With social distancing guidelines meaning many in older age or those with reduced mobility are less able to leave home, remaining active can be a challenge when you are restricted to staying indoors. However, it’s important to try and stay active and mobile to maintain your body’s strength, reduce the risk of developing health conditions and boost your wellbeing – particularly when staying at home may mean less socialisation.

We’ve put together some tips to help you exercise safely at home.

Strength exercises

If you have a stable, solid chair at home that won’t slip or move across the floor, you can use this for some gentle strength exercises to improve your mobility. The Body Coach has created a 10-minute chair workout video to do at home, which can be found here.

The NHS One You campaign has created a 10-minute strengthening workout you can do at home to help tone muscles. Some of these are simpler than others, so watch the video first to judge what you will be comfortable doing.

Debbie Mcleod, Pilates instructor at Horder Healthcare, takes you through Standing Pilates exercises, to help improve and strengthen the lower limb muscles and provide stability to the pelvis and hips.

» Watch '20 Minute Standing Pilates Workout for Seniors'

» Go to '10 Minute Home Chair Workout For Seniors'

Stretches

Stretching regularly is important to loosen your muscles, ease stiffness and can sometimes help with pain.

Practising gentle yoga or Pilates exercises can be a relaxing way of stretching different muscles, whilst also building strength and boosting your wellbeing. You can try our Modified Pilates exercise videos for pelvic stability here.

Alternatively, there are plenty of apps you can download on a phone or tablet. The app Down Dog is currently providing its resources for free during the social distancing period. This customisable app enables you to control the type of routine practiced, as well as how each pose is explained and how long it’s held for.

» Watch our Pilates videos

Balance

It’s common to feel like your balance isn’t quite what it used to be but, as we get older, decreased stability can mean an increased chance of falling. The good news is that you can practice balance at home with the support of a wall or sturdy chair and, as you improve, you’ll find you need the support less often.

Try facing a wall with your arms out straight and fingertips touching the surface; then gradually lift one leg with the knee at hip height and hold the lift for up to 10 seconds. Do this several times for each leg.

» Watch 'Balance Exercises' with Daniel Dean

Every step counts

If you’re not very active at the moment, anything you can do to improve this is a step in the right direction, whether that’s increasing your daily steps by walking around the house or garden, or ensuring you get up more often.

Try starting off with something simple and achievable, so you can build it into a routine. This is especially helpful for creating a bit of structure in the day. Why not set yourself a challenge of walking several laps of your garden each day, walking up and down the stairs several times or set a timer to ensure you stand up for a minute every half hour?

At Horder Healthcare, our team is committed to helping the community during this uncertain time. Whilst electives surgeries have unfortunately been cancelled for the foreseeable future, we will be working hard to provide useful resources for people staying at home during this time.

You can read our statement on the coronavirus outbreak here or see our recent updates on this page.

Page last reviewed on 15/04/2020