The CDC has recommended the practice of “social distancing” to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, many normally active individuals are no longer able to work or exercise outside of the home. These ideas for exercising at home can help you stay active and strong on your own.
Walking is a safe, low-impact activity that can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce stress. Likewise, unless you are walking with a large group of people it still follows the guidelines of social distancing.
If you aren’t currently used to walking for exercises be sure to start off slow. Because the recommended that seniors exercise an average of 20 minutes a day, try two ten minute intervals throughout the day. Once you can comfortably do this work up to 20 full minutes. If you can walk for 30 full minutes easily than you can increase the pace or distance.
If you’ve been too busy to plant some new flowerbeds or mow the lawn, it may be a good idea to get outside and work in the yard. Yard work typically requires enough activity to give the body a decent workout, and you will have a beautiful looking yard as well.
Lay down some mulch and trim some hedges, just be sure to not overdo it and use the proper body mechanics. For example, a modification for knee replacement patients would be to sit instead of kneel, or to use a knee pad to take the pressure off the joint.
There are countless ways to exercise at home with programs you can find online. Youtube has a plethora of exercise videos and you can also search for apps with exercise programs. Silver Sneakers provides a program with exercise classes for seniors and offers on demand online videos for you to watch at home. This program is also covered under most medicare advantage plans.
Be sure that any exercise program you follow online is safe for you to do with any medical conditions you have. Furthermore, stick with a program that aligns with your current fitness level so you don’t injure yourself.
If you have a swimming pool in your back yard or a community pool that doesn’t get very crowded than exercising in the pool might be right for you. Not only is swimming an excellent cardiovascular exercise- it also takes some weight off the joints and makes it easier to move.
Along with swimming you can do various strengthening exercises in the pool to simulate land exercises. Instead of just relaxing in the pool spend 20 minutes swimming, jogging, or doing strengthening exercises to improve your health.
Taking on spring cleaning or organizing your garage are tasks we rarely have time for. With extra time at home this month, you can keep your body moving by doing some deep cleaning or organizing items in your home.
Similar to doing yard work, when getting house work done it is important to not overdue it. Use modifications if you have difficulty squatting or kneeling by sitting on a stool or using knee pads. Mopping or vacuuming are particularly good activities to increase your heart rate and burn calories.
If you are used to more structured work out routines or get bored with single activities than try circuit training. Circuit training consists of multiple types of exercises done in reps of 10-20, then repeated in the cycle. You can also include cardiovascular exercise into the cycle. For instance, a circuit can include 10 minute walk, chair squats, bicep curls, toe raises, wall push ups, and step ups. When done 3 times, its adds up to 30 minutes of cardio and 30-60 reps of each strengthening exercise. Examples of exercises can be found here.
Obviously taking your dog for a walk is a great way to exercise, but there are other ways as well. Get outside if you can and play fetch with a ball or frisbee. Get moving while you teach your dog a new trick and keep him happy as well.
If you have an indoor pet such as a cat, you can play with chaser type toys, hide treats around the house, or have them chase you with a feather toy. With extra free time at home, consider building a new pet house, toy, or deep cleaning the pet space while burning some calories too.