Physiotherapy exercises at home during COVID-19 lock down stay


Worrying about missing Gyms during COVID-19 home stay? Bothered about not having any workout equipment at home? Learn through this article some basic exercises recommended by the physiotherapist that can be performed at home during these lock down days.

Exercises are useful to build the muscle power, provide the strength, increase the muscle mass and reduce the risk of developing deadly diseases. In this article, we are going to learn some basic exercises that anyone can do at home without any equipment/ instruments.

Breathing Exercise

Breathing Exercise is one of the most vital exercises that need to be done compulsorily before starting any other exercise regime. It can be done both in sitting and lying positions. While sitting, keep your spine straight with your shoulder in most relaxed manner. Take a deep breath through nose. Try to hold the breath for 5 to 10 counts. Now exhale through mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound. This type of breathing is called "pursed lip breathing". Repeat the same for 5 to 6 times. The same can be done in lying position as well. However, the only difference is that, while lying, you should keep both the legs bent to 90 degree so as to reduce pressure on abdomen. While lying, you should keep one of your hands on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage, so as to feel the movement of your diaphragm.

Benefits:
  1. Breathing exercise will definitely improves your lung capacity and reduces anxiety.
  2. If you practice breathing exercise regularly and in correct format, then you will definitely experience a greater range of motion while exercising.
  3. You will be enthusiastic to do more exercises in a limited period of time, because your body is being fueled by oxygen.

Skipping

One of the easiest ways to start your exercise regime after breathing exercise is by doing skipping. Yes! you have read it right! Don't laugh! Skipping is not just for kids, do you know? It can do wonders in maintaining the shape and structure of your abdominal and calf muscles . When you do ten minutes of skipping, it means this effort is approximately equivalent to running one kilometer for 6 minutes. One of the greatest uses of skipping is that , it is a full body workout. It utilizes all parts of your body including legs, arms, shoulders, abdomen and what not! Another benefits of skipping is that, it is a great strategy in increasing the lower limb muscle tone. You can call skipping rope as a great tool to achieve weight loss, it burns out the calories and shed fat, thus reducing weight. Jumping improves your ankle mobility and strengthens both upper and lower limb muscles as well. The speed and agility of your body is also improved. Recent study assessed on skipping ropes showed a positive influence on pulmonary function by enhancing the lung and vital capacities.

Some tips:
  1. While skipping, make sure not to move your arms.
  2. Move only your wrist in circular motion, so that your rope rotates in same circular plane as the wrist does.
  3. Also, ensure that you should not jump too high, as it will increase the muscle tension.
  4. Keep your elbows close to your body sides as you rotate the rope.
  5. Ensure that the movement should come from the wrists and forearms and not from shoulders.
  6. If you have heart problem, high blood pressure, bone injury or if you are recovering from any surgical injury consult your doctor and then proceed.




Brisk Walking

Yes! another important and most easy exercise that you can do at home is Brisk Walking. Even though walking speed may differ from one person to another, a normal individual can walk up to 20 minutes per day at the starting phase and gradually increase the count as the days pass on. Studies showed that, the risk of early death can be minimized by as much as 30 percent with a brisk 20-minute walk each day. Walking can help you to build stamina and thereby restoring your energy levels. Even though you are aware of various benefits of brisk walking, I wish to highlight some important advantage that every person should be conscious of.

Brisk walking can-
  1. Reduce stroke, risk of cardiovascular failure, premature death.
  2. Boost immunity, burn calories which in turn reduce obesity and related disease
  3. lower the sugar level in body thereby reducing the risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus
  4. Promote bone health
  5. Improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.

Some tips:
  1. Always try to wear supportive and comfortable shoes or footwear during brisk walk.
  2. Try to wear sunscreen and a hat especially when you are walking in sunny places.
  3. Make sure that you should land with your heels as the first contact to the ground and not the toes.
  4. While walking try to use alternate foot and hand movement at a time. i.e when you move your left leg, move your right arm and when you move your left arm, move your right leg.
  5. Ensure not to use mobile phone while walking

Wall pushups

Start this exercise by standing in front of a wall with 1-2 feet distance away. Now slowly raise your arms and place your palms on the wall. Make sure that your fingertips should point up. Keeping your legs static, bend your elbows, and bring your chest and chin closer to the wall. This is your starting position. Now take a deep breath, exhale, and push the wall until your elbows are slightly bent, and your chest and chin are away from the wall. Now Inhale and go back to the starting position. Do this exercise 5 to 7 times.

Benefits:
  1. It is a strengthening exercise especially for upper body muscles , abdominal muscles and some lower limb muscles.
  2. It improves your whole body's aesthetic
  3. Researchers discovered that pushups will increase testosterone production level
  4. It helps to create balance and stability
  5. It improves your heart muscles




Wall Squatting

Squatting strengthens the core muscles of lower body and hip. Since it involves large muscles in the body, calories can be burnt by doing this simple exercise. There is no age limit for squatting. Even if you have Ankylosing Spondylitis , Osteoarthritis of hip and knee joint, Spondylosis of hip and shoulder, your physiotherapist will prescribe this exercise since this strengthens your weak muscles.

Steps to follow while squatting:
  1. To do squatting, first you should stand with your back against a wall. Keep your feet slightly apart.
  2. Ensure that your heels are approximately 18 inches away from wall.
  3. Now sit down or "squat" slowly as much as you can.
  4. Be in this position for few seconds and slowly raise and come to standing position.
  5. While squatting keep your abdominal muscles tight and make sure that your back is pressed flat against the wall.

Benefits:
  1. Useful for muscle building
  2. It is a multi joint strengthening exercise as it involves quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves
  3. Improves postures and increases mobility
  4. Improves circulation as it increases the blood flow to the muscles and tissues thereby reducing the cellulitis
  5. It also helps in digestion by improving the efficiency of the small intestine.

Hip Bridging

Also called as pelvic bridge exercise, it is a closed chain weight bearing exercise regime where your legs are in constant contact with the ground. This exercise is very much beneficial to low back pain persons as it involves stretching the muscles like Gluteus, Hamstring, internal oblique, external oblique, and erector spinae muscles.

Lie on your back with your arms facing upwards. Bend both knees to 90 degree. Now gently raise your hip and upper back. Make sure your lower half of the body is still in touch with the floor. Stay in this position for about 2 to 4 seconds and slowly return to your starting portion. Repeat this exercise for 10 to 12 counts.

Benefits:
  1. Helps in reducing low back pain
  2. Straightens the core muscles by strengthening your abdomen muscles and thus improves your waist line
  3. Helps to control your pelvic muscles
  4. Improves balance
  5. Researches revealed that hip bridging will help to increase proprioception of the muscle.




Lunging Exercise

A lunge is a position of the human body where one leg is positioned forward with knee bent while the other leg is positioned behind. Let us see how to perform lunging exercise in a simple manner. Step forward with one leg. Be sure to keep your forward knee above your ankle. Your knee should never extend past your ankle. Once you're stable in position, slowly lift your back heel off the floor. Keep lifting until you form a straight line from your back knee to your hip. Slowly tighten your abdominal muscles. This will help keep your back straight as you move into a lunging position.

Benefits:
  1. Straightens the core muscles and thus improves your waist line
  2. Improves overall fitness and enhances athletic performance.
  3. Burns out excessive fatty tissue
  4. Maintains the muscle tone


Hope now you have gained clear idea on how to do simple exercises in home during the lock down periods. If these tips are not clear enough to understand the concept, you may get help from videos which are available in internet. By maintaining constant fitness, one can prevent or fight any disease and stay healthy. Thus fitness plays a major role in health aspect. So follow the above basic fitness exercises and stay safe. Let us fight against the deadly disease circulating all over the world.


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