It's now 2021 and it looks like much will be the same regarding stay at home orders and gyms being closed. Many of our nation's elderly are fearful of leaving their home and choose to only do the bare essentials for out of home tasks. People are socially distancing themselves away from friends and family which is leading to a rise in depression, drug use and suicides in our nation. So many people are just staying at home and not doing many active things, and they are paying a price. Without activity and exercise we become weak and our bodies begin to fail. we are prone to more sickness and disease, more prone to anxiety and depression and our muscles become quickly fatigued when we attempt to do something.
I have heard so many stories of people sustaining falls at their homes because their legs are too weak to carry them. People are falling and breaking their shoulders and their hips. When this happens more serious medical conditions can set in during recovery of the broken bone such as pneumonia, cardiac issues and blood clots.
The point is we need to stay active and continue to get exercise even though we are at home more. So finding ways to do so and keep motivated is crucial during this time!
Here are some ways that I personally use to keep fit at the house. We don't need a gym to stay fit and get the daily necessary exercise. People who have property and outdoor chores that need to be done are at an advantage during this time as they will have a continual flow of things to do to stay active. However most people do not have this advantage and need to find other ways to keep their bodies moving.
Take a walk a daily walk: Try and aim for 20-30 minute in duration and keep moving. Get the cardiovascular system working. Make sure to work on taking large strides and also swing your arms. Swinging the arms encourages speed, spinal motion and flexibility.
Get an exercise video and do it at least 3 times per week: There are so many home exercise videos to watch and do ranging from very difficult to simple. So you have to know your current fitness level to some degree to make this choice. If you have any balance problems you may consider getting a chair yoga video or a basic Tai Chi video.
Get a Yoga Mat: Learn some basic floor exercises such as cat to camel, upward dog, bridges and crunches. There are several exercises that you can do on a yoga mat and plenty to pick up on YouTube. The process of getting on and off the floor can be exercise itself and should be done daily. It strengthens your legs and works your core. Plus if you do sustain a fall you will have the know how and capability to get back up.
Get Exercise Bands: They can come in tubes or bands. You can tie a knot in them and place them into a closed door. Close the door on the band in front of the knot. Once it is anchored you can do several upper body exercises. I recommend doing rowing, chest press, pull downs, biceps curls and triceps press.
Balance Exercises: Make sure you do these in a corner of the house. If you don't have access to a corner due to furniture in the way, try a kitchen counter corner. Stand in the corner facing away from the corner and place a chair in front of you; this way you are protected on all side. Then practice standing with your feet together, your feet in line with each other and if able on one foot. Try to hold these positions for 30-60 seconds each and switch sides.
Sit to Stands: Find a chair that is firm, not a recliner or coach. Sit on it, then practice standing up and with each stand up try and straighten your spine as much as you can. Practice doing this 8-15 times. Another thing to pay attention to is keeping the feet straight and knees aligned right over the foot; do not let the knees crash inward. When you sit down, try and lower yourself slowly and controlled. This exercise will build strength to your quads, gluteals and core.