Staying Healthy Indoors

For our older clients and especially those who normally go to the gym what do you do now they have had to close their doors🤔

Now my gyms shut what can I do for exercise?

Well, on the surface it seems not too difficult. There is a lot of generic advice about how you grab a few cans and do some exercise. Whilst that's better than nothing, we really need to factor in the reality of being stuck indoors, possibly having no garden and limited opportunities to walk, either social or physical. Having said that the exercises in this blog will help anybody who is stuck indoors at the moment.

So the next two blogs are going to cover what we can do and how we can maximise the limited opportunities we have to exercise at home in the absence of specific equipment. In this first blog we look at some resistance exercises that will almost certainly need to be done and in the next blog we take a look at cardiovascular exercise 👍

I am going to be doing so much more sitting than normal, that cant be good for me?

So, it's the nature of being stuck indoors and especially if you have no garden, which create the real issue. At the heart of that statement is the fact that it means there is likely to be more siting down than is normal for a really active person and with that come some very specific issues 🧐

  1. When we sit we shorten the muscles at the front of the hips called the hip flexors.

  2. When we sit down too much our spinal and pelvic stabilisers become weak

  3. When 1 & 2 are combined together we enter an unpleasant situation where our pelvis begins to tilt forward which is followed by adopting what we refer to as a 'swayback posture' where we now compensate by leaning back and re compensate by pushing our head and shoulders Forward 😖

This posture is the culprit of nearly every case of back, neck and shoulder pain that we see in the clinic. We are expecting to see lots of these postures once we are all permitted to return to normal daily life.

What are the essential exercises I should do?

So whatever other home exercises or exercise routines you choose to follow and there many out there at the moment, make sure you include these exercises too:

Slow walk with and without shoes: This one is pretty self explanatory and its works everything from your feet, ankles, knees, hips and core muscles. The idea of slowing down works on the basis of 'overload', making the muscles work significantly harder and thus gaining strength. In this case during a normal speed walk each part of the foot and lower body is only going though each loading position for hundredths of a second. this way they are going though it for several seconds = overload 👍

This exercise has an added bonus: It aids balance through increasing proprioceptive feedback.

Stand for neural reset: If we hold any position for too long our central nervous system starts to reset these muscle lengths and positions as 'normal'. This happens pretty quickly too, just twenty minutes 😲. But that's easy to deal with.......Move! You don't need to get up and walk around, just move out of the position you are in. At a computer thats as quick as standing up and sitting straight back down...whilst still typing, all you need to do is break the neurological reset.

The next few exercises are all to do with preventing the neck and shoulders coming forward. You can do then all or mix the up day by day:

Prone Cobra: This is great for preventing the head and shoulders coming forward.

Starting position: Finishing Position:

Cobra against wall: This is a nice alternative if getting on and off the floor is difficult. For this we spilt the exercise into two separate actions:

  1. Place a pillow or cushion behind your head and press back into it. Do not press by tilting your head back or your chin down, just press straight backwards.

  2. Place a pillow or cushion behind your back, turn your palm outwards than squeeze your shoulder blades together, trying to wrap then around the pillow or cushion

External Rotation with Can: These are also great for preventing the shoulders coming forward

Starting position: Finishing position: