Daily exercise is vital for everyone’s general health and wellbeing. Even those who are housebound should engage in gentle exercise. Along with the physical benefits, it also promotes confidence and sound mental health. It is always advisable to check with a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise routine, but here are 7 exercises for the housebound that help maintain strength and energy. These exercises only require short repetitions, but people should never do more than what is comfortable.
Mild reaches towards the ceiling, front, back, and side work the muscles in the arm and provide a nice stretch. They involve extension of the arms away from the body and into an easy reach. Movements should be slow to avoid straining the back. This exercise can be done standing or in a chair.
Chair stands require a sturdy chair that is easy to manoeuvre out of. A person begins in sitting position then gradually stands up and sits back down onto the chair. Both hands can be used for added support. This movement helps legs stay toned and improves agility. Long term, it is one of the more effective exercises for the housebound.
Toe rises require a minimal amount of balance. They entail shifting the weight of the body onto the ball of the feet by raising the heels. It is recommended people use the back of a chair for support. This is a great exercise for the housebound that keeps ankles flexible and calves firm.
Arm curls can be performed sitting or standing. People are encouraged to use a very light weight while doing arm curls. If no weights are available, it is conventional to use a can of soup or bottle of water. Arm curls greatly improve strength within the biceps.
Dancing is fun and beneficial. It does not have to be strenuous and can include the simple act of taking small steps to a favourite song. Salsa is a growing dance trend even for those of limited mobility as it only requires a few steps forward and backward. Any type of dance can be performed sitting down or with the support of the back of a chair, making it a fantastic exercise for the housebound.
Wall push-ups strengthen the arms and shoulders. They require a person to face a wall with his or her arms pressed against it. In slow, moderate intervals, the person leans forward towards the wall then pushes the body back. It is not required to touch the wall to complete a push-up.
Leg lifts are a great exercise for the housebound because they promote stability and balance. They are normally done sitting down or standing upright using the back of a chair for support. Leg lifts do not have to be very high and movements should always be small and controlled to avoid strain.
If you are stuck at home yourself or you are a carer for someone who is, hopefully you can build these into a simple routine either weekly or daily. These exercises for the housebound will definitely get that circulation going.
Top Photo Credit: Julija Felajn
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