Have you ever been shamed by your doctor about not getting exercise?
I mean come on–the very same doctor that treats me for chronic back pain should of all people “get” that if I wasn’t in so much pain I actually could exercise.
I got tired of my doctor “shame-plaining” about how I should get more exercise. So I searched high and low for the most simple exercises you can do at home for beginners like me.
These are the easiest ways to get exercise at home when you’re exhausted, in pain, or just having a crappy day.
Disclaimer: I am not a fitness trainer or a doctor. Before you try any of these exercises make sure you clear it with your doctor. There may be reasons that the following exercises would do more harm than good. So proceed with caution and professional recommendations.
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1-Stand on a Balance Board for 1 minute
A lot of pain associated with your back and many other parts of your body can be helped by strengthening your core muscles. And really whether you have back problems or not strengthening your core benefits you in many ways.
I love this balance board because the oval shape allows you to stand with your feet wider apart (which helps you keep your balance easier.) And it has a high weight limit.
The first time I tried it out I did it on my tile floor. I don’t recommend that. Put it on carpet instead–and definitely stand between a doorway so you can hold on. The last thing we chronic pain sufferers need is a nasty fall.
Start by just doing it for a few seconds to get the feel of it. I also learned from watching my kids do it so easily that they actually keep their hips loose and knees slightly bent. As adults we tend to get stiffer with age so try to concentrate on loosening up when you get on the balance board.
Also if your ankles are weak I recommend wearing tennis shoes. But you can try with bare feet to see if that works better for you.
I love to do this first thing in the morning (even before my coffee.) If you’ve ever been to physical therapy before you probably already know what stretches work the best for you.
But if you don’t this Stretch Out Strap comes with a book full of exercises recommended by Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers.
I have used other types of strap/bands to stretch but they usually take a lot of strength from my hands to keep the right amount of resistance. So this one is very sturdy and doesn’t “give.” It’s also adjustable so you can get the exact length you need.
3-Pretend You are Biking with a Pedal Exerciser
I have a recumbent bicycle but hardly ever use it. Like most people, it ends up being a place I hang clothes from or pile other items that I will “put away later.” Plus I really would like to be on my device, reading a book or something to keep from being bored and the recumbent bike doesn’t really allow that for me.
So I can put this pedal exerciser right at the feet of my recliner and exercise while I am working on my laptop. Or even watch Netflix. There is a huge range of price for these pedal exercisers but I really don’t see the need to spend a lot of money on them.
This one is super sturdy and has thousands of great reviews on Amazon.
You’ve probably been told many times over how Yoga is such a good way to exercise, clear your mind, strengthen your body, and relax you. When you live in chronic pain your body lives mostly in a tensed-up state.
Yet if you are struggle to handle most of the poses in traditional Yoga, chair yoga may be a great solution for you.
The chair yoga routine was developed by therapist from the Chronic Pain Service out of Toronto. It provides a gentle chronic-pain friendly option to exercise at home.
5-Dance Around Your Living Room
Turn on some music that makes it irresistible to not dance to and dance for one song (you can work up to more as you go.) Do this whether up on your feet or from your favorite recliner.
The key here is to have the right music. Checkout this playlist I created on Spotify (free) that is knee-slapping’ good (and reminds you of the warrior inside of you!)
Try a few of these simple exercises at home and you can legit tell your doctor you exercise on the regular.
You’ll never feel like you have to school your doctor on why exercising is not as easy as he thinks when you live with a chronic or mental illness.
Do you have any simple exercises you can do at home?