Workout Routines at Home

build your own success.

Workout routines at home or home exercise programs are often canned programs - one size fits all is what many short staffed, burned out health care professionals think.

When it comes to your success in meeting your rehab goals, it's important to understand a bit more about your disease and how workout routines will help or hinder. You have a right to know - it's your body and you (at some point in time) have had to pay for the care you are receiving. Fill in the gaps here because most physical therapists in home health care are too busy to explain much.

You've got one chance, one body and your efforts at strengthening and rehab should be making a difference.

We are working on providing a collection of information about how exercise and your diagnosis works together. We put this together in hopes that you will reach your goals. These ARE the Golden Years - make your efforts count!

Home workout routines can bring you towards your goals of independence in various ways! The best news is that it's hard to train one "item" without training the others as well! So, you always win! I'll go over some of the basics here and then I'll start working on disease specific tips for you.

Workout routines target the following:

  • low muscle endurance,
  • low muscle strength,
  • poor balance and
  • poor power...

Low Muscle Endurance - Slow-e-e-e Go-e-e-e

Workout routines at home empower independence better than anything else -  build your own success here

In the home care setting, low muscle endurance can be serious. Your walking device may assist you in entering your bathroom, bedroom or any other room in your home. But the legs that get you there must do just that - Get you there...safely.

So, what if your endurance, strength, or balance is just so poor that getting where you want to go seems reserved for your past breakfast of champion days? It's true. Getting around may be restricted by your inability to walk that far. This is a very real scenario for the majority of my patients. The good news? Endurance can be improved! It just takes time and hard work in your workout routines.

The best remedy for shortness of breath or feeling winded (which often comes with low muscle endurance) when you walk a distance is to simply walk every hour. This is a vital part of your home workout routines.

Walking every hour or so is nothing new but it is changing inactivity to activity which is where you may need to start. If you can, do it outside in the sunshine and fresh air. It doesn't matter if that is 5 feet or 50 feet or 500 feet. Walk. Walk with your walker or cane or how ever you need to walk...just walk!

I tell my patients, walking keeps you walking. And sitting keeps you sitting - for the rest of your life!

Make sure someone is with you if you need assistance.

So, start with every hour or so. Even 5 feet 8 times in one day (once and hour of wake time) equals 40 feet and that may be more than you would have walked!

Give yourself a challenge and keep track of the distance you walk every day. Total it up at the end of the day and try to out do yourself the next day. It will add up and before you know it... the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen will be a short hop, skip and jump away as your muscle endurance and strength improves!

Engaging in home workout routines can limit your need for additional durable medical equipment thus saving you money.

Schwarzenegger Muscles? - Poor Strength

Gaining strength in the elderly years is important very can be difficult.  Persistence is the key

Well, not likely but enough strength to do things you never thought you would!

Again, the best frequency plan in your workout routines is every hour or so and the best thing you can do for improved lower body strength is to sit down and stand up... and do it over and over again... 5, 8 or 10 times?

You say you are up and down all day? Not in a row I bet! Getting up and go to the bathroom every hour does not count towards these workout routines. That is only one squat, not 5, 8 or 10 in a row!

To demand strength improvement from your legs, you must challenge them beyond what they are used to. This is why repetitions are important. In addition to strength, you'll build muscle endurance as well.

Start from a surface high enough that you can actually sit and stand from... even a bar stool is fine (just not IN the bar!! As you get stronger, lower the surface your doing your sit to stands from and eventually try to do them without arm assistance.

This could limit your need for costly and excessive bathroom or other safety equipment. You will be amazed at how quickly the body will respond to your efforts. You'll also begin to feel the life that was once ebbing away return to your legs, your bones and your body! It's a great feeling and benefit for doing relatively little but sticking with your workout routines!

Interval Training is the best use of your time and energy as a caregiver and is scientifically proven to strengthen muscles and improve muscle endurance in the quickest amount of time. But this needs to be closely monitored and designed specifically for the needs of your elderly loved one.

W-e-e-eble W-o-o-obble - Poor Balance

the fear of falling in the elderly can cause a slow decline in overall strength, balance and function, allowing disease and disability to increase

Maybe it's your balance that's off track... this is enough alone to become one with your chair or couch.

The fear of falling comes in only second to difficulty breathing when it comes to reasons why people don't walk. And, my number one rule for everyone is - No Falling Allowed!

So, how to remedy this? Workout routines! You knew I was going to say that!

It's not as independently as simple as improving your balance but immense improvements can be made over a period of persistent time!

Balance can be improved in a number of ways and this is best achieved by asking your physical therapist what they recommend.

If you don't have a physical therapist, click here to find a top rated agency in your area who can work with your doctor to order physical therapy for you.

Either way, improvements in balance can decrease the need for additional home safety equipment.

However, it is my opinion that every bathroom should have a grab bar or two and some anti-slip tub mats or stickers - safety equipment that can prevent costly and life changing falls.

Ready. Set. Go! - Is your POWER fading?

making sure you not only improve but power is critical to our functional ability as we age

Power has it's own category but remains close cousins to all we have discussed.

Your home workout routine should include power enhancing exercises because it is not mere strength that gets you out of that chair - power plays it's part.

Strength and endurance allow you to walk up those steps but it is power that allows you to walk briskly up those steps or bound out of your chair if there were an emergency. Technically, power is the amount of work performed per unit of time. In simpler terms it's the ability to apply force rapidly. Strength can get you out of the chair, power can get you out of the chair quicker.

So how do you include power in your home workout program? You work on your same exercises but you work on them at different speeds. Slow and controlled is best until you learn the exercises and build your strength up a bit. After 2-3 weeks, do those exercises quicker to develop power. This way you will be able to accomplish life tasks quickly or slowly.


The Bigger Picture Start Here!

Is Physical Fitness Enough For Elderly Health?

Is Home Health Physical Therapy Enough?

Inspiration to Start A Home Exercise Program

Back to from Workout Routines


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