How to keep moving when you can't go out to walk or get to the gym

Posted by Sue, Volunteer Mentor @sueinmn, Dec 21, 2020

As Covid and closures continue, and winter confines many of us (mostly) to the house, how can you keep moving? Walking round and round the house is certainly boring. But think about this – before all our labor-saving devices, our parents and grandparents got plenty of exercise by just managing life day to day – remember kneading bread dough, washing walls, windows & floors, or using a wringer washer & ironing? Is there a way to do some of this in your home?

My Mom lived in several apartments before she passed away. The laundry room was down the hall, and if it was to hot-cold-slippery to walk outside with her friend, she made laundry an exercise. One trip to start the load, another to move it to the dryer, a third to take it out, then she would fold half and carry it home, then the other half, so 5 round trips. Once piled on the bed, she would walk back and forth to put things away in the closet and drawers. When I offered to do it for her, she said "this is my walk for today."

I try to do the same, going up and down stairs repeatedly to do laundry, never carrying too much, so I can use the rail. Also, when folding, I toss everything on the far side of the bed, so I have to reach and stretch to get all the pieces.

I turn cooking into better exercise by chopping fresh veggies by hand, instead of using frozen ones or putting them in a processor. Then I wash the dishes by hand, dry & stow – all of this keeps me on my feet and moving.

Last week, I even moved my sewing machine to a stand-up table, and keep the ironing board as far away as possible – that may change as it is hard on my feet!

Light amounts of snow can be swept or shoveled away…

Many days I manage almost 5000 steps with out even leaving my 1000 square foot house.

What can you change in your daily routine to get moving when you're stuck inside?

Sue

@sueinmn This is a great question, Sue! I do several small things. If I walk upstairs, I then walk down and back up, just for extra steps. And when I watch TV, I get up and walk around the room. Great for my restless leg syndrome but it counts as exercise! What do you use to count your steps? I can’t carry my phone 24/7!

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@becsbuddy

@sueinmn This is a great question, Sue! I do several small things. If I walk upstairs, I then walk down and back up, just for extra steps. And when I watch TV, I get up and walk around the room. Great for my restless leg syndrome but it counts as exercise! What do you use to count your steps? I can’t carry my phone 24/7!

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HI Becky, I have Fitbit Charge 3 that I always wear as it can monitor several things for me, so I know my steps and active minutes as well.
I ran an errand this morning, and have been buzzing around the house getting ready for foster pets and Christmas, and I am already at 4700 steps and 9 flights of stairs. In a bit we'll celebrate our daughter's 41st birthday with a few gifts and a short visit, then back to the "sewing cave" as my husband calls it – even though it has windows on 2 sides and is flooded with natural and artificial light. Tomorrow I'll walk with my littles to give Mommy a breather.
Sue

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As always, @sueinmn, You give excellent suggestions to keep moving when the weather won't permit being outside. Thx for these.

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Many insurance companies give free access to Silver Sneakers, both in person and online. Silver Sneakers also has videos posted on You Tube that no not require a membership. These videos range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Something for everyone.

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@becsbuddy

@sueinmn This is a great question, Sue! I do several small things. If I walk upstairs, I then walk down and back up, just for extra steps. And when I watch TV, I get up and walk around the room. Great for my restless leg syndrome but it counts as exercise! What do you use to count your steps? I can’t carry my phone 24/7!

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@becsbuddy, I'm with you. When watching local tv programming, I get up and walk during commercials…all steps taken count, yes? The pleasures of no commercials offered by Netflix are appreciated but I do limit Netflix viewing to one episode per view before stopping for a quick walk.

Another thing I started long ago when shopping in stores was to park farther away from the entrance than necessary. Now I just carry in one bag at a time from car trunk when unloading grocery bags from infrequent trips. I also use a timer to limit my sessions to 20 minutes at the computer before leaving the desk….improves circulation and hope it helps eye strain. Not much granted but every little bit helps.

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@azdan99

Many insurance companies give free access to Silver Sneakers, both in person and online. Silver Sneakers also has videos posted on You Tube that no not require a membership. These videos range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Something for everyone.

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@azdan99, Great reminder about Silver Sneakers.
Here's their YouTube Channel with plenty of free videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRp-32Yi0KC2YMgHIg6mTag

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@azdan99

Many insurance companies give free access to Silver Sneakers, both in person and online. Silver Sneakers also has videos posted on You Tube that no not require a membership. These videos range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Something for everyone.

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I thought silver sneakers. came from Medicare.

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@lolaemma

I thought silver sneakers. came from Medicare.

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@lolaemma, Here's some question and answer information about Silver Sneakers – WHAT IS SILVER SNEAKERS? https://65medicare.org/what-is-silver-sneakers/

@colleenyoung also provided the link to the Silver Sneakers You Tube Channel in the link above your post that has a lot of their free videos that you might find helpful. Here's a repeat of the link – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRp-32Yi0KC2YMgHIg6mTag

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@azdan99

Many insurance companies give free access to Silver Sneakers, both in person and online. Silver Sneakers also has videos posted on You Tube that no not require a membership. These videos range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes in duration. Something for everyone.

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Thanks for this information, @azdan99! My ins. includes Silver Sneakers but since I'm staying home, I'll look into the videos!

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I'm going to get PT at home need wheelchair for awhile. No use of right side upper. limb til cast off.Im spell on tablat. Miss my Emotional Therapy Dog. She makes me walk r2xa day. Prefer video of vegan cooking. Use fish and chicken fresh or frozen veg and fruit in winter.. .Missing second season Man dal or in. SyFy ,listen to Jazz n Blues. Ancient History study . Older daughter and I are working on ancestry. My paternal back four gen and her paternal back to slavery.
She's retired also.NC terrible place to live. Two years max move to Fla.Need to be warm.Family three diff areas there. When I feel like sharing terror past will do but not now. Now forward in good time.if.

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@johnbishop

@lolaemma, Here's some question and answer information about Silver Sneakers – WHAT IS SILVER SNEAKERS? https://65medicare.org/what-is-silver-sneakers/

@colleenyoung also provided the link to the Silver Sneakers You Tube Channel in the link above your post that has a lot of their free videos that you might find helpful. Here's a repeat of the link – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRp-32Yi0KC2YMgHIg6mTag

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Hi, John. I have United Health Care/AARP medicare supplement that doesn't cover Silver Sneakers. But, as of this year, they do cover a different program, don't remember the name. But, it's like Silver Sneakers and I now have a free Y membership. Also available at other gyms/etc in area. So, should be able to find good program free. Blessings. Elizabeth

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Well crumb! @ess77, Our ins. which included Silver Sneakers is changing to United Health Care Jan. 1st. No info yet on what the similar program will offer but thank you for the early alert of the change. Wishing you and all a much happier new year!

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