Staying Healthy While Staying Home
Even though you’re spending more time at home than you’re used to, you can still sustain an amount of physical activity that’s part of a healthy lifestyle. Let’s go over several exercises that require no special equipment, are mild enough that most people can enjoy doing them, and are legitimately contributory to your strength, balance, and joint health.
Around 80 percent of adults experience low back pain sometime in their lifetime. In fact, in one large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing it in the last three months. To strengthen the muscles that help stabilize the spine and maintain its safe, neutral position, we can utilize an exercise called a “bird dog.” Start on all fours on the ground with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle directly under your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles and reach with your right hand straight ahead in line with your shoulder while simultaneously extending your left foot straight back in line with your hip. Keep your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor the whole time; this will be more challenging than it sounds! Here’s a video demonstration.
A mild but challenging exercise for your upper back and shoulders is called a wall slide. Simply stand with your head and low back against a wall, place your elbows and the backs of your hands against the wall with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, then slowly slide your hands straight up the wall without allowing your elbows and forearms to lose contact with it. Slide up and down the wall several times while maintaining this posture. You can see it in action here. If this proves difficult, try laying on the ground on your back. You might try this floor method with your knees bent at 90 degrees and feet held up if you also want to work on your core muscles as well.
One of the easiest but still very effective home exercises you can do for your neck is the simple head turn. Merely stand or sit with relaxed shoulders and slowly turn your head to one side until you feel a light stretch. Hold that position for a few seconds and then slowly turn the other direction.
With lower body movements you can keep your leg muscles active by practicing a knee-friendly sit-to-stand exercise. Simply stand in front of a stable chair with your feet as far apart as your hips. Slowly bend your knees and push your hips back until you make contact with the chair. Don’t collapse into it, you’ll want to maintain tension and hold for a couple of seconds if you can before standing up to the original position. You can see how it’s done here. If this is difficult, a simpler leg exercise without any knee bending is where you stand on one leg while holding onto a stable chair and then push one foot out to your side in a slow and controlled manner. You don’t need to go very high at all; just enough to feel some comfortable muscular contraction. See it in action here.
Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are your non-surgical back and joint pain specialists right here in Bradenton! We’re here to help the members of our Manatee and Sarasota County community live more active and fulfilling lives by maintaining and improving their overall health and fitness. Call us at (941) 264-1414 or reach us at our contact us page for more information on alleviating aches and how to move without pain. We can also be emailed at Info@PTDoctorsFL.com.