Cardiff's leading heath clinic.

Agile at Home

We are facing uncertain times at the moment as the world is trying to cope with the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19). At Agile, we are following all the guidelines as they change on a daily basis to ensure patients and staff are protected as much as possible. As more people face the prospect of isolating and spending more time at home, we want to start providing some content which will hopefully help people manage these increasing restrictions.

Binge watching Netflix in your pjs sounds like it could be a great idea for the first few days, however maintaining a routine while at home is a good idea in terms of maintaining your mental and physical health. Having a variety of planned activities including keeping in regular contact with friends and relatives virtually (and spreading your Netflix box sets out a little) is worthwhile. A result of social distancing and staying at home more which will affect a lot of us is a decreased level of activity.

NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis), is a phrase we use to describe our general activity levels (think step counts and general movement through the day without having to think about it). It is likely that for many of us, our NEAT is about to reduce significantly if it hasn’t already. If you’re usually a gym bunny then you might also soon be missing the regular dose of endorphins you’re used to. This could make adhering to the important government recommendations even more difficult, so I think it is important to plan how to make this period of time more manageable for people.

Working some home exercise into your routine could really help to boost your activity levels which in turn could help improve mood and health during this phase. It can also be an opportunity for a fun family activity to break up the day if you get everyone involved. Any exercises can work well and can range depending on which age group you’re aiming for. I think it’s also great for children to see us exercising and how regular movement and activity is part of our lifestyle. It also provides a good opportunity to spend time together and reduce screen time.

Family Exercise

Activities like kicking a ball around (a soft one if you’re indoors!), “rough play” and obstacle courses made from sofa cushions can be great fun and a good way to get started without it being too structured.

Alternatively, using a timer for each exercise can really add an element of fun with short “rest” periods in between each exercise with big emphasis on START and STOP, like musical statues! It could be as simple as:

Press ups or Plank with baby lying on the floor underneath you
Toddler weighted glute bridges (a nice opportunity to teach them UP and DOWN)
Star Jumps
Leap frogs
Bear crawls (extra points for a GRRRR!)
Squats holding baby/holding hands with a toddler or jumping squats with older ones (kudos to you if you can lift them above your head as you stand up – my 2 year old is nearly too heavy for this, or maybe I just need to get stronger??)
Lunges walking alongside toddler holding hands with big stomps like dinosaurs seems to add excitement

And so many more! If you’re interested in video examples please leave us a comment and we will see what we can do.

Physiotherapists already spend a lot of our working days recommending “Home Exercise Programmes” to our patients to help them to recover from their injuries and to maintain their health and fitness during rehabilitation. We are also able to perform assessments over video or telephone if you are unable to travel into clinic alongside our usual personalised home exercise programmes to keep you Agile at home.

Consider this your end of blog reminder to wash your hands and stay safe

Rebekah Knight Physiotherapist at Agile TherapyWritten by Rebekah Knight, Physiotherapist.
Rebekah graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc Physiotherapy in 2013.

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