7 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Weather the Storm
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
We hope that you and your family are safe, healthy and coping with the stress of this sh*t storm. It's not easy being quarantined from our friends and loved ones as this can easily lead to depression, stress and anxiety. However, it is imperative that we not let this get the best of us!
Yes, we’ve all heard the saying, “we will get through this”. I’m sure we will too, but how?
Well to start, one thing that we can do is control the controllable’s. So, what are the things you can control? Certainly, having a healthy mind and body is one of the most important ways to survive this mess and this we can absolutely control!
Now more than ever it is incredibly important to start/continue to exercise because it will absolutely help keep your immune system strong, reduce stress, and just make you feel so much better mentally and physically.
As your lighthouse in this storm, we want to share with you some simple things you can do at home to help with aforementioned and help you take control during this mess. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be hard, exhausting or painful to be effective and provide results.
1) Proper Standing Posture Set up – if you have been sitting a lot more lately, this is really important. Make sure you get up every hour and do this for a few minutes.
How to Stand Straight
Standing with feet underneath hips and toes straight
Squeeze glutes to level the pelvis (Neutral Spine)
Take a deep breath and blow out air as we shrink wrap the core/spine
Externally rotate thumbs to set your shoulder blades back and down
HOLD POSITION WHILE PERFORMING GOOD DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
2) Breathe - diaphragmatic breathing is extremely relaxing. Many of us lead stress-filled lives, creating a lot of tension which can then lead to more serious health problems. Do we even need to mention how important this one is right now?
Learn to breathe with the diaphragm:
Allow the stomach to slightly flare out to the sides
Keep your shoulders and upper chest remain motionless
Allow breath to flow continuously, with no pause allowed between the breaths, either between inhalation and exhalation, or between exhalation and inhalation.
3) Stretch - Increasing your flexibility can have a major positive impact on your overall health and fitness. Sitting is considered the “new smoking” so get up and move around. This will keep your muscles and tendons from shortening and losing pliability. Try these stretches to help increase your flexibility:
4) Active Straight Leg Raises – This exercise will not only help stretch your hamstrings but it will also teach you how to use your core muscles properly and strengthen them as well. It’s also a very easy exercise to perform:
Lay on your back with your low back pressed against the floor (tilt your belt buckle towards your nose) to engage the core muscles, legs straight and together, toes touching and pointed to ceiling.
With core tight raise one leg as high as possible, in the air, while the other stays on the ground. Keep both legs as straight as possible without hip raising off the ground
As leg is lowered core must remain engaged so that the low back remains pressed against the floor and doesn’t arch up off the floor - repeat 10-15x - switch legs
5)Hip Bridges – When we sit for extended periods of time, the Glute (butt) muscles tend to “fall asleep”. When this happens, we can start to develop stress on the low back especially when we go to stand up. Weak glutes can also lead to poor posture which can cause the spine, joints and other soft tissues to experience an overwhelming amount stress. Here’s how to do a Hip Bridge:
Lay on your back with your low back pressed against the floor (tilt your belt buckle towards your nose) to engage the core muscles, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Make sure shins are vertical to ceiling with glutes and core tight
To lift your hips, push your heels into the floor and extend hips while squeezing glutes (Do Not arch your low back)
Lower and repeat 10-15x
6) Planks - One of my favorite ways to learn to develop full body strength though the entire body. By following steps one through four you will naturally lead up to this one. As you perform this exercise make sure you breathe while keeping your core and glutes tight.
Start on forearms with elbows directly underneath the shoulder and on knees
Squeeze your arm pits slightly to help engage all the shoulder and trunk muscles.
From there extend your legs one at a time and keep your feet and knees together.
Head, shoulders, spine, hips and ankles should be aligned to form a perfect plank position
Hold position as long as possible with good form and good diaphragmatic breathing
7) Walk – Brisk walking for 30-60 minutes can rapidly improve cardiovascular fitness and have positive effects on risk factors such as stress, anxiety, hypertension, high blood sugar as well as reduce chronic inflammation. Not to mention being outside in the sun will increase your Vitamin D intake which is incredibly important for a strong immune system.