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Let’s Get Physical – Exercise During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many from their hobbies, such as playing team sports or going hiking. Drastic changes in daily life, caused by social distancing and self-isolation measures, have the potential to influence both emotional and physical health. To combat this, staff and students at the University of Nottingham have helped to launch Quarantrain – online exercise sessions and information about how to stay healthy and active in isolation.

Students from HAN University in the Netherlands had the idea to create the interactive resource Quarantrain, and the University of Nottingham’s staff and students, along with four other universities across the globe helped bring the project to fruition. The University of Nottingham, the only UK institution involved in the project, is helping to develop content, provide admin and technical support. Twelve undergraduate students from the School of Medicine and international postgraduate physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation students have joined Dr Roger Kerry to act as QuaranTrainers.

Users of the website have access to exercise videos, including challenges and dance classes, in both English and Dutch, exercise inspiration and a blog which are all updated daily to keep up motivation. They also link users to reputable external fitness videos and information, such as the NHS Fitness Studio.

Quarantrain is focused on providing an evidence-based approach; to foster a community for trustworthy and reputable information, advice and support. As a global project, the team wanted to build a safe and welcoming community where language and culture are not barriers. To do so, they have support from musician health workers to develop a musical series surrounding inclusion and enjoyment.

Helping to support both emotional and physical wellbeing is a key focus for Quarantrain. They stress that telling people to exercise alone is not effective, that to bolster participation and enjoyment people need encouragement and a community.

If you want to join the community and use their free resources, you can do so here.

“Our main aim is to promote physical activity, which has known benefits for many physical and mental health condition, in terms of prevention and rehabilitation. Beyond this, we want to make people feel connected, and recognise that although we may all be physically isolated, we can still connect. The project extends beyond covid-19, and is concerned with isolation in general - covid-19 is giving us all a taste of what many people live with due to their social, physical, or mental state.”

Dr Roger Kerry, Associate Professor in the Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Nottingham.