WRITTEN BY: David Kandel, PT, OCS, CSCS
Courtesy of: Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center
The benefits of exercise to support physical and mental wellness as many of us continue to stay home cannot be overstated. Regular moderate-intensity physical activity has been shown to improve immune function, elevate mood, and reduce stress and anxiety, among other benefits. While your favorite gym or yoga studio may have reopened, or be in the process of reopening, the safest place to be is still in your home. There are many things you can do at home or in your neighborhood to stay fit.
If you have any pre-existing cardiovascular, lung/breathing, or pain conditions, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Here are some ideas to get you moving at home or in the neighborhood:
- Put on your favorite music and dance or walk around the house. Yes, it is possible to get in 10,000 steps a day in the comfort of your own home or apartment.
- Go for a walk or jog around your neighborhood. Be sure to follow physical distancing guidelines and as the weather warms up, wear sunscreen and a hat.
- Walk up and downstairs.
- Go for a bike ride. Remember to wear your helmet.
- Do an exercise video: YouTube has an array of free videos that range from easy to very challenging for aerobic exercise, strength training, yoga, kickboxing and Pilates, and more. Explore these options and exercise when it is convenient for you.
- Light gardening or yard work can burn 200-400 calories per hour.
- Try these simple stretching and strengthening exercises, which can be found on YouTube:
Stretches: Hold for at least 20 seconds and repeat each stretch 3-5 times.
Strengthening: Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise
- Push-ups against a wall (easiest), counter, or on the floor (hardest)
- Squats or sit-to-stand squats with a sturdy chair that will not slide
- Shoulder blade pinch
- Heel and toe raises
The Department of Health and Human Services has general exercise guidelines for youth, adults and older adults. A table containing these recommendations can be found on its website.
Stay safe, stay active, and stay healthy.