Exercising at Home
Now could not be a better time to get started exercising at home due to the current Covid-19 situation. I have always exercised at home as my schedule is usually limited, so time is of the essence. Even if you have a gym membership you can still supplement it with in-home routines for those days you do not have time to get to the gym.
Some suggestions are as follows:
- Get outside and take care of your lawn & garden. Yard work definitely qualifies as exercise. Pulling weeds, raking leaves, planting flowers, etc. puts your body in multiple positions which causes you to use multiple muscle groups. Make sure you warm up slowly by walking in place and do some light stretching, holding the stretches for 15 seconds.
- If the weather is bad, too hot, too cold you could develop an indoor program for yourself. You can go on the internet and find a free YouTube program that fits your needs no matter what age or level of fitness you are. I strongly recommend Yoga and Pilates routines for everyone as this increases core strength as well as flexibility. You do not have to engage in a long program. Even if you only have 10-20 minutes you can get in enough exercise to make a difference.
- Walking is still one of the safest effective aerobic exercises. Not all neighborhoods are conducive to this option. If you only end up doing this in your driveway or around your home that is fine. If you do not feel comfortable going outside develop a routine inside your home and keep track of your number of steps. A decent workout would consist of 5,000-6,000 steps. You can use the stairs inside your home if you have them for a more strenuous work out. This time of year, nothing is better than hearing the birds sing and smelling all the wonderful spring flowers. Drink a large glass of water prior to going on a walk and drink another when you get back. Don’t forget to put on your sunscreen!
- Strength exercises- Most people think of weight training when it comes to strength. Those who do not have a gym membership can easily purchase some light weights 10-15lbs and do all sorts of exercises for your upper body. If you cannot afford weights use items around your house. Be creative. You only need to use low weights with high repetitions to get some muscle tone! I have even recommended to some of my elderly patients to use a can of soup or beans and do arm, shoulder, and chest routines that you can get off the internet if you like. Basically do something rather than nothing at all. As noted previously, it does not need to be long. 10-20 minutes of this will be way more than you think.
Lastly, make sure you stretch when you are done. I believe in post exercise stretching – holding the stretch longer 30 seconds (and up to two minutes if you can). Once again, the internet has all kinds of instructions on how to stretch all your different muscles.
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