Exercising at Home
Colder weather is upon us! For folks who are used to taking walks or exercising outside, the fall/winter may be a season in which we (mistakenly) think we are stuck at home and cannot exercise as much due to the cold weather, circulating winter germs, etc.
So, I wanted to share a few ideas on how to get exercise at home when we may be looking to stay inside (for various reasons). Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor or rehab specialist, so always consult with your medical team before engaging in a exercise program.
Ways to exercise at home for people with heart failure
Youtube is an incredible, free, source of information. Also, you can access it on your SmartTV OR a phone, so it can easily be fit into your daily routine and be done at home.
A Youtube account can be created for free, and if you have a Smart TV it is as easy to access as using Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. If you are someone who is not accustomed to using this service or comfortable with technology, I'd recommend thinking about a person who can help you.
Once you have an account, you can search for "easy, low impact, home based workouts." A quick search on my Youtube account comes up with "Fun, Low Impact Workouts for TOTAL beginners" and "30 Minute Fat Burning Home Workouts for Beginners."
If you want to use Youtube to help you workout at home, you are clearly not alone! These videos have many views! You can easily play around with various search terms as well if you want something a bit more intense, longer in length, etc.
If you are someone who is not steady on your feet and/or cannot stand up for very long, chair exercises can also be terrific. Also, similar to Youtube, these exercises can easily be done at home! You can get more of a workout then you might realize.
The other nice thing about doing chair exercises is that you can play any motivating music that suits you. You can get ideas for chair exercises with a quick Google search, but a few of my favorite are below if you want to get some ideas to start.
- As one foot remains planted on the ground, place your other heel on the floor. As the heel is placed on the ground, try to pull your toe upwards towards your shin.
- Using you arms, push both hands forward to shoulder height. Your wrists should be extended. Coordination is important so, if possible, try to alternate which hand is in front of the other as your arms are forward.1
- Combining the two! In other words, push your arm out at the same time that you are raising a leg and alternate sides.
Body-weight exercises with soup cans and jam jars
The idea of a weight lifting regimen might not be a good fit, but you can use (free) soup and jar cans at home to engage in some weight exercises. If you are interested, biceps and curls are a great place to start.
You can also Google or check out books from your library on a homemade weight program. Just realize that it is important to ask your doctor before starting any exercise regimen, including weight lifting like this.
Share your ideas and thoughts with the heart failure community
I hope these ideas help keep us exercising when leaving our homes may be harder!
If you try one of these ideas, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
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