Manyof us fell out of love with exercise during the last lockdown as we were cooped up during a cold winter and a very wet May, new research has revealed.
nlike the first lockdown, which coincided with a glorious spring in 2020 which helped encourage us to put on the walking shoes, we struggled to find the motivation to clock up a daily workout this time round.
The findings emerged from research by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) which found enthusiasm for exercise in the last lockdown slackened.
Dublin physiotherapist Jenny Branigan said the zest for exercise waned in the last lockdown compared to the first “where it was a bit more of a novelty and everyone was in the spirit of being more active”.
“The weather had not been conducive to outdoor exercise with 10 times the level of rain this May compared to May 2020.
“Many are working longer hours from home as their commute has been absorbed into the work day – instead of it being used as a way to exercise and do another hobby.
“Sleep has been affected by being less active overall and ongoing levels of anxiety.
“We are seeing people, with an injury or pain, feeling like having an injury is the worst thing ever, instead of being able to put it in perspective as something to deal with.
“When people are fatigued, it’s harder to cope with being injured.”
It comes as the nation’s gyms opened their doors for the first time yesterday, with some taking indoor classes to the sunny outdoors in a nearby park.
The ISCP conducted a survey of over 1,000 people as part of its examination of the effects of Long Covid and its ongoing lingering effects on their patients.
They found the last lockdown appeared to have had a significant impact in particular on the 18-24 age group, affecting their mental and physical health.
Findings show that Covid-19 restrictions have had a notable impact on mental health generally, with almost six in 10 people saying they felt more fed-up and almost one in two experiencing more stress.
High numbers reported they had disrupted sleep with large proportions reporting they felt tired, anxious, low and restless, with a third saying they were confused and uncertain.
People also reported more physical symptoms, with a third complaining of joint or muscle pain and nearly a quarter having more headaches. One in six were experiencing general weakness and feeling faint, with others highlighting tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.
Those over 55 were more resilient and had the most robust response to the restrictions physically and mentally. The ISCP’s findings found Dubliners most affected mentally by the lockdown, with feelings of being fed-up, stressed and low.
People living in Connacht/Ulster were better able to roll with the punches. Many of their scores are below the national average, with Munster coming second compared to Dubliners with most scores above the average.
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