6 tips for improving your mobility at home

Caitlin CormackLifestyle

Lots of us are currently stuck at home. This means that we are possibly not as active as usual. It can be hard to be motivated to stay mobile whilst spending so much time indoors. I personally find it helpful to keep a regular exercise routine going if I have someone giving me some guidelines around what to do so I don’t have to think about it every day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated either, as there are some simple movements that you can do to keep yourself mobile and maintain your balance during this time of social distancing and self isolation. It is simply a matter of doing small things, but regularly.

I recommend setting a timer or some other sort of reminder to get up and move at least every 1-2 hours or to structure the routine around other things that you do regularly throughout the day- such as at breakfast, lunch and dinner (or if you’re like me anytime you have a cup of tea or snack which is much more frequent than three times a day).

Here is an example of a routine that you could follow to keep yourself mobile.

There is no need for any equipment except a chair. The chair can be used to assist with your balance if required but we are also going to use it for one of the exercises. Start in standing behind the chair.

  1. Calf raises

Hold onto the chair if you need to, or if it is safe to do so and you would like to challenge your balance further you can just do fingertip (or no) touch.

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, rise up onto your tiptoes as you count to 3, then lower back down as you count to 3.

Repeat 10-15 times.

  1. Calf stretch

Still standing with the chair in front of you- step one foot out behind you, straightening the knee.

Keep the knee bent with the leg that is in front.

Press through the back heel down into the floor- you should feel a stretch into the calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds- remember to breathe!!

  1. Squats

Again, hold onto the chair if you need to, have your feet hip-width apart.

Fold through the hips and knees lowering down into a squat, taking the weight back into your heels. Work into a range that feels comfortable.

It is important that your knees track over your toes and you stick your bottom out behind you, maintaining a flat back and not rounding through the shoulders. Press up through your heels.

Repeat 10-15 times.

  1. Leg floats out to the side

This requires a bit more balance, so hold onto the chair if you need to.

Get your balance on one leg as you float the other one out the side.

Slowly return it back to the midline.

For extra challenge try not to touch the foot back down to the floor between each rep.

Repeat 10-15 times each side.

  1. Sit to stand with the chair

Stand in front of the chair.

SLOWLY lower yourself down so that you are sitting on the chair. Count to three as you lower in order to keep the movement slow and controlled.

Slowly stand back up on the count of three. Press through your heels and think about squeezing into the base of your bottom as you stand back up.

To assist your balance, reach your arms out in front- to make it harder to place your hands onto your hips or arms behind you with your hands resting on the small of your back.

Repeat 10 times.

  1. Sitting in the chair – Upper body mobility

Seat yourself down in the chair. Sit up tall, think about lifting the rib cage off the pelvis and gently tucking the chin in to lengthen through the back of the neck.

Move through the following nice and slowly:

  • 5 arm circles forwards.
  • 5 arm circles backwards.
  • interlace your hands behind you and open through the front of the chest- take 3 deep breaths into the front of the chest.
  • interlace your hands out in front of you rounding through the upper back, nod the chin into chest- take 3 deep breaths into the back of the chest.
  • interlace the hands overhead as you sit tall- reach up to the ceiling and then lean across to one side to stretch out the opposite waist, and then lean to the opposite side to stretch out the waist.

Lower the arms down, do a few shoulder rolls and you are done.

So easy! But how much better do you feel now?!

That should take only 5-10 mins, the deep breathing at the end helps to re-energise and make you feel a bit more alive.

If you would like any more exercise routines to do at home, especially to address more specific concerns, please feel free to chat to one of our physios who can design a program especially for you.

I have found having a regular routine to do every day helps me to structure my day a bit (and also give me some ME TIME- so important as a Mum!).

If I don’t feel like doing it, I just tell myself that I ALWAYS feel better after a bit of movement – and you will to! Stay safe and well!

Caitlin PPP