This month in the Be Well Blog, we hear from our Cornwall Correspondent, Jonathan Woods, about the art of starting again after a set-back.

Jonathan lives with a life-limiting disease, and has found it hard to stay active during lockdown. But he’s determined to get active again, one step at a time.

This post is adapted from an article in this month’s Bugle. You can read the full article and all the other great content from the latest edition here.

A photo of Jonathan Woods, a man wearing an orange t-shirt and beige shorts and standing with a walking stick, smiling at the camera
Jonathan lives with a life-limiting disease which affects him both physically and mentally.

I used to be physically active every day, but, during lockdown I found it all too easy not to do anything and I’m struggling to get going again! I tell myself that it’s OK not to do anything and though I know full well the benefits of physical activity, I still don’t do it!

In the past being physically active with other people has been a way of increasing my commitment and forced me (out of loyalty) to be physically active when really I didn’t want to! It also forced me to communicate more clearly and to socialise – neither of which I do naturally!

A physiotherapist once explained to me that I shouldn’t be hard on myself, and that I shouldn’t “see” not being physically active as failure. In her view it was always “better to do something than nothing”.

I suspect that the best thing I could do to restart physical activity is to do a little at a time – say once a week to start with, and see how that goes before trying to do more.

And I also need to make my physical activity different this time around. This will force me to learn something new and interesting and make me extend myself. This should, in turn, also help prevent boredom.

I am sure I will find something new for me – it’s just a matter of making the time to find it, to be flexible and to be open to doing something that I hadn’t expected to do. I also know that I will need to make an effort and find the energy to get started. After which it is easier to do it again. What I really need is Be Well Cornwall!

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