Stories from people at Level 2
Below are some stories from people who are keeping active during COVID-19 by doing activities relevant to Level 2. Level 2 on our website includes people who have a well-controlled medical condition, get puffed easily or feel a little unsteady, can walk down the street, and/or get minimal help with daily activities.
I had knee replacements done two and a half years ago. It was a lot having them both done at once. It was so clear that if you don’t exercise you become immobile. I can’t do that, I’ve got things to do.
I get up in the morning and stretch and move. I stay active. I go and walk around the yard. I do gardening. I can lift things I couldn’t manage before. My wife, Lynette, is 76 and has had serious problems with her health. We have two inclinators in the house but we don’t use them anymore. Lynnette goes up and down the stairs 10 times a day!
We’ve got 2 mobility scooters… we haven’t used them since Christmas. We’re so much better from keeping active.
Advice for others: Inactivity creates immobility. You’ve got to stay active. Turn the television off! You have to be active throughout the day. You’ve got to move, move, move!
If it’s hard for you, even walking around the kitchen bench 10 times will help. If you’ve got little steps go up and down, up and down. Don’t do anything that’s going to create an injury, but you must stay mobile. If you have a partner, go out together and walk. When all these restrictions lift and things are safe again go to the shops just to walk. You don’t have to buy - go for the exercise!
Before COVID-19 I would normally have 3-4 different things to go out to each week. I’m missing the social contact and support, but I’m keeping up my daily walks. I have different walks. The long walk is to the highway. There are 3 walls I can sit on. I walk along the highway past the church and back home along the side street. It takes about half an hour. For the short walk I go from home halfway down the side street to the village. There’s usually someone to have a chat with - from a social distance of course - from their veranda to where the path is. It always feels good. We’re helping each other with the social contact. I drop some books in a plastic bag over for a lady and she shares them on again. My other walk is up the side street across from where I am. It’s not flat, so is more of a challenge going up and down. It depends what I’ve been doing in the morning as to which walk I do. Sometimes I think ‘I’ll just do the short walk’, but then I end up doing double what I thought I’d do! I might go down a street I haven’t been down for a while and see all the different changes. I see the gardens and the new duplexes that have been built.
I definitely have more confidence with the walking I’ve been doing recently. On the streets with more traffic I used to be nervous about the noise, the cars going so fast. Now I’m not nervous with the trucks going by, it’s made a difference. I’m doing a lot of extra walks now. Before if I’d been out with a group, I'd be tired after I got home and fed the pets. I’d leave the long walks for the end of the week, but now I have more energy for them.
Some things I could do sitting, I stand up to do instead. A game called Tridominos is for 2 people, but I thought I could do it against myself. I was going to sit down, but I challenged myself to stand up and do it as long as I can. I thought ‘this is pretty good’. It’s an achievement for myself, I know I’m doing things in ways I wouldn’t normally.
With my exercises I usually do them in the morning. Up and down the steps and on the ramp. Before all this I did exercises every week at Greenacre with Diane. I can do some of them at home. At night, I make myself walk up and down the lounge room and along hallway and back about 20 times, then I do 100 steps on the spot or backward and forward.
It’s good that in isolation I’m doing more things than I normally would do at home. Since I’m moving around more, I’m not using my asthma puffer so much. I know that I’m making a difference to my health by keeping on moving. I can feel it.
Advice for others: Don’t sit for too long. Get yourself motivated. Do 15 minutes of gentle exercise then go back to what you were doing. Maybe do 15 minutes of a different exercise later. Don’t push yourself to do half an hour or an hour. Break it up into small pieces or sections. You can even do exercises when you’re sitting down - stretching exercises, moving your arms and legs around while you’re watching TV. Try doing things standing up instead of sitting. With the iPad I do puzzles, games, crosswords, and patience. You can do these standing up. Go out for walks and look at your neighbourhood. It makes you feel better to be out and about. Make sure you don’t get ‘bumitis’.