Doing exercise at home isn’t ideal for everyone, but it might be our only choice at the moment. It could be the perfect time to become more active when we have more time on our hands and zero social events. My Mom used to say “Life is too short to vacuum”, the housework will always be there, try and utilise your time and look at different exercise options. my only caveat is; don’t overdo it! I learnt this the hard way and I am guilty of overdoing it myself recently.
Every weekday morning I have been doing a P.E. class with my son and following sessions from Joe Wicks, the Body Coach. In 6 weeks I have had a touch of tendonitis in my ankle and then hip pain from too many squats! Ouch! I know, I should know better and luckily I’ve done some rehab at home and am currently pain free (look out for my next blogpost on home rehab!) Now, I adapt the exercises to suit me and my body (no more frog hops across the lounge!). The mental boost from exercising in the morning with my 4 year old is worth it, but I have to listen to my body and be careful. The first challenge is picking something you will like or hopefully enjoy. A good start is beginners Pilates or Yoga. These exercises involve minimal equipment and it is low impact. It will give you a good base of strength and flexibility to try other things later on such as strength training or circuit training to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
My advice in a nutshell is:
- Join a class online – Nearly all local instructors are offering online classes for Pilates or yoga, doing 1-1s if you can is a better idea for beginners or those with old injuries so the instructor can correct your technique.
- Wear the right clothes and footwear – obvious I know, but being comfortable and supporting your feet and ankles will help prevent nasty things like plantar fasciitis.
- Adapt the exercise to suit your ability. If following a class online or DVD, make it easier if needed. For example, do press ups from your knees but keep your back straight. Do slower movements or reduce the range of movement in some cases to make it easier to start with. Form is more important than intensity or number of repetitions.
- Take rest days – Muscles repair and recover when at rest, give your body a chance to benefit from the exercise and prevent overuse injuries.
- Don’t do too much too soon – Increase the intensity gradually and keep good technique and posture.
- Avoid high impact if not used to it. This is where we pick up tendonitis issues and our knee and hip joints can suffer.
- Use a mirror – If you have a full length mirror, this can help you keep an eye on your posture and technique, don’t let your shoulders creep up around your ears when lifting your arms or your knees knock togther doing a squat.
- Be careful of your surroundings – elbowing furniture or tripping over rugs is not advised!
- If you pick up an injury, ask for help – we are here to help you back to fitness and are just a phone call away even if you can’t come into clinic yet.
- Warm up/cool down/stretch – My best advice here is mobilise your joints slowly and stretch out your hip flexors (think gentle lunge position) We all sit too much, so releasing the front of your body and activating your Glutes (bum muscles) will prevent injury and aid performance.
- Decide what time of day suits you – are you a morning person or better in the evening? Fit it in wherever you can. Nobody is coming to visit, so as soon as my 1 year old goes down for his morning nap, I do what I can and I always feel better for it!
Getting out for a walk is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental wellbeing. We are lucky to have Sutton Park on our doorstep and it is definitely keeping us all sane!
We look forward to seeing you all soon!