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Let’s keep moving.
GENTLE EXERCISES TO DO AT HOME
Always warm up marching for a few minutes first. Play your favourite music for motivation.
Perform each exercise as shown for 1 set (e.g 12 reps). To progress, add a set each week until you’re doing a total of 3 sets of each exercise with 30 seconds of rest in between each set. Do this workout one or two non-consecutive days a week, taking at least one day of rest between workouts. If you do feel very sore, give yourself extra rest days as needed and back off during the next workout.
Chair Squat – Practicing this move with good form will help you build strength in the hips, glutes, and thighs.
- Stand in front of a chair with feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Bend the knees. Send the hips back and the arms straight out in front of you to balance.
- Sit all the way down and, as soon as you make contact with the chair, stand back up.
- Try to stand up without rocking back or using momentum. Instead, put the weight on your heels and push into the floor to stand up.
- Repeat for 12 reps.
Side Leg Lifts – This move improves your balance as well as strengthening both legs. The standing leg has to use more stabilizer muscles to keep your body stable and the lifting leg helps you build strength in the hips and glutes.
- Stand sideways to a chair or wall for support and tie a resistance band around your ankles (optional). You can also use light ankle weights as well, 1 to 5 pounds.
- Shift the weight into the right leg and lift the left leg out to the side, foot flexed and hips, knees and feet in alignment. The toes should be facing the front of the room.
- Try to lift the leg without tilting at the torso—hold the torso upright as you lift the leg a few inches off the ground.
- Lower back down and repeat for 12 reps on each leg.
Step Ups – This exercise strengthens the muscles that support the knee. If you have knee problems or this bothers you, you might want to skip this exercise.
- You can do this exercise on a staircase with rails or on a step if you have one.
- If you’re on a staircase, stand at the bottom step and step up with your right foot. Bring your left foot up onto the stair next to your right and then step back down on the floor (hold onto a rail if you need to).
- Keep your right foot on the step the entire time as you step up and down with the left foot.
- Do 12 reps on that foot and then switch, keeping your left foot on the step as you step up with the right leg.
- Repeat for 1 set of 12 reps on each leg.
Hamstring Curls – This move works the back of the legs, muscles that also support the knees.
- Stand in front of a chair and hold onto it for balance if you need to.
- Bend your right knee, bringing your foot up behind you, kind of like you’re kicking your own butt.
- Keep the right knee pointing towards the floor and right next to your left knee.
- Slowly lower back down and repeat for 12 reps on each leg.
Wall Push Up – Pushups work the upper body and this version allows you to gradually ease into pushups using a wall rather than doing them on the floor.
- Stand a few feet away from a wall or stair rail tilt forward, back flat and abs in.
- Place the hands on the wall at chest level, wider than the shoulders.
- Pull the abs in and, keeping back straight, bend elbows and lower body towards the wall until elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Push back to start and repeat.
- The further away from the wall you are, the harder the exercise. Make sure you don’t sag in the middle. Keep the abs tight and the back flat.
Repeat for 12 reps
Chest Stretch – Sit upright and away from the back of the chair. Pull your shoulders back and down. Extend your arms out to the side or hold the chair behind.
Gently push your chest forward and up until you feel a stretch across your chest.
Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
Upper body twist – Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor, cross your arms and reach for your shoulders.
Without moving your hips, turn your upper body to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat on the right side.
Do 5 times on each side.
Hip Marching – Sit upright and do not lean on the back of the chair. Hold on to the sides of the chair.
Lift your left leg with your knee bent as far as is comfortable. Place your foot down with control.
Repeat with the opposite leg.
Do 5 lifts with each leg
Ankle Stretch – Sit upright, hold on to the side of the chair and straighten your left leg with your foot off the floor.
With your leg straight and raised, point your toes away from you.
Point your toes back towards you.
Try 2 sets of 5 stretches with each foot.