Text size:

Sheltering Arms Blog

Easy Ways to Move More

climbing-stairs

Posted on: April 8, 2020 by Jenny Lankford

By: Debbie Marchese, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. DN.

Now that we are sheltered in place, it’s easy to spend more time sitting while watching TV, working on the computer, doing homework or participating in conference calls. This may contribute to over-stressed muscles due to poor postural alignment.

The average sedentary time for an American is 9-10 hours each day, and this was before the COVID-19 outbreak. Research has shown that if we sit less and move more, we live longer. Now is the time to pick up something that can be easily incorporated into your daily schedule. The main thing is that you stay moving more than you sit for your overall health. If you perform physical activity, remember to stay hydrated and to take frequent breaks every hour.

  1. Connect virtually. Talk to your family members instead of emailing or texting them. Walk around the house while you talk on the phone.
  2. Identify virtual fitness buddies. Partner up with friends, family members or colleagues or join a Facebook group to make physical activity a group effort and hold each other accountable.
  3. Get up and move around more often. Try standing up during conference calls or setting your cell phone alarm once each hour for a 30-second stretch and five minutes of standing.
  4. Move around or do some exercises like sit to stands while watching TV.
  5. Walk and take the stairs when you can. Park at the back of the parking lot and climb the stairs to get in some extra steps.
  6. Evaluate your work set up while you are at home and make sure it’s ergonomically efficient. Check your head, shoulder and hip alignment to make sure they are in a straight line. You could also purchase a sit-to-stand desk to decrease blood pressure, back pain and blood sugar.
  7. Garden or take on a house project. Use special tools to decrease your time bent over. Many stores now carry ergonomic friendly tools that can be purchased online to decrease stress on your hands, backs and knees. Using knee pads are also helpful.
  8. Start a daily walking regime. Take a walk after each meal to lower blood sugars immediately following a meal. At first, try walking only 15 minutes on level surfaces, depending on your baseline physical fitness and then progress slowly until you are able to walk for 30-60 min – this is excellent for your heart and joints! If you have allergies, remember the pollen count is typically highest in the morning and during warm, dry, windy weather according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, so save your outdoor walks for the afternoon or evening when it’s cooler and after it’s rained. If you’re walking at night, remember to wear reflective gear for visibility. After walking, performing heel cord stretches can help prevent shin splints.
heel-cord-stretch
Heel Cord Stretch

Position your body against a wall as shown with either foot behind. Point toes directly toward the wall and hold your heel down. Lean into the wall as shown so that you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat twice, two times each day.