Asthma

The most important piece of advice when you suffer from asthma is to always have your inhaler in reaching distance in case you experience a tight chest or an asthma attack. Before starting exercise try and avoid coming into contact with anything that you know aggravates your asthma. This may include animals, dust, pollen and smoking. If you do experience an asthma attack or a tight chest then stop the exercise immediately and use your inhaler as you have been instructed. Take a break for 10 minutes and if the symptoms have gone continue exercising with caution. If not seek medical help. Be aware that Covid 19 can cause lasting breathlessness that may be exacerbated by exercise. Using an inhaler is unlikely to help with breathlessness caused by Coronavirus so don’t be alarmed if this doesn’t work. Instead remain calm and rest until you can breathe comfortably again. 

REMEMBER:

  • ALWAYS have you inhaler in reaching distance when you exercise and use as instructed by your GP
  • Try and avoid anything that aggravates your asthma before you exercise 
  • If you have an attack and the symptoms aren’t relieved by your inhaler after 10 minutes seek medical help.
  • Using an inhaler is unlikely to help symptoms of breathlessness caused by Covid 19.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Make sure that if you have been prescribed rest during your exercises programme that you do not skip these breaks. If during exercise you are feeling very tired or you are in respiratory distress then you should stop exercising and take a break until you are able to breathe comfortably again. This may be exacerbated by Covid 19. Only work out at an intensity that you’re comfortable at and if the intensity of the exercise is too high please ensure to log it on the app. If you have an inhaler make sure it is within reaching distance when you are exercising and if you need it always use it as instructed by your GP. Keep an eye on your heart rate and if at all you feel it is starting to get faster and harder but you have not increased the intensity of your exercise then you should stop exercising and take a break until it has calmed down before resuming exercise. 

REMEMBER:

  • ALWAYS have you inhaler in reaching distance when you exercise and use as instructed by your GP
  • Always stick to the prescribed rest periods in your exercise plan
  • If you feel like you’re in respiratory distress then take a rest until you are comfortable again
  • Keep an eye on your heart rate and rest if it begins to increase for no reason.

Coronary Heart Disease and angina 

Medication for coronary heart disease comes with a risk of fainting so if you feel dizzy at any point stop what you are doing, take a seat and rest until the symptoms have subsided. Take your time when transitioning from being lay down or seated to standing to avoid feeling dizzy. You must have your medication with you when you exercise to prevent any symptoms from developing into something more serious. If you experience any severe chest pain when you are exercising you must seek medical help immediately. 

REMEMBER:

  • Always have your medication nearby
  • If you feel dizzy at all, stop exercising and rest before trying to continue
  • Get up slowly when transitioning from sitting or lying to standing
  • If you get SEVERE chest pain when exercising seek medical help immediately

General exercise wellbeing advice

Coronavirus is likely to leave you with breathlessness that may be exacerbated by exercise. If at any point you feel your breathlessness is becoming difficult to deal with then you should stop exercising for 5 minutes. If your breathlessness is still difficult to deal with then finish your exercise session for that day. 

Coronavirus may also leave you with muscle weakness. Your exercise app will only give you exercises that are suited to your level so don’t be afraid to try all of them and push yourself. You may feel weakness when doing the exercise but remember to always keep focussed on proper form. This way you will get stronger and do it safely. 

Before you start exercising check the exercise area to make sure it is clear of any trip hazards or anything that may get in your way. Also ensure that you have at least a litre of water nearby for the duration of the exercise that you can sip when you are thirsty. You may not need this much but it is always best to have more than enough. Wear appropriate clothing for the exercise and try not to wear too many layers as exercising will cause you to warm up. When you are exercising remember to practice good form and if you are bending over try and keep your back straight. Additionally, when you are doing any movements involving your knee and elbow joints always maintain a soft bend in them when you straighten them. Muscle pain is common when exercising and can be good but if the pain becomes severe or starts coming from your joints then take a rest for 5 minutes. If the pain continues afterwards, stop exercising. Never rush your warm up and always take the full amount of time that you are prescribed to warm up and cool down.

REMEMBER:

  • Stay well hydrated
  • Clear the workout area of any trip hazards
  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Always practice good form and keep your back straight when bending over and never fully extend you knee and elbow joints. 
  • Some muscular pain can be a good this but SEVERE pain in the joints and any scar tissue is not
  • NEVER rush your warm up
  • NEVER rush your cool down
  • If your breathlessness becomes difficult to deal with take a break
  • If you need some immediate medical advice dial 111 to reach the NHS helpline
  • If you are in an emergency dial 999 for an ambulance

Hypertension

If you have taken any medication for your hypertension, be aware that fainting is a risk. If you feel dizzy at any point, stop exercising and take a seat until the symptoms pass. Additionally, take your time when transitioning from a lying position to standing and make sure you remain active between each set of exercises. Do not rush your warm up so you can avoid muscle cramping during the exercise and do not rush your cool down as your body needs time to return back to its resting state gradually to make sure you remain healthy after exercise. 

REMEMBER:

  • If you feel dizzy at all, stop exercising and rest before trying to continue
  • Get up slowly when transitioning from lying or sitting to standing

Joint replacement

After a joint replacement, be very careful not to aggravate or damage the joint by doing activities that are high impact. If you have abnormal pain or stiffness in the joint during exercise rest or 5 minutes and only continue if the pain/stiffness has subsided. Joint pain after having a joint replacement is likely to get better over time as your body begins to heal. Take things slowly if you have just had your operation and never go against the advice given to you by the hospital or your doctor. 

REMEMBER:

  • Avoid high impact activities
  • If you experience abnormal pain when exercising rest
  • Never go against the information given to you by the hospital or your doctor

Osteoarthritis 

With osteoarthritis it is always important that you warm up the affected area properly before starting exercise. Please refer to the warm up section of our website for more information on how to warm up properly. Medication for osteoarthritis can cause side effects such as dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea and drowsiness. If you do experience any dizziness or drowsiness when exercising stop and take a break for 5 minutes and only continue if the symptoms have subsided. If you feel like the affected area is starting to become inflamed when doing a certain exercise then stop that exercise and move on to the next one. 

REMEMBER:

  • Always warm up and cool down properly and as prescribed
  • If you feel dizzy at all, stop exercising and rest before trying to continue
  • Don’t be afraid to move on to a different exercise if the current one is hurting or aggravating your osteoarthritis.  

Osteoporosis

With osteoporosis you must be very careful with trip hazards so always check your exercise area before starting exercise. The medication for osteoporosis may include side effects such as muscle pain, dizziness and leg cramps. If you do experience any of these side effects during exercise you should stop and rest until the symptoms subside but if they don’t then you should stop exercising. Always ensure you are well hydrated before starting exercise to reduce the risk of muscle cramps. 

REMEMBER:

  • If you experience any medication side effects while exercising  you should rest until symptoms subside

Rheumatoid arthritis

It is important that if you are experiencing a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis that you avoid exercise, rest but try and maintain joint range of movement. It is best to wear supportive and shock absorbent footwear such as running shoes to avoid too much impact on your joints. Medication for rheumatoid arthritis can cause dizziness and shortness of breath. If you experience either of these symptoms during exercise rest for 5 minutes and only continue exercising if they subside.  

REMEMBER:

  • If you are experiencing a flare-up DO NOT exercise as this will make it worse
  • Try and wear supportive footwear 
  • If you feel dizzy at all, stop exercising and rest before trying to continue

Simple mechanical back pain

If you are suffering from simple mechanical back pain then you may have to accept that there may be some discomfort initially when exercising. Positively, over the course of a couple of weeks this discomfort should ease and then activities should become more comfortable. However, if you are doing and exercise or activity that is causing a lot of pain in the affected area then it is best to avoid doing this activity until the pain starts to subside over subsequent days. With simple mechanical back pain, the more you move the better it will get! If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis your should see your GP to check that your back pain is not linked to either of these diseases.

REMEMEBER:

  • Expect some initial discomfort when exercising
  • Don’t do any movements that cause a lot of pain in the affected area
  • The more activity you do the better

Stress, Depression and Anxiety

Some medications for stress, depression and anxiety can include side effects such as dizziness and fainting. Remember you can stop the exercise at any time so if you are experiencing some light headedness then you should stop exercising immediately and rest for 10 minutes. If the symptoms go away then you can continue exercising. If not, then discontinue exercising for that day.

REMEMBER:

  • If you feel dizzy at all, stop exercising and rest before trying to continue

Type 1 diabetes

With Type 1 diabetes it is very important that you check your blood sugar levels before during and after exercising. Test yourself; before the warm up, during the main session, after the cool down and one hour after you have finished exercising. If they are between 6-10 mmol/l then you can continue with the exercise that is planned for you. If your blood sugar levels are over this level then consider using insulin to bring them down to a healthier level for exercise. If you do need to use insulin then inject in a site that is not being used in that exercise session. If your blood sugar levels are below 4mmol/l then you should consider eating a snack in order to raise your blood sugar level to a more ideal level for exercise. During exercise you may experience hypoglycaemia. For this reason you should always have a snack or a carbohydrate drink with you when you exercise. If you feel that your blood sugar is getting low then you should stop exercising immediately and eat a snack that is high in sugar. After this don’t go back to exercising for that day. Always make sure you have snacks and insulin with you when you exercise. Avoid exercising late at night before you are about to sleep. You should always leave at least 3 hours between finishing exercise and sleeping.

REMEMEBER:

  • Always check your blood sugar before, during and after exercising
  • If you feel hypoglycaemic then stop exercising immediately, have a snack and discontinue exercise for the rest of the day. 
  • Leave at least 3 hours between finishing exercise and sleeping.

Type 2 diabetes

With type 2 diabetes you it is very important that you check your blood sugar levels before during and after exercising. Test yourself; before the warm up, during the main section, after the cool down and one hour after you have finished exercising. If they are between 6-10 mmol/l then you can continue with the exercise that is planned for you. If the your blood sugar levels are over this level then consider using insulin to bring them down to a healthier level for exercise. If you do need to use insulin then inject in a site that is not being used in that exercise session. If your blood sugar levels are below 4mmol/l then you should consider eating a snack in order to raise your blood sugar level to a more ideal level for exercise. You should attempt to schedule your exercise at the same time of day every day. Avoid exercising less than 3 hours before sleeping. 

REMEMEBR:

  • Always check your blood sugar before, during and after exercising
  • If you feel hypoglycaemic then stop exercising immediately, have a snack and discontinue exercise for the rest of the day. 
  • Leave at least 3 hours between finishing exercise and sleeping.