Staying physically and mentally active during the COVID-19 pandemic
Updated 13 July 2020.
Although many restrictions have been lifted in the UK and we're seeing a gradual return to 'normal', social interaction still carries many limitations, while those who remain vulnerable to COVID-19 continue to shield.
Staying physically and mentally stimulated, therefore, is just as important as it was at the start of lock-down. Below you'll find various ways for you and your family to feel more energised, alert and productive during this time. Along with traditional pursuits, there is a great deal of online and virtual activities that you can participate in, often for free, from the comfort of your own home or garden.
Looking to emerge from lockdown with more than just an overgrown hairdo? If you’ve binged on all your favourite TV programmes, made it to the bottom of your reading list or are feeling stir crazy why not take this time to learn something new?
Learn to cook
Britain's first celebrity chef, and widely considered to be a national treasure, Delia Smith comes to the saviour of anyone unsure or nervous of cooking, as well as more confident cooks who want to hone their skills, with her free online cookery school.
Learn to paint or draw
Drawspace offers free online lessons for beginners to advanced artists. YouTube channel WowArt, is also an easy resource with its 30-min tutorials using household items like cotton buds and toothbrushes!
Learn a language
Duolingo is a free to download, language learning app that you can spend as little as 10 minutes a day perfecting your Spanish, French, German, Japanese or even Latin. There are 30 languages to choose from and your plan is personalised to your ability across speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Fit for life
Taking the world of fitness and nutrition by storm, Joe Wicks - otherwise known as The Body Coach - has fast become a household name as children and adults of all ages and abilities flock to participate in his free online exercise classes.
See here a selection of routines suitable for kids, adults seeking a gentler pace as well as those who really like to work up a sweat!
- 10 Minute Home Chair Workout For Seniors
- 10 Minute Home Workout For Seniors
- P.E with Joe" | Daily LIVE workouts for kids
- 7 Days of Sweat Challenge 2020
NHS fitness studio
Take your pick from 24 instructor led videos across aerobic exercise, strength and resistance, pilates and yoga. You'll also find work-outs suitable for new mums, such as postnatal yoga, and pilates for those who suffer with back pain. Perhaps you'd really like to get the blood pumping with 'belly dancing for beginners'!
Avoid “Cabin Fever” with this gentle wellness routine recommended by doctors for those with CKD – view and print here.
Tours you can take on your couch
Being in lockdown has given many of us the time for contemplation. Time to question the old and ask what’s the meaning of life? Our ancestors thought the same and they left lots of inspiring monuments to keep us thinking, not least is Stonehenge which you can now walk around from the safety of your home.
British Museum, London
This iconic museum allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artefacts on the museum’s virtual tour.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.
For many more free national and international virtual tours and exhibitions please see here.
You might not be able to talk to the animals but you can have fun watching them at feeding time, at play, or just going about their daily lives.
At Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, there's a video webcam of the flamingos and updating photo webcams of lemurs, giraffes and penguins.
Edinburgh Zoo has a variety of webcams set up for virtual visitors to watch Yang Guang the panda, as well as penguins, tigers and koalas.
Dublin Zoo cameras capture the movements of the elephants, penguins, giraffes, zebras and rhinos.
Wherever they are in the world you can be in the 'same room' as family and friends and still remain safe at home - With many free video messaging apps at your disposal, why not hold an online quiz, game of pictionary or even a virtual dinner party! Try any of these easy to install apps: Skype | Teams | Wire | Houseparty | Zoom | Viber
Watch live theatre at home
As theatres remain in the dark, the theatre community continues to give us the opportunity to stream select productions for free. Featuring melodic moments, showstopping solos and high notes from the history books, The Shows Must Go On streams Andrew Lloyd Webber's biggest all time musicals. While National Theatre at Home releases a new play every Thursday at 7pm, free to view for a week. See here for what's on.
20 fun ways to entertain children
With many schools still closed or only partly open, keeping children of all ages entertained is a challenge. Don’t despair – there are plenty of fun, low-cost and free activities you can have up your sleeve. Here are our top tips and ideas on how to keep them busy, calm and happy during this testing time.
Discover the magic of Harry Potter
The British library has decided to make its exhibit "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" available online so everyone magic-born and muggle alike get the chance to experience it during the lockdown.
Audible has made hundreds of audiobooks for children absolutely free. Normally the service will set you back a monthly subscription, but now you just need to head to this page and start listening ‒ you don’t even need to set up a username.
Receive updates on the coronavirus and other news, guides and tips from PKD Charity
*If your doctor or kidney specialist has advised which types (or levels) of exercise are right for you, stick within their guidance. If exercising outdoors, follow government directions to limit exercise to once per day, staying at least 2 metres from others. We recommend you choose a quiet time of day and avoid narrow paths where it is hard to keep your distance. Avoid higher risk sporting activities to reduce the chances of requiring hospital care due to injury at a time when the NHS is stretched.