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Fitting it in – Exercises that can be squeezed into busy day

Trying to find time to do exercises during a day can be very challenging. One helpful strategy is to include these preventative exercises that benefit multiple body parts.

ONE LEG BALANCE:

Simply balancing on one leg throughout the day has many beneficial effects.  Stand on one leg with your knee and hip slightly bent and hold for 10 s, repeat 3 times each side. This will strengthen the stabilizer muscles around your ankle, knee, hip and low back making your joints stronger and more stable. It will also reduce the risk of falls.  Initially you can use your hand on an object for support.  Progressively make the exercise more challenging by closing your eyes, standing on a cushion or moving the arms and other leg around. This exercise is good to do while brushing your teeth, watching TV or talking on the phone.

MOBILITY EXERCISES

Generally we do not take our joints through their entire range of motion which is important to keep them mobile and healthy. Just like a door hinge getting stiff if the door is not opened completely, our joints can get stiff and lose lubrication if we do not move them in and out of endrange postions.

DOORWAY SQUATS

Stand at a doorway and grab the door frame with your hands. Sit back and squat down like you are sitting into a chair. The goal of this exercise is to squat down as low as you can, bringing your buttock to your heels. Repeat 10 times.  Only go as low as you feel comfortable and over time try and go lower. You may want to start with a chair under you until you feel safe to go lower. This exercise will help strengthen your muscles and help to loosen your back, hips, knees and ankles.

WALL SHOULDER RAISES

Stand with your back against a wall, arms at your side and thumbs pointing forward. Now raise your arms forward and up trying to bring your thumbs to touch the wall above your head. Try not to poke your head forward as you raise your arms. Repeat 10 times. Start by raising your arms as high as you are comfortable and overtime try and go higher. This exercise will not only improve your shoulder mobility but also loosens your upper back

These are general exercises that most of the population can perform safely. You may feel a mild discomfort while your body adapts to a new challenge but if you feel pain then stop the exercise until you can talk to a physiotherapist.

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