Sunday 29th March 2020
Welcome to
A-Z of services
Text size

Physical activity and mental health

Sub heading

24 March - Total Wellbeing Luton service update

We wanted to provide an update on how we’re responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and how we are ensuring we continue to provide the best possible service to you at this difficult time.

We're following the latest government advice and have already taken a range of steps to maintain our service to you. Please visit the Total Wellbeing website for details of changes to our services.

Physical activity

Whether you're self-isolating or staying at home for longer periods as advised by the government, it's essential to get enough movement and exercise in your day.

Advice from Sport England on keeping active

Being active in a way that is right for you can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and just generally make you feel better.
You can still go outside for a walk, a run or a cycle, if:
  • you're well enough
  • you follow the latest official advice on social distancing - which means staying more than two metres from others
  • you follow the advice on general hygiene
It's important that you stick stringently to the guidance.
  • The Luton Hat Trail comprised of two different tours of the town. Originally guided tours but could be done by individuals
  • Upper Lea Valley Walk is an easy self-guided stroll from the source of the River Lea following the course of the river into the green areas of the town and town centre continuing into the Bedfordshire countryside to the borough boundary at lower Harpenden road and beyond
  • Marsh Farm cycle network and walking routes
  • Lets Go! Website provides a list of some walking/cycling routes around Luton
Sport England have advised if you’re going outside to get fresh air and to get active that you do it locally, staying close to your home, and avoiding places where it may be hard to follow the guidelines;
If you don't think that's possible, and with us all now spending more time at home, there's a wealth of free online content to help you get active.
You can also share or find ideas online using #StayInWorkOuton social media.
  • Couch to 5k: a nine week programme of podcasts, consisting of three runs a week, the programme gradually builds up intensity and provides a choice of coaches
  • Active 10 app: from the NHS is a good way to monitor and gradually increase brisk walking levels over time. It’s available to download via the App Store and Google Play
  • This girl can has put together a useful list of exercises to try at home, from table top press ups to living room wall sits –great for women and men alikehas put together a useful list of exercises to try at home, from table top press ups to living room wall sits –great for women and men alike
  • You can follow home workout videos from the NHS which includes a strengthening workout and a 10-min cardio workoutwhich includes a strengthening workout and a 10-min cardio workoutwhich includes a strengthening workout and a 10-min cardio workoutwhich includes a strengthening workout and a 10-min cardio workout
  • NHS seated exercise routines for older people and those with limited mobilityroutines for older people and those with limited mobility
  • 10 today: a series of 10 minute workout videos for older people
  • There are a number of websites with online home workouts that you can watch and do whenever, some for free or with a free trial period. For example, Fitness Blenderhas over 500 free workout videos
  • NHS 10-minute at home workout ideas
  • Active Luton - free 30 minute Facebook live workouts and yoga sessions Facebook live and YouTube
More resources Sport England

Getting active with the kids

Get the whole family moving with these fun and free resources:
  • This Girl Can have teamed up with Disney to create dance routines to help you get active with your kids
  • Change4Life has created some Disney themed indoor games and activities, including a Toy Story 4 inspired find Forky game that and fun and designed to get the kids moving.
  • BBC Supermovers fun online curriculum linked resources originally designed to promote active classrooms but could be used at home to aid homework provide an activity break with singing and dancing routines for children to join in with across different key stages
  • Change4Life have accessible activities for children and young people with disabilities
  • Free yoga workouts for children iMoves dance for free resourcesdance for free resources
  • Cosmickids

Mental health

Staying at home and not going out for long periods for time, or at all if you are self-isolating or shielding, is a new normal we all need to adopt to help contain the spread of Covid-19.
If you're feeling anxious about your loved ones or your own health and wellbeing, some of the information below can help.

Mental health and well-being for adults

If you are feeling isolated or anxious, here are some resources to help you look after your mental wellbeing:
  • - Coronavirus and your wellbeing
  • NHS - Looking after your mental health
  • Try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters
  • Read some hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS
  • Some great video clips for young people from RISE Above public health England
  • Calm is a popular mindfulness app for sleep, meditation and relaxation

Anxiety, Relaxation and Mindfulness Apps for kids

  • Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame: this app is for kids of all ages.
    This is a helpful and educational app that you can let your students use when they are struggling with a particular problem.
    There is also a parent’s section, so you can use the app along with your students and guide them through the process
  • Settle Your Glitter: this is an effective emotional-regulation tool for kids.
    It allows them to note down their feelings and emotions and focus on their breathing.
    This is best for kids who struggle with hyperactivity or impulsivity
  • Mandala Memory: this is a card-flipping game which is appropriate for kids of all ages.
    The challenge is that the patterns look a lot like each other, which means that more focus and attention are needed in order to correctly match the cards
  • Super Stretch Yoga: it offers a kid-friendly guide to 12 different yoga poses.
    Each pose is introduced by a short animation and a live video of kids attempting to replicate the pose.
    Your students can even take pictures of themselves doing the poses and these pictures are automatically saved on your phone.
    Yoga is one of the most common ways to practice mindfulness, and with this app, your students can start this way of life at a young age
  • Breathing bubbles: this app is an emotional-regulation tool that helps kids release the tension and worries and focus on happy thoughts.
    This is most apt for kids who are going through a stressful situation or for kids who do not know how to label his emotions.
    The app lets kids name the emotion, determine its intensity, and then focus on a digital bubble that contains a user-created worry or joy
  • DreamyKid: the app includes kid-friendly guided visualisations, affirmations and meditations.
    Kids can listen to music that help in relaxation and falling asleep, and even focusing for school
  • Scape:it is an innovative app that makes ambient music by combining shapes, colours, textures, and backgrounds into a visual palette.
    Each shape contains musical elements designed to behave differently depending on where and when they are used.
    It allows your students to explore relationships between visual and sonic elements and experience tranquil and meditative listening moments
  • Ameka Love Journey to Crystal Mountain: it is a storybook about a little girl on an adventure.
    The girl is in search for magical stones, dragons, and practices meditation. Its main lesson is for kids to be independent and for them to develop their self-management skills
  • 5 Minute Escapes it is a simple app with visuals and relaxing music.
    You could use this during the first 5 minutes of your class just so you could keep your students focused throughout the rest of the class
  • Stop, Breathe, and Think: it is one of the most interactive meditation apps.
    Kids can earn stickers just by using the apps more frequently. This is more appropriate for young teens
  • Smiling Mind: it is an app for kids who often experience anxiety or stress.
    The app offers psychologist developed mindfulness meditation activities.
    Each session starts with a few questions that will help the kids focus and bring their attention to the activity.
    The steps of meditation are simple and easy to follow. Consistent use could benefit the kids to the extent that they will be more focused in school

Working with our partners

Active Luton are making and promoting videos for exercising at home. There is currently a series of live exercise sessions, which will be followed by other sessions from the healthy lifestyles team including:
  • Cooking, healthy eating and staying hydrated
  • Possibility of a mindfulness session to be delivered by Jenny Crisp?
  • A timetable of Facebook live classes is being finalised starting with Yoga, with involvement from Total Wellbeing
  • Active Luton’s school games organiser is providing daily/weekly challenges for children in schools
  • Active Luton are working with a company called Create PE who have provided home access free of charge to their resources for children which Active Luton is promoting
  • Team Beds and Luton Facebook page is posting videos of home exercises and have a dedicated section of their website about getting active at home
Culture Trust is developing a programme of activity to include arts/crafts/reading activities

Other ideas

  • Neighbourhood Window Walk : in the US communities are coming together by getting children to draw/paint either a heart, rainbow or place teddies (based on the bear hunt story book) and place in windows of their houses.
    Children are then encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood searching for artwork, taking photos and keeping a tally and posting their discoveries on social media/Facebook group.
    Encourages families to get outside whilst still maintaining social distancing.
    Could we replicate this and make it local to Luton and start a trend on socials?
  • Scavenger hunts: Paint rocks and place them around the town.
    Once found that person takes a photo and posts it on Facebook and then can move to different location.
    Lots of towns/villages have their own individual pages but there’s also a nation-wide public Facebook group: love on the rocks - making smiles which has over 96,000 members.
    Link with heritage walks and trails?
  • Photo challenges: to make walks more exciting create a list of items for people to photograph around the town e.g collect photos of a bird, a flower, something with a tail etc.
  • Promote doing the Daily mile at home which would typically be done at school, either a 1 mile jog or brisk walk with your children.
    Could we tag this into activities that local Luton schools are providing for their students whilst at home so something all Luton students can be involved in towards achieving a grand total amount of miles across Luton.
  • Noel Fielding is running an art club competition on Twitter and Facebook for children to enter search #artclub @noel_fielding.
    We could promote this on our socials as a wellbeing activity.
  • Dublin zoo are live streaming their animal enclosures for a bit of fun and escape to promote positive wellbeing whilst people are stuck indoors

Latest updates

For the latest updates, nationally visit the GOV.UK and locally, see our coronavirus page.

Latest coronavirus updates


Contact us
rating button