A women doing push-ups and exercising at home during COVID-19
Sports / Orthopedic

Home Exercises to Get You Through Social Distancing

Apr 17 2020

Group fitness classes may be cancelled, but your workout routine doesn’t have to be! In fact, it’s more important now to take time to exercise and strengthen your body. Working out on a regular basis can help strengthen your immune system and boost your mood.

However, despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders, do you still feel there isn’t enough time in the day for a full workout? Are you struggling to find ways to exercise at home without equipment?

Try taking 15 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening to complete simple exercises. Frequent activity, even in small bursts, can improve your mood and productivity throughout the day.

Here are a few more tips to help you start moving at home.

Step up!

Use your indoor or outdoor stairs as your own personal track. Run up and down them for a set amount of time, then take a short break and continue again.

You can also simply step up on one step and back down again. Vary your speed and length of time for a greater workout. For a more advanced exercise, step up on two steps. This will strengthen your lower body and boost your cardio.

Step out!

Lunges are an excellent workout to get your legs moving after you’ve been sitting around for a long time during the day.

“Lunging is a great exercise that addresses strength and flexibility in a functional way,” says Jackie Sanders, DPT, PT, RCAA level 1 running coach, a physical therapist at Mercy Health – Wellington Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, Anderson.

Consider doing 10 lunges every 30 minutes or on the hour. Try the forward lunge, forward lunge with arm drivers, glute activation lunge or side lunge as demonstrated by the American Council on Exercise. It’s recommended you begin with a single leg stand before graduating to directional lunges.

Push up!

Push-ups are a great, equipment-free way to strengthen your arms, shoulders and core. There’s a variety of ways to execute a push-up, but it all begins with a good foundation. Take some time to focus on your form.

  • Begin in a full plank position with your arms extended, palms flat and just below shoulder level, feet together or about 12 inches apart, resting on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your back straight and your weight evenly distributed.
  • Look down and lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees, and then push back up to complete one rep. Try to take two seconds to go down and one second to go up.

An easy modification for a standard push-up is to perform it standing at a 45-degree angle incline. Place your hands on a countertop or wall and perform a push-up while standing.

You can also use your stairs as a platform for push-ups. Begin by placing your hands on the third step and see how low you can go. As your strength increases overtime, try the second step and then the bottom step.

Other equipment-free arm exercises include the standing shoulder extension, spider walks and inchworms.

Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.

Call our 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline at 888-700-9011 for questions and guidance.

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