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For most of us with a chronic illness, we don’t always have the energy to go for a walk or workout after work. Fatigue rules our lives. Sometimes we are confined to the couch or bed. Some people may feel sluggish or guilty for not making it the gym. Remember, that we don’t have to running a marathon to work out. We can do small workouts or exercises throughout the day to maintain muscle strength and range of motion within our joints.

The following is what I will define as the couch workout:

1. Ankle pumps– with legs stretched out pump ankles back and forth slowly 10 times. Complete 3 sets of 10 throughout the day if you can. If you can’t just stick to 1 set of 10 and build your tolerance. This will strengthen ankles muscles as well as keep blood pumping through your calf muscles.

2. Straight leg raises– laying on your back, lift one leg up in the air and slowly lower it back down. Don’t rush. Complete 3 sets of 10.

3. Bridges– laying on your back with knees bent, lift your bottom up of the bed or couch. Hold for a count of one and lower back down. Start with a set of 10. Complete up to 3 sets of 10 if you can.

4. Shoulder rolls- sitting up, roll shoulders forward 10 times, then repeat rolling shoulders backwards 10 times. Arms may be straight or at sides.

5. Biceps curls– sitting up or laying flat on your back or side- bend your arm at your elbows.  This is will help increase blood flow through your arms. Complete 1 set of 10. Feeling that is easy? Complete 3 sets of 10. If you are feeling up to it, you can hold onto a soup can while completing repetitions.

Remember to stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day. Remember the point of the couch exercise is to maintain range of motion in your joints and maintain muscles strength without over doing it. If you are feeling a set of 10 is too much, listen to your body and stop.

Also, all exercises don’t have to be completed at once. You can space them out throughout the day as you have energy.

If you are couch bound for more than 1 day, complete bridges, straight leg raises, and bicep curls every other day.

Thanks for reading? 🙂

*I am not a physician, so please consult a doctor if you are concerned with your ability to perform any of the above listed exercises.

++photo compliments of google search

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