Most of us are spending significantly more time at home these days. In my personal experience, the initial abrupt change in daily life equated to me sitting for way too long of periods on a poor ergonomic yet very cozy couch. I was using the extra time to do cool stuff like read, take online harmonica lessons, and practice Spanish on Duolingo, but it didn’t take long to start feeling it in my back. It only took two days of this to aggravate an old back injury that causes burning pain to go down my leg. I quickly realized I needed to take my own advice that I give all the time as a physical therapist - keep moving!
We would all benefit from incorporating more movement throughout our day in both structured and unstructured ways. It’s not only vital for physical health, but also for mental and emotional health which is being tested a little more during this pandemic. There are an endless ways to fit in small little exercises with normal, daily tasks. I often suggest for patients to do heel and toe raises while brushing teeth, mini-squats while dicing vegetables, practice standing on one leg while washing the dishes, etc. Use the counter as a makeshift standing desk for computer work or reading to break up sitting time. My favorite way to include more movement is a good old fashion dance party. Put some tunes on and dance around the house!
In addition to the unstructured exercise, try to set aside time everyday to go outside and walk. Walking is one of the best things you can do for your physical health. Plus the fresh air, birds chirping, and beautiful scenery make it all the better. Although we can’t physically be together, several places are offering virtual group exercise classes including our very own Evolve Fitness Studios. Join your beloved trainers for pilates, yoga, and strength training. Virtual classes give us a sense of community that is very much needed right now.
To sum it all up - move, move, move! Stay active and stay healthy.
Jill Grider, DPT, OCS
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Staszak Physical Therapy & Wellness Center
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