The Pain Exchange

Exercise during Covid-19

Welcome to PEX exercise blog – we want to stay in contact and help keep you fit and well in every way.

We would love your thoughts and any resources you are already using and finding helpful.

Why not try a daily exercise routine.  Gentle exercises performed in a comfortable range, will help to maintain body health and flexibility


!.Start with a  breathing exercise.

Breathe in deeply but slowly through the nose and out through the mouth, imagine breathing into the bottom of the lungs, the back of the lungs and the top of your lungs.  1 breath into each area.

2. Get the heart and lungs ready.

March on the spot for 1 min

3. Practice Balance

Standing on 1 leg for 1 minute

 – try at least 10 secs  at one time and see how quickly it takes you to manage 30 secs x2.  Holding on to start with is fine as we want you to be safe.  You could challenge a friend to do it with you and see you gets to manage it first.  

If you can already do it try with your eyes closed 

4. Warm up the spinal joints 

Roll downs 

– starting with head to chest and then rolling down to touch your toes.  Try to keep weight across the middle of the foot and bend your knees when you need to.  Once down breathe in and out x2 and then slowly roll back up, keep range of motion comfortable and do not exercise through pain. keep movement slow and controlled.

Follow this with arm elevation with or without standing on tiptoes to give yourself a good stretch.

Do these x2-3

Side flexion

 – best done in front of a mirror so you can make sure you keep your pelvis straight and not twist.  Elevate arm and bend to the opposite side so you feel a stretch.  Breathe in and out x2 and repeat on the other side.  


Remember with strength exercises; stop repetitions when you sense that the muscles are tired, aching, trembling or movement no longer feels smooth and easy.

1. Heel raises approx  x10 -20 holding on to a wall or chair/work surface. 

2. Sit to stand approx x5 to 10 from a dining or kitchen chair


sit on the chair and rotate slowly side to side remembering to breathe in and out as you do so x2 each way.


Wall  press ups approx x10.

 Press heels into the ground as this will help pull in your tummy and stop your hips falling forward.  Your body should stay straight.

Floor exercises for lower limb and trunk strength

Lie on your back Knees bent up Bridge / Roll ups

 – tilt your pelvis gently into the floor and lift bottom and then roll up lower back to upper back,segment by segment of the spine.  When you reach your shoulders breathe in and out and then slowly roll back down again. Approx 8-10 repetitions

Knee rolling side to side.  Moving from the waist x5 each way slowly breathing in and out as you do it. keep your movement slow and controlled.


Relaxation techniques are a useful way to help reduce stress and anxiety.  To allow your body to rest and be in the moment.  May be take time to reflect on your day being grateful, being sad, remembering something funny.  It is good for all of us to put time aside at least once a day for this type of reflection.  

There are various apps you can use and you might wish to explore some of these like calm or headspace.  Reviews are mixed which suggests that they work for some but not all.

You could try the relaxation below as a starting point

Lie on the floor comfortably on in bed or even just sitting.  

Start by breathing slowly in and out. 

 People suggest you should breathe out for longer than you breathe in.  Say breathe in for 5 sec and out for 7secs.  

Do this for a minute or two just listening to your breath and feeling your chest rise and fall.  If you start to wonder bring yourself back to your breathing.

Then do a body scan.

  Is there any tension? Any pain? Allow yourself to think about that area for a moment of two.  Accept it is there.

Then start at the bottom and work your way up your body.  Tensing each muscles group as you go for 5 secs as hard as you can and then let go until you feel the tension release and the limb feels loose.  

Start with the feet

 – pull up foot and toes towards you and then point away.  Let the feet relax

Tense the thigh muscles and feel the tension and then the relaxation as you  let go.

Tighten your bottom muscles and then let go

Pull your shoulder blades back towards the floor and then let go

Pull your shoulders up towards your ears and let go

Push your head gently into the pillow and then relax.

Now do another body scan

 – is your body relaxed.  Has your pain changed? Are you feeling rested against the floor or back of the chair?

Breathe in and out again slowly – Can you breathe in for longer and out for longer 

And then take a walk or get in to your car and travel to a place you like and has happy memories for you. 

- Think about the things you see and people you pass.  What do you hear.  

If my father cant sleep he does the journey to Pembrokeshire starting at getting into the car and going through each part of the journey – he very rarely gets there!

I try and walk the cliff path or sit on St Davids head looking out to sea and visualising the birds and the waves and the sounds I here around me.

Just a couple of ideas to try and allow your body and mind to switch off from things that may be worrying you and concentrate the mind on one particularly thing.