Finding benefits in everyday activities
Everyday activities are important to consider because by their very definition you do them often. The way you approach them can greatly affect your rehab or sports training. These tips will hopefully get you thinking of many more ways that everyday activities can be done consciously.
- While brushing teeth, do you stand over the basin hunched over? To you tense your face or shoulders? Why not stand up tall, think of your posture, relax your shoulders, and keep your head tall with your core gently pulled in.
- When you're waiting for someone or something there are plenty of easy exercises in standing you can choose from. Heel lifts (hamstring curls), heel raises, press-ups against a wall, squats, side leg-lifts and the list goes on. Do something other than sit - it takes just as long!
- In wind and rain, focus on keeping your face and shoulders relaxed when outside. It's a good exercise in relaxation and tensing your face and shoulders doesn't actually help the rain feel more comfortable!
- When walking up stairs, put the foot flat on the step and push up with your calf. You can really get the calf muscles working up stairs if you do it properly.
- When on the phone at home, why not sit unsupported against a wall for 30 seconds here and there. You'll switch on the quads and the glutes and because of chatting you'll learn to keep the breathing independant of the leg effort.
- When standing in line you can subtly practice single leg balance. No one will notice and you'll be improving strength and co-ordination of many forgotten muscles in the legs and hips. (Keep hips level - don't let the supporting hip stick out to the side or the unsupported hip drop towards the floor). You only need to lift the other leg a fraction of a millimetre off the floor.
- Every time you stand up, smoothly FULLY straighten the knees and hold the contraction in the quads for a second or two. Stand up tall, then get moving. So many people only stand up 90% of the way when they go from sitting to standing.
- When you're walking, make an effort to walk slightly faster than comfortable and focus on good (but not forced) stride length. Make sure you are not carrying bags awkwardly.