These past few months our lives have drastically changed. Our bodies, minds and spirits have likely changed too. We are stressed. We are sitting either too much or abnormally, given our lack of ergonomically correct home office space. Also, we are either trying to prevent illness or trying to recover from illness. Do these 5 exercises just about every day to address all of the above:
1. Rib Mobility
Let’s keep our lungs healthy by improving the movement capacity of the rib cage. Side bending and rotation using your arms are key movements to open up the rib cage and improve lung function.
We are likely sitting too much these days. As a result, our hip flexors are tighter, our spines more compressed and our glutes (our bum muscles) weaker. Bridges target all of those negatives from sitting, including a bonus upper back treatment!
3. Standing Glute Kicks
Do this exercise every time you stand up. You only need to spend 10 to 20 seconds with these to help reset your spine and counter excessive sitting.
4. Door Stretch
This move is a posture saver! This door stretch lengthens the pec muscles to allow you to pull your shoulders back and improve your posture without strain. Place your forearms up on the door frame in a “goal post” position. Step one foot in front of the other and lean in through the door.
Current research strongly supports that cardiovascular exercise can not only prevent respiratory symptoms with COVID-19 but may also reduce their severity. So, get on out there and walk vigorously or run to your favorite podcast or playlist--responsibly distanced of course. Or stay home and stream my workouts from the safety of your home via www.mindthemat.com. I combine cardio, muscular conditioning, strength and flexibility.
Story by Dr. Megan Brown
Dr. Megan Brown is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor and co-owner of Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga founded right here in Alexandria, Va. Follow her on Instagram @drmeganbrown and @mindthemat for more info.