Exercise for the Self Isolating

In the current state of Lock Down Britain, the fitter, healthier and younger members of the community can take their daily exercise outside the bounds of their home.  However, for the over 70’s and those with serious under lying health issues this is not possible.  For these people are in home isolation for at least 12 weeks.

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However, all is not lost because there are things that you can do.

There are a lot of exercises that you can do around your house and/or garden.  Most of these require no specialist equipment.

The easiest of these is to walk from one room to another then out into the garden.  If you have a large enough garden then, weather permitting, spend 30 minutes walking in the fresh air or as long as you feel comfortable with.

The next easiest one is to use the stairs or outdoor steps.  Either use these the climb to the top then descend or just use one step to do step-ups for your leg, hip and core muscles. Do this 10 times then repeat so that your other leg takes the lead.  Do this as many times as you feel comfortable with

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If walking is something that is not possible, then the following are a few simple exercises that you can do at home:

Hip Extention in Standing.  Hold onto a support with both hands.  Keeping your back straight, push you left leg as far back as you can, hold and return, do this 10 times.  Now repeat for the right leg.

Abduction in Standing.  Hold onto a support facing sideways. Stand on your leg closest to the support and lift the other leg out to the side.  Slowly lower and relax.  When doing this exercise do not lean over to the other side. Repeat this 10 times, then turn around and do the same for the other leg.

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Seated side bends. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, keeping one hand behind your head and the other reaching sideways towards the floor. Lean over as though you’re going to touch the floor, tightening the oblique muscles running along the side of your body in the process. Return to your initial position and repeat on the opposite side.

The Bridge. Lie flat on your back, keeping your knees bent and feet flat against the ground. Tighten your core, raising your hips until a straight line is formed between your knees and chest- do not arch your back. Hold for three breaths, then lower back down.

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The Superman. This movement strengthens your lower back and improves stability. Lie face down on the floor with arms outstretched in front of you. Raise your head, right arm and left leg in tandem about two inches, then lower and repeat on the opposite side.

Leg lifts. Work your lower abdominal muscles by lying flat on the floor with legs and feet relaxed. Contract your abs while raising one leg about 5 inches off the floor, holding for 3 counts. Repeat with the other leg.

Body squats, but do not go so low that your legs are parallel with the floor as this will put too much pressure on the knees.

Repeat each exercise just a few times to start with, slowly increasing the number of ‘reps’ as you gain strength.  However, at the first sign of any discomfort STOP and rest.

Online Exercise Programmes

Several well know fitness experts have started running daily exercise programmes. All of these are available on You Tube.

Joe Wicks runs a 9am PE Lesson for home schooled children.  This is ideal for everyone, especially those of limited mobility.

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OS Champion and fitness coach to the Celebrities, Prof Greg Whyte has started a series of daily inspirational videos.

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A personal favourite of mine and not one started because of the ‘Lock Down’ are the exercise videos run by Lucy Wyndham-Read.  Her exercises cover a wide range of abilities, so you are able to choose sometime appropriate to your needs.

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For further ideas, exercises and fun things to do to keep you occupied during the ‘Lock Down’, visit the new Get Outside Inside hub from the GetOutside Champion Team at the Ordnance Survey

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Whatever exercise you decide to do, please take it easy and safe if you have not exercised for a while.  Our aim is to survive Covid-19 not break ourselves exercising.


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