

NHS exercise site offers physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64.

Later Life Training produce 3 daily ‘movement snacks’ on Facebook (search Make Movement your Mission). Videos are saved on their Youtube channel for you to access whenever you wish.

NHS fitness studio has a range of instructor-led exercise classes including aerobic exercise, yoga and pilates.

Document links:

Keeping Fit and Active - An exercise guide. Urdu and Punjabi versions available HERE.

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Last Updated: 02 December 2020