Our bodies are so indispensable to our health. Like well-oiled machines, these too should be kept in tip-top shape for perfect functioning. Apart from mental well-being, it is important to look out for our physical well-being. Physical therapy is a very important factor that affects the functioning of your organs, joints, muscles, flexibility, and shape. In this pandemic, stuck at home, it is very hard to get good exercise out and about. Now it is all about the exercises you can perform at home, regularly. So, here we have the 8 best at-home physical therapy exercises you can do by yourself. For more detailed descriptions and pictorial guides, there are websites like familyfisio.com.
So, what are some of the exercises that are easy enough for you to do at home, yet so effective that they benefit your body in a great way? Here are 8 of them.
1. Back Exercises
These are one of the most important exercises that have to be done at home. This is now a world of work-from-home culture and that often has repercussions on your posture and spine. Back exercises help you combat any uneasiness you feel there and enhances your gait and posture. While basic stretching is required, we also have exercises like laying down horizontally on the ground and bringing the right knee to the chin, holding for 10 counts, and relaxing. This is repeated with the left knee. This supports the curvature of the spine and keeps you flexible.
2. Neck Exercises
For the same reasons as above, neck exercises complement the back exercises. These are easy to perform but require a little care. All neck exercises have to be done when the posture is upright and the face is held straight and perpendicular from the ground. One easy exercise is staring at the roof of your house and maintaining that position for five minutes and then lowering your head. Again look at your thighs or toes based on whether you’re in the standing or sitting position, and hold that stance for 5 minutes. Relax once it is done. This improves neck stiffness and neck flexibility especially after you are stuck in a position for hours on end.
3. Foot Exercises
Another body part that can’t catch a break during the pandemic is our feet. Foot exercises are very important for the joints and help maintain blood circulation in the legs. Apart from taking a basic stroll in your living room, there are specific exercises for the feet that you can do to improve mobility. One such exercise is writing the digits 1 to 10 in the air after you sleep horizontally. Another exercise is done in a sitting position by pointing your toes and rotating your ankles in a circular motion. One more suggested exercise is holding a pen in the toes and pretending to write sentences with it. Curling toes in and out is also a suggested exercise to improve blood flow.
4. Arm Exercises
Now, the arms and upper body are used a lot throughout the day even when you’re at home. So the exercise level for arms and upper body is a little more extensive and hardcore. The exercises generally used to strain and build arm strength are pushups. For women, they allow you to touch knees to the ground whereas, for men, pushups are asked to be done without touching knees to the ground. Pushups; apart from just improving arm strength, also work on the triceps, pectoral muscles, shoulders, and abdominal muscles. There are various types of pushups that you can do too.
These build the upper core strength of the body. They work on your abdominal muscles and strengthen your lower back too. Since the body is balanced, this exercise improves your stability and keeps your body poised. This also improves your gait. There are many types of planks: high, low, side, shoulder taps. You could start with the simple plank for 30 seconds and improve your time gradually. Once you can achieve a whole minute with a plank, you can move to other plank versions.
These are great for being limber and agile. It is a form of cardio and can boost your leg strength and lower body motility. They work on some of the major motile muscles like quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, calves, hip abductors, and many others.
They can be done in the comfort of your home. This exercise is actually suggested as a major part of your cardio workout in the gym and can be done at home. Doing around 10-15 a day is recommended, although you can increase this later as your stamina gets better.
7. Bridge Exercises
These are quite hardcore and should be done if your mobility has gotten good with the other exercises. All you have to do is lie on your back with feet placed parallel to the ground. Ball your hands into fists, place them above your head and push your body off from the ground using hips and glutes. You can use your heels for support and make extensive use of your glutes. When you manage to push your body off the ground, hold it there and concentrate on breathing. This completely works the body muscles out and is a great exercise.
Yoga has so many benefits that it is just considered a holistic science now. The asanas that are done in yoga have many health benefits and that’s why it has become quite the popular physical therapy exercise now. The must-perform beginner yogasana that works like physical therapy is the Surya-namaskar. This is recommended for early morning workouts. It stretches all the important muscles in your body and boosts spinal flexibility. It is best done in the morning sun to get a Vitamin D boost too. Yoga has been an important part of physical therapy and the best aspect is that it can be done at home too.
Exercise makes our body function well by boosting our mental wellbeing and our physical flexibility and fitness. Performing a few basic exercises daily at our homes can go a long way in contributing to our health. After all, our body sure needs a quick workout to stay active and strong.