The Coronavirus pandemic has completely transformed our day-to-day lives. Our homes became our new offices, classrooms, restaurants, and fitness studios. While we were all making these sudden adjustments to our routines, many found it difficult to keep up with their regular exercise routines. However, exercise is key to promoting the energy and strength we need to be productive and positive.
Exercise provides us with a boost of positivity, moments of clarity in thinking, and just a few minutes where our focus is on giving back to these bodies that do so much for us each day. Now that we are spending more time in our homes, here are some fun ways to make sure you are taking care of yourself while still keeping to many of the daily chores and activities you're already doing!
While picking up laundry around the house, keep your basket on the floor and do a few squats or lunges every time you bend down. Try changing up the type of squat or lunge every 10 repetitions or so.
These functional exercises are a great way to work on the biggest muscle groups in your body. Just be sure to keep your knees pointing in the same direction as your toes and do your best to keep your chest up each time you lunge and squat. There are so many variations—from normal air squats to wide-based plie squats, rear lunges to lateral lunges and even basic sit-stands… you’ll never get bored.
Before you sit down to do any of your other work, try a few sit to stands. See how many you can do in 30 seconds, but don’t go too fast - you wouldn’t want to strain yourself!
As you sit down to send those emails, plan your lists, or just get your work done, take the opportunity to sit as a chance to exercise.
We often adopt a forward head posture while sitting in our chairs, and although it feels right at first, it can lead to overstressed/overstrained muscles afterward. A simple change in our perspective on sitting can make it so that sitting promotes your healthiest posture. So, try some neck and chest stretches to get your body used to the proper sitting form.
Simple neck stretches can easily be done after a long day of built-up tension. Hold your neck within a comfortable range of motion for 10-30 seconds and feel those muscles loosen up a bit.
Pec stretches can be done by holding your hands behind your head, elbows to the side, and gently pushing your head back into your hands. Pec stretches are a great way to promote the strength of the neck muscles that help to hold your head up all day for you.
Taking your shoes off to practice lifting your arches is often overlooked, but it is so important for your foot health. It's also great to help ward off the most common foot ailments like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and bunions.
While keeping your foot on the ground, spread your toes wide, to counteract those shoes that hold them in so tightly all day. Try raising the arch of your foot off the ground, you can do this with your toes lifted or pushing into the ground. Doing this 10-20 times with a 5-second hold is a simple and easy way to make sure you’re investing time in yourself while working on the principles of motor control which help promote neural health.
Learning how to use all the muscles in your body, including the ones you’ve never tried before, can help to improve neuromuscular control, which is essential for balance and strength. These exercises are important for your body to learn and you should try to implement them into your daily routine. If you’re having trouble keeping up with these simple exercises, speak to a physical therapist who can help you increase your activity and teach you the proper form to get these workouts done.
I hope you find freedom in the fact that simple movements while you accomplish your daily tasks will add up to a healthier, happier life.