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  • Writer's pictureSusan Retzlaff

Quarantine Strong

Stuck at Home? Simple exercises to Move More & Sit Less

If you are stuck at home like a lot of us, stress may be at an all-time HIGH. So many changes happening so fast it’s like a roller coaster of emotions! Some of us are facing a loss of income, some working at home and also homeschooling (boy, we love our teachers right now!) and some working in health care risking their lives, in addition to all the other essential workers on the frontline of this. These changes, plus the uncertainty of how long this will last add tension and anxiety to our lives.

Let’s combat that with a little exercise. Exercise is a proven way to relieve stress and tension. It can also strengthen your immune system which we can all benefit from during these stressful times.

Even though your gym or fitness studio may be closed now, you can still stay active. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take much time. Let’s start with one upper body exercise (PUSH-UP) and one lower body exercise (SQUAT). You don’t need a gym or equipment to do either at home, just a counter top, wall or chair. I know typical squats and push-ups are hard exercises, so I’ll give modifications so all can participate, even your kids.

Let’s start with the PUSH-UPS:

Wall pushup variations are an effective way to gain strength in your chest, shoulders, back, and arms. Face a wall; counter top, or desk standing a little further than arm's length away, feet shoulder-width apart. Lean your body forward, bringing your chest towards the counter/wall maintaining a straight line from your heels to your head. Inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your body towards the counter and exhale as you push yourself away. Movements should be slow and controlled. Depending on your strength, try to do one set of 10-15 repetitions or go to muscle fatigue. Then alternate and do one set of the SQUAT S and then your second set of push-ups. By alternating, you are letting your upper body rest while you are doing the squat which is a lower body exercise.


Stand in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, lowering your hips back, keeping weight in your heels and your chest upright. Start by sitting into the chair and standing back up 10 to 15 times. Or if you don’t need the chair hover over a bench or couch but don’t let your hips touch and return to standing. Another variation is using a stability ball. Facing away from the wall, put the ball on the small of your back (so the ball fits right in that lower curve of your back) and lower hips down to the point you feel your muscles working, but not to the point of pain. Check your alignment by making sure when you are lowering yourself down that your knee is tracking over your ankles and not going beyond your toes. Do two sets alternating with the PUSH-UPS.

These are just two of many exercises you can do at home.I would be happy to answer any questions you have about these or how to progress them.

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