Daily exercise is vital for everyone’s general health and wellbeing. Even those who are housebound should engage in gentle exercise. Along with the physical benefits, it also promotes confidence and sound mental health. It is always advisable to check with a healthcare professional before beginning any exercise routine, but here are 7 exercises for the housebound that help maintain strength and energy. These exercises only require short repetitions, but people should never do more than what is comfortable.
Walking: Start with walking on the spot for 2 minutes and progress to 5 minutes. Walk briskly around the house for five minutes on a designated route. Increase the walking time weekly.
Wall Push Ups: Place hands on the wall at shoulder height. Feet flat on the floor about 2 feet away. Keep legs straight. Don’t bend at hips. Bend arms to move hips forward. Start with 5 repetitions and progress to 15.
Chair Stand: Chair stands require a sturdy chair that is easy to manoeuvre out of. A person begins in sitting position then gradually stands up and sits back down onto the chair. Both hands can be used for added support. This movement helps legs stay toned and improves agility. Long term, it is one of the more effective exercises for the housebound.
Toe Rises: Toe rises require a minimal amount of balance. They entail shifting the weight of the body onto the ball of the feet by raising the heels. It is recommended people use the back of a chair for support. This is a great exercise for the housebound that keeps ankles flexible and calves firm.
Toe Taps: With your hands lightly resting on a firm surface and using alternate feet, raise your toes towards your shin and lower – start for 2 minutes and progress to 5. Do the same exercise without holding on to a firm surface.
Leg Lifts: Holding lightly to a firm surface with one hand, raise the leg on the free side (with straight knee) to the front and down again for five repetitions. Lift the leg to the side and down again for five repetitions. Be sure to do the same on both sides and progress to fifteen repetitions with each leg.
Arm Curls: Arm curls can be performed sitting or standing. People are encouraged to use a very light weight while doing arm curls. If no weights are available, it is conventional to use a can of soup or bottle of water. Arm curls greatly improve strength within the biceps.
Dance: Dancing is fun and beneficial. It does not have to be strenuous and can include the simple act of taking small steps to a favourite song. Salsa is a growing dance trend even for those of limited mobility as it only requires a few steps forward and backward. Any type of dance can be performed sitting down or with the support of the back of a chair, making it a fantastic exercise for the housebound.