8 Minutes of Exercise a Day

You know exercise is important to your health. It helps you feel better physically, gives you energy, and helps you deal with the stress of your busy life.  

But what do you do when your life suddenly changes! Quarantine, social distancing and the closing of gyms!

It’s easy to start skipping exercise, but this may lead to less energy, and aches and pains cropping up. This makes you feel like exercising even less and leads to a downward spiral. That means that committing to exercise, even during challenging times will ultimately have long term benefits.  

Exercise doesn’t have to take lots of time. In fact, your 8 minutes don’t even have to be all together. You can break them up throughout the day. Doing one exercise for one minute every hour while working counts just as much as doing 8 minutes of exercise after the kids are in bed. The following exercises use your body weight for resistance, so you don’t need any equipment. They also use many muscle groups at once so you can maintain strength in your whole body in a short amount of time.

Plank; Lying on your stomach, with your forearms on the ground, elbows under the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body. Toes tucked under, engage your stomach muscles and lift your body up. Hold for 20 seconds, rest 5 seconds, and repeat 3 times. (This exercise can also be modified to perform using a chair or the wall)

Push up; (do on your knees or in standing with arms on the wall if you need an easier version). 20 seconds of push ups, 10 seconds of rest and repeat.

Quadruped; Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lift and reach with one arm and the opposite leg, maintaining a stable core. Hold 10 seconds and repeat on opposite side. Repeat 5 times.

Bridge; Lying on back, with your knees bent, engage your abdominals and lift your hips. Hold 20 seconds, rest 5 seconds, and repeat 3 times.

Lunge; Stand tall and take a large step forward with the right leg, shifting your weight forward. Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to floor and your right shin is vertical. (do not let the knee shift past right toe). Return to the start and repeat on the other side. Repeat 20 times.

Squat to heel raise; Feet shoulder width apart, core engaged, and arms raised high above the head. Perform a squat and return to standing then rise onto your toes. Repeat 20 times.

Talk to your physical therapist for modifications (if needed) that are appropriate for you!

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