Staying Active at Home
Remaining active is critical to our health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines say that we should be doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and two strength sessions per week.
When it’s not possible to venture far from home, or you can’t access gyms, this can be difficult to achieve.
But there are ways to do it. Using a local park to cycle or run are two easy options that you can do whenever you want. If you don’t like running or cycling, just going for brisk walks counts towards your aerobic exercise minutes.
Maybe you have a flight of stairs at home? Walking up and down the stairs will get your heart rate up and legs burning. Put some music on so it’s easier to pass the time. Keep a log of the minutes you do so you can work towards your goal. Even if you don’t make 150 minutes in the week, see if you can beat the previous week!
What about the 2 strength sessions per week? Strength training is very important to ensure our muscles are strong and capable of doing the things we want our body to do. When we lose strength we become susceptible to conditions such as neck, shoulder, and back pain.
While it’s easy to do aerobic exercise, knowing which strength exercises to do, for how many sets, and for how many reps, is not as easy. Here are a couple of pointers:
- Choose 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group. The major muscle groups are your back, chest, core, and legs.
- Do 2-3 sets of each exercises for 10-15 reps, or if you prefer to time it, each set should last 45-90 seconds.
- Perform the exercise slowly. As a general rule, 3 seconds on the up phase and 3 seconds on the down phase will work well.
- Rest between each set for 45 seconds or longer for the same exercise. If you wish, you can cycle through a set of each exercise so you don’t need to rest as long.
- Pick a resistance that challenges you and causes fatigue. For some exercises this might be your bodyweight. For others, you might need small hand-held weights (or even bottles filled with water).
There are a variety of exercises that you can choose from to make up a good strength program. Which exercise is best may depend on your baseline strength. Performing the exercises with good technique is really important.
TrackActive Me provides video-based strength programs that can be done at home with only your body weight or light hand-held weights. There are programs for specific regions such as your shoulders, back, or legs. The intelligent Stay Strong and Healthy Program adapts with your feedback so you can create the perfect total body strengthening program for you. The programs are designed by physiotherapists to be safe and effective.
So being active at home is achievable, and will help you stay strong, healthy and pain-free.