aka: home exercise programs.
Bodyweight workouts likely strike fear in the minds of caregivers and home health care patients alike. Such big words for something that can be
very difficult for weakened caregivers or patients in the home care setting. No need to fear - these exercise programs nothing more than a home
exercise program without equipment.
YES! You can get stronger by simply knowing how to use your own body weight. OK... in all fairness,
may need a broom handle or cane, a rope piece - but once you understand the reasoning behind the exercise you can figure out how to what you have.
Home exercise programs or bodyweight workouts are typically designed by a physical therapist to strength specific weaknesses. All to often, however
many patients receive a 'canned' program. This means, one program fits all - nothing could be further from the truth! Although, most total knee
replacement will need to do all of a series of exercises, not every debilitated individual needs the same program.
Home health care is very unsupervised. This means that no body really knows (except you and your home health professional) how long they were at
your home working with you. This is why it's important to know what to expect from you home health physical
therapist. It's equally as important to know how a PT's pay can affect your care.
Remember that not all exercises will seem like you are using your bodyweight. Some may be using the weight of only your arm, or requiring your
core to stabilize your bodyweight. Your success depends on your activity level. Start now, start somewhere - and progress as you are able.
Simple ways to progress your bodyweight workouts are:
- Increase the number of repetitions you are doing at one time. (i.e. Reps = 10)
- Increase the number of sets of those repetitions you are doing in one setting. (i.e. Reps = 10, Sets = 2)
- Increase or decrease the speed at which you are doing the movement.
- If you are holding a weight, you can increase the weight, or shorten the ther-a-band if using one.
- If you are using body weight, change the exercise so that you are moving more of your bodyweight and thus increasing the effort.
Many of us engage in using our bodyweight to get stronger every day - we just don't realize it:
- Climbing steps
- Getting up from the floor
- Pushing a stroller or shopping cart
- Propelling a wheelchair (patient or caregiver)
- Carrying groceries inside
- Splitting firewood
- Weeding and Gardening
Bodyweight workouts are satisfying. You don't waste time driving or paying for a gym membership. You can do a set of reps here and there.
They are rewarding - you can see progress and tweak what you need to tweak when you need to tweak it.
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