Are you taking some time to isolate and minimize contact with others? Well you don’t want to let your workouts get off track. We know exercise helps manage stress. Here’s some ideas to help you with your home exercise routine.

1. Go for a brisk walk everyday. It’s getting nicer in the cold climates and Thursday is the first day of spring! Get out and enjoy the fresh air, pump your arms and keep your feet moving fast. Try to get 15 to 30 minutes of quick walking to get your heart rate up -go for at least 3 times a week.

2. Arm and Core Strengtheners – Plank has many varieties that work your arms and core. Keep your back straight and your pull your stomach in tight. Let’s explore a few planks.
Plank rise– Start in a plank supported on your elbows. Hold, then rise up, pushing one arm at a time to full plank supported by your hands. Hold, then lower back to your elbows. Repeat 5-15 times. Remember you can always go down to your knees if you need to or you can simply hold plank steady.

Plank push-ups-Assume a full plank position, unless modifications are needed with knees down. Bring your hands together with your index and thumbs touching to make a triangle, all other fingers spread.
Bend your elbows to lower yourself down then push back up straightening your elbows. You can lower down all the way or 1/2 way. Repeat 5-15 times.

Plank side dips-Standing up, lower down and walk out with hands into a plank position then lower down onto your elbows. Shift the weight in your feet so you’re on the side of your foot with left foot on top. Bring your right hip under you, rotating so the left hip is on top. Dip the right hip down and return to starting plank position on elbows. Repeat with left side. Push up on arms and walk hands to feet to stand up. Take a deep breath and repeat walking out to plank, go down to elbow, dip the right hip and the left hip, then stand back up. If you choose to you can stay in elbow plank the whole time doing hip dips. Do 5 to 15 times.

3. Side plank with leg lift– Assume a side plank position on your right. Ideally you want your right hand, elbow and shoulder in line, your trunk lifted and feet stacked on top each other with right foot on bottom. The left arm is held up so it’s in line with the right arm. As an alternative you can bend both knees or straighten the leg on top and still push with your arm straight and trunk lifted. As an added challenge lift the left leg off the right and hold. Roll to the left and repeat with the left side. Do this as many times as you want! Hold each side plank at least 15 to 30 seconds or longer.

4. Wall chair with ball. This one ideally requires a large therapy ball, but it can be done without it too. Place the ball against the wall and lean into it with your back. Bend your knees to a 45 degree angle so they’re over your ankles like your sitting in a chair. Adjust the ball or your feet if needed. If not using a ball press your back against the wall, slide down walking your feet out until they’re below your knees. Hold this position for 60 seconds or a shorter amount if needed. Straighten your legs to rest, then return to the same position with legs bent and repeat.

Up and down slightly with 1 leg on tiptoes. To add some variety, when you’ve assumed the seated position, lift onto the tiptoes of one leg. Push up and down slightly ~5 times or more. Switch to the other leg and repeat. Stand to rest and then assume your seat position (without the chair!) and repeat the exercise 5-10 times.

This should give you a simple but effective workout to start with that works your arms, core and legs. Have fun with it and be sure to get outside for some fresh air and a brisk walk. Stay tuned for more next month.

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