With the recent social changes brought upon by the concern of COVID-19, we understand many of you are forced to work from home or not at all. With being quarantined to your own home, many can fall into the rut of a sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, if you are working from home, it is easy to stay in bed and work from your laptop. All seems cozy and comfortable, however, all are detrimental for your overall health and can in fact weaken your immune system. Below, we have outlined several ways to remain active while being confined to your home while including proper ergonomics for those working from home. Feel free to include your children in these activities to keep them entertained and healthy as well! 

First off, it is important you understand the significance of avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. It is theorized that even being bedridden or immobile for 1 week can severely atrophy your muscles, decrease circulation, increase your risk for heart attack or stroke and promote depression. With this, comes a cascade of events that can ultimately weaken your immune system and ability to ward off the common flu and viruses, such as COVID-19. Therefore, we CANNOT stress enough the importance of keeping yourself busy, active, healthy and happy during this stressful time in our nation that has required nearly a national quarantine. 

 

Exercise Recommendations:

Exercising from home seems scary or impossible to most. However, with local gyms being closed indefinitely, it is necessary at this time to maintain a healthy lifestyle within our own walls. Below, are ideas for exercising as home, as well as common stretches and functional exercises that are easy to perform.  (We have checked google images and YouTube and if you google the names of exercises, all immediate resources are credible and correct) 

    1. Take a walk, run or bike around your neighborhood. As long as you are healthy and cleared for physical activity by your general physician, it is completely safe right now to get outside and take a walk. If you do not feel safe walking around the neighborhood, even getting outside and walking up and down your driveway or around your backyard for as little as 20 minutes can help prevent sedentary complications. Getting out once is better than nothing, but getting out 2-3 times a day is the recommendation. 
    2. An easy and safe mobility/stretching routine for home is as follows:
      • Stretching 30seconds x 3 times – hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, calf and chest
        • These muscles are easily tightened from sitting and laying too much
      • LTRs (Lower Trunk Rotations) – outlined in our previous Instagram/Facebook post, can help keep lumbar spine mobile
      • Cat/Camel – good for cervical, thoracic AND lumbar mobility
        • It is easy to lose back mobility with prolonged sitting. It is important to maintain proper spinal health to maintain nervous and circulatory system health
      • Windmills or Thoracic Rotation – It is easy to avoid rotational movements when all we do is sit in one direction or lay flat watching TV. It is important to maintain rotational mobility, as it is a basic functional skill we need during most everyday work and chore demands
    3. A basic strengthening program is outlined below: (Perform 1x/day)
      • Abdominal brace or Lumbar Stabilization – Begin holding 10 seconds x 10 times and progress to 30seconds x 5times – 1min x 3 times and eventually build to 5 minutes x 1 time! 
        • This is an easy exercise to perform while laying on your floor watching television!
        • Our core is easily inhibited with prolonged sitting and lying and needs to be activated and kept strong for walking and standing activities. 
      • Bird Dogs – 10x each arm/leg combo
      • Bridges – 3 sets of 10
        • another easy exercise to perform while watching television 
      • Rotator Cuff strengthening and Posterior chain strengthening – Sitting and lying promote forward head posture and slumping. These will activate the muscles necessary to help maintain good posture and upper extremity health
        • Scaption
        • External/Internal rotation isometrics 
        • Prone retraction 
        • I’s, Y’s, T’s, W’s 
      • Lateral walks (sometimes known as monster walks) – with or without band 5x out and back, 3-5 times. 
      • Step-ups and body weight squats – 30x each 
    4. Immune-boosting yoga flow – Provided by Kelsie’s Barre (only if yoga is approved by your health care physician). Here is her attached narrative!

 

  • “There is no denying that the world we’re living in now is a scary place, not only do we have a virus to fear but now too we have to fear for our job security and worrying if our next paycheck will be our last. Unfortunately, these are all things that are out of our control, we can’t change the situation around us but we can change how we respond and react to it. Let’s all let out a big deep exhale and take a break from all the panicking. Here’s a flow to help you feel grounded and keep you healthy:
  • Mountain Pose -The simplest of yoga poses but holds so much importance. Stand with your feet about hips width distance and relax your shoulders down away from your ears and flip the palms faced out. Breathe deep, try to make each inhale and exhale longer than the last and try to combat the chaos going on in your mind with the sound of your breath.
  • Ragdoll – In my opinion, there’s nothing quite like an amazingly juicy forward fold. Bend your knees as generously as you need to, grab opposite elbows and just let your body sway gently side to side. This is an inverted position, meaning your head hangs below your heart and allows for breath and blood to flow to the sinuses and ease congestion. Keeping your sinuses healthy is an excellent way to boost your immune system
  • Spinal Twist – Spinal twists help decompress and nourish the spine. I always like to imagine my body as like a wet rag that I’m wringing the excess water out of as I twist a little deeper. It helps with stimulating the digestive system and getting rid of any nasty toxins in the body.
  • Fish – An amazing pose to do with a yoga bolster or block. Hanging out in this pose for an extended period of time is an excellent way to support immunity because it targets the lungs and can help relieve congestion and boost your energy.
  • Legs up the wall – Although you can just scoot yourself all the way up the wall and then bring your legs up, I like to bring my low back on a. Yoga bolster and blanket then lift my legs up in the air and sway them from side to side. It evens out blood circulation and reduces pressure on the low back. It’s a super calming and relaxing yoga pose and you need your nervous system to be nourished in order for optimal immunity.”

 

There are plenty of other forms of exercise to be performed at home. Peloton, Aaptiv, Beach Body, etc. all provide at home, digital exercise classes and routines as well. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Block Sports provider for further suggestions or a Home Exercise Program (HEP) specific for you. We are doing out best to create personalized HEP’s for our patients that we can provide via e-mail. 

Home Work Station Recommendations:

Maintaining proper posture while working from home is crucial in upholding spinal health and in turn preventing back pain, nervous/muscular system decline, headaches, etc. Below are the recommended criteria for your work space. 

  • Monitor at eye level and arms length away
    • If you are using a laptop, we suggest propping up the laptop with textbooks or magazines, etc. to reach this height. 
  • Wrist straight, hands at or slightly below elbow with elbows at 90 degrees flexion at side
    • If using a laptop, we recommend purchasing an external keyboard to maintain this position of the arms
  • Chair height should allow feet fully on ground while knees are even or slightly below hip level 
  • We recommend a head-set if you are going to have to take conference calls for any length of time greater than 3-5 minutes.

Nutritional Recommendations:

It is easy with all the food stores selling out quickly to fall in the rut of ordering out and eating pasta every night. We suggest doing your best to maintain healthy portions and a balanced diet. Additionally, we have come up with a list of important vitamins and supplements that help boost your immune system!

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc 
  • Omega-3
  • Probiotics 
  • D3

Please do not hesitate to contact Block Sports Chiropractic and Physical Therapy for recommendations on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your own home! We accept phone calls and e-mails and will do our best to maintain great communication skills with you all to assure proper healing and injury prevent.