Build a healthy lifestyle


Stay active at home

'Wellbeing: we're onside'

As part of our 'Wellbeing: we're onside' campaign with AFC Bournemouth football club, the club's defender and Welsh international, Chris Mepham, is showing you how to improve your (football!) dribbling skills:




We're all now spending a lot more time at home than we might like, which is why staying as physically active as possible is more important than ever.

Official advice is to stay at home, and to only go outside for one form of exercise a day, to shop for basic necessities, if there's a medical reason and travelling to and from essential work.

Sport England's Join the Movement is all about giving people ideas about how to be physically active while still following the government advice on staying at home and social distancing - #StayInWorkOut.

They’ve pulled together a selection of online exercise platforms with on demand fitness content who either provide free access or have teamed up with Sport England to offer extended trials.

Whether you're looking for Disney dancing or chair-based exercise, take a look at this list of free content and activities, covering:

  • General fitness
  • With the kids
  • Yoga and pilates
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • Mindfulness
  • If you have a disability or long-term health condition

Get active outdoors

  • Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active, if you have some space and are able to follow the government guidelines on social distancing
  • Couch to 5k is a nine-week programme of podcasts that does exactly what it says on the tin - taking you from the couch to running 5kms
  • The Active 10 app, from the NHS, is a great way to help you monitor and gradually increase your brisk walking levels over time.

LiveWell Dorset's Five Ways Challenge

Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we're focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.

Be Active

Get up, get moving, enjoy a hobby - activity boosts mood. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration on how to stay active whether you are in self-isolation or social distancing.

P.E. with Joe!

Join Joe Wicks at 9am Monday - Friday for a free workout. It's aimed at kids, but is great fun for everyone - the workouts are suitable for all ages.

You don't need any equipment, just tune in to Joe's You Tube channel for a 30 minute fun workout.


Yoga focusses on strength, flexibility and breathing, and offers a range of health benefits. Regular practice may help people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains and depression and stress.

This 45 minute video is suitable for all fitness levels. The instructor, Li, uses the Vinyasa flow style of yoga, which places strong emphasis on connecting the breath with the yoga poses. Li describes this as "meditation in motion".

Many of you may have enjoyed the free local summer Park Yoga sessions over the last few years. During the pandemic the team at Park Yoga have launched virtual yoga sessions in place of their planned weekly events - watch their pilot video.

Join in every Sunday from 9.30am from 3 May - live on Facebook and YouTube. All you need is a yoga mat, towel or blanket.

Try Tai Chi

Tai Chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. It has health benefits for all ages and studies have shown it can help older people reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility and increase muscle strength in the legs.

Here are some links to exercises to start you off:

10 Today - physical activity for older adults

10 Today is an exercise programme designed to get older adults moving at home and features 10 x 10 minute exercise routines from Sport England to get you stretching and moving.

NHS apps for fitness

Public Health England's One You Active 10 Walk Tracker

Add more regular bursts of brisk walking to your daily routine with activity tracking, encouragement and achievable milestones.

Download free from the App Store or Google Play

Public Health England's One You Couch to 5K

Get off the couch and running 5K in just 9 weeks. Grab your trainers and follow the step-by-step audio instructions.

Download free from the App Store or Google Play

Learn about sleeping better

Whether you’ve had sleeping problems before COVID-19 or if they’ve only come on recently, there are concrete steps that you can take to improve your sleep during this global pandemic.

The National Sleep Foundation looks at the many challenges you may face at the moment, sleep is so important right now and offers suggestions to help you get those needed hours of rest.

You can also download the following leaflets, which contain lots of practical tips:

Eat healthily and make mealtimes fun!

Cook-along week with BNF (22 - 26 June)

Get involved in the 7 challenges and cook-along with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) this week!

The seven health challenges are supported by a range of evidence-based, easy to access resources for you and activities for your children:

  1. Eat well
  2. Eat more wholegrains
  3. Have 5 A DAY
  4. Drink plenty
  5. Get active
  6. Be mind kind - help a friend or a neighbour
  7. Make a change

At 10am and 2pm, Monday - Friday BNF are hosting two cooking sessions. There's a live session at 10am and a different pre-recorded session at 2pm. Follow the cook-alongs on YouTube - if you have children, why not get them involved! Don't worry if you're unable to join the live sessions as they can be viewed retrospectively.

Links to the cook-alongs and copies of the recipes can be accessed here.

Stuck for ideas at mealtimes?

Download Public Health England's FREE One You Easy Meals app. It's a great way to eat foods that are healthier for you. Search recipes by meal time and create shopping lists.

Whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, puddings, lunchboxes or barbeques and picnics, Change4Life is bursting with suggestions!

Download their Smart Recipes app, with 160 quick and tasty meal ideas to satisfy even the fussiest eaters, or mix it up at mealtimes by signing up to Meal Mixer and receive quick, easy and cheap meal ideas each week.

Healthy meals from limited ingredients (added 31/03/20)

The British Nutrition Foundation site has tips about how you can put healthy eating into practice.

Vitamin D supplement recommended during stay at home measures

Since we're being advised to stay at home as much as possible, this could result in some people not getting enough vitamin D from sunshine exposure - the body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors during the spring and summer.

Existing public health advice is that it you're not going outdoors often, you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D and it's therefore recommended that whilst the stay at home measures are in place, everyone follows this advice (including children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and older people).

Please note that this advice is not about preventing COVID-19 or mitigating its effects - vitamin D is needed to keep bones and muscles healthy. Supplements can be bought at most pharmacies and supermarkets, but please don't buy more than you need.

How food can affect mood

Making the right choices can be confusing, but evidence suggest that what we eat may affect the way we feel as well as our physical health.

Mind explores the relationship between what you eat and how you feel, and how improving your diet may help to:

  • improve your mood
  • give you more energy
  • help you think more clearly

FREE British Nutrition Foundation online training for lockdown learning (expires 04.05.20)

To help with online learning and CPD at this time, a range of BNF online training courses are available free of charge between Monday, 20 April - Monday 4 May 2020. Courses include An introduction to healthy earing and nutrition, Keeping well at work, and many more - some for the general public, others for health professionals - see the full range and register here.

Support for home learning

Food a fact of life classroom (FFL, part of the British Nutrition Foundation) has over 157 activities and ideas made available to support home learning, from early years through to secondary pupils. Between 30 March - 1 September 2020 the FFL will be adding activity ideas and resources to support remote learning at home.

Practise relaxation, meditation and mindfulness

My Dorset Mind mindfulness website

Dorset Mind have created a new website so that you can relax in the county's beauty spots without risking social contact.

The My Dorset Mind website is free to use and can be viewed on any device, including your Smart TV.

Simply choose a view, the sounds you'd like to hear - and enjoy relaxing mindful techniques that will help you escape to your favourite part of the county.

LiveWell Dorset's Five Ways Challenge

Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we're focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.

Take Notice

Slow down, pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, senses and the world around you. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration on how to feel more connected with the world around us.

FREE Smiling Mind mindfulness app

Smiling Mind has been developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life. You can practice your daily meditation and mindfulness exercises from any device. The app includes 'Thrive Inside', a special initiative to help you remain inspired, stay connected and foster good mental habits during the Coronavirus crisis.

You can download Smiling Mind from the App Store or Google Play.

Resources for the spirit

Holistic care is concerned with the whole person and includes not only a person’s physical health but also their social, emotional and spiritual health and well being.

Many people finid great comfort and strength in spirituality and we hope these spiritual resources will be helpful.

Poem of the week

A regular feature of this page is Poem of the week, which we hope you'll find uplifting.  Look out for a new poem, sourced by the Trust's Chaplain each week.


Webinars and podcasts to support your wellbeing

Our Steps2Wellbeing Service, in collaboration with the Dorset Recovery Service, have produced a series of excellent Coping with Covid webinars to help you feel less isolated and more connected:

Coming soon ... Mindfulness

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

The Church of England has also produced a series of podcasts to support Mental Health Awareness Week featuring seven of the 13 reflections on Supporting Good Mental Health. You can also download a pdf of all 13 reflections.

More spiritual resources

Meditation on the beauty of trees

Take a few moments to breathe more deeply and slowly in the company of trees with the poem 'Breathe' by Daniel J Beaudry.

Video created by our Chaplain, the Rev Mike Oates.


This page reflects the wide variety of faiths, spiritual practices and worldviews held by our staff. The Trust affirms none above another and seeks to support people to find the resources they need. Here is a list of national links the Chaplaincy has been made aware of as having been of value to staff and patients.


  • The Church of England has set up a Daily Hope phone line offering music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services. The line, which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044, has been set up particularly to help those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions.
  • Local Prayer Line supported by the YMCA and Faithworks Wessex. Call 08081 963686, Monday - Sunday, 7am - 10pm for someone to pray with or to ask for a prayer.



Ramadan 2020 will take place between 23/24 April and 23/24 May (depending on moon sightings) and will prove a very different experience for Muslims due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pack contains guidelines and advice, signposting resources to help Muslims in Britain make the most of the blessed month, as well as friends, neighbours and colleagues of Muslims. Young Muslims coping with mental health problems during Ramadan can find help here.

Reflection and prayers for lockdown

These reflections and prayers will be updated each week with fresh inspiration sourced by the Trust's Chaplain.

Quit smoking and advice on reducing harm for people who use drugs and alcohol


In England smoking kills 200 people every day. Every day of continued smoking costs an average of 4-6 hours of life expectancy

Read this #Quit for COVID information.

Why quit now?

• Quitting smoking as soon as possible and for good, is more important than ever before in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) complications

• Data from China shows that smokers with infections have a higher risk of COVID-19 complications than non-smokers

More info and resources from:

Harm reduction if you use alcohol or drugs


If you are drinking heavily you are at increased risk of the health impacts of COVID-19 and self-isolation may lead some people to drink more alcohol than usual.

However, please note that it may be dangerous to stop drinking suddenly if you are dependent on alcohol. This advice sheet provides guidance on gradual alcohol self-reduction at home, wellbeing advice and links to support and helplines.


COVID-19 causes flu-like symptoms and can affect your lungs and breathing. Drugs like heroin, methadone and valium can also affect your breathing and make you more vulnerable to infection and fatal overdose.

Guidance on how to stay safe can be found in this advice sheet, which also has links to relevant support and helplines. Again, if you are dependent on any drugs it is NOT safe to suddenly withdraw.

Learn_more_about_COVID_19button.png Do_what_matters_to_you_button.png Enhance_your_emotional_wellbeing_button.png Mental health and wellbeing advice