Top tips for staying active this winter

Michael Scott


Michael Scott


AS the days grow darker and colder, and the impact of covid-19 continues to affect us all, Nuala McVeigh, Macmillan Move More Coordinator in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is encouraging people living with cancer to take some small steps to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing this winter.

Usually, Move More participants in the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon area would be getting together at the gym or a variety of fitness classes to support them to say fit and well over the winter months. However, in light of covid-restrictions and the absence of their regular fitness activities, Nuala is encouraging people living with cancer to do what they can at home at a level that’s right for them to keep motivated and active this winter.

Nuala says, “It’s always difficult at this time of year to feel inspired to get active. It can be hard to get out and about when the weather is poor and the days are so dark. Add the additional challenges of covid-19 and many people are feeling less motivated than usual. But it’s important for our physical and mental health to do something, no matter how small, to move our bodies, improve our mobility and flexibility, and keep our minds active too.”

She has 5 top tips that can benefit everyone at this time of year:

l Stay as active as you can - Wrap up and get outside in daylight hours if you can, and avoid sitting for long periods - walk around the house when on your mobile or put some music on and move!

l Stay connected - Check in with family and friends over by phone, text, zoom or social media and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling

l Eat well - Try to get your five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated

l Rest & sleep - Switch off screens before bedtime to unwind, and try to stick to your usual bedtime and waking hours to keep your routine

l Self-care - Do the things you enjoy and make you happy, and connect with positive people

Nuala adds, “We have also launched our ‘24 Days of Fitmas’ challenge on our facebook page @MoveMoreNI where people can find gentle exercise to do every day between now and Christmas at their own pace and level of fitness. Our YouTube channel is also full of great ideas and simple activities to make sure that you do a little every day. We’re very much looking forward to the day that we can plan our usual Move More activities again, but in the meantime, as long as you do something, that’s the important thing.”

Physical activity is safe during and after most types of cancer treatment and can help to reduce the side effects of treatment, prevent the occurrence of other long-term conditions, and reduce the risk of cancer spreading or returning. To find out more about the Macmillan Move More programme in ABC area, call Nuala on 07711 756 836 or email

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500