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

@fiesty76. I have been with United Healthcare since I signed up for Medicare. For exercise program, they gave something like silver sneakers. It's a program called Renew Active. For complete details, visit http://www.UHCRenewActive.com.
Or call their customer service at the phone number on the back of your ID card, they are very helpful.

REPLY
@fiesty76

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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No worry, Fiesy76! United Health Care coverage for this is great! They began offering it in Fl 1/2020…..I signed up that day almost. It's the same coverage as Silver Sneakers I think…..I can join for free all the gyms/YMCA's/and others and attend all the Silver Sneakers programs. I joined the Y in my area that has the warm therapy pool so I can use it with their programs…..baby water arobics, etc…..as well as use it alone. I haven't gone to the classes yet….seated yoga, etc…..due to own health issues and covid. Soon I hope. Enjoy your new found gift! Blessings, Elizabeth

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@ess77

No worry, Fiesy76! United Health Care coverage for this is great! They began offering it in Fl 1/2020…..I signed up that day almost. It's the same coverage as Silver Sneakers I think…..I can join for free all the gyms/YMCA's/and others and attend all the Silver Sneakers programs. I joined the Y in my area that has the warm therapy pool so I can use it with their programs…..baby water arobics, etc…..as well as use it alone. I haven't gone to the classes yet….seated yoga, etc…..due to own health issues and covid. Soon I hope. Enjoy your new found gift! Blessings, Elizabeth

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Wherein Fla? Gen area please? I have to wind up legal stuff in CA and get moving better here water therapy is so wonderful. My family is in Palm Coasut, Riverview, Boca Raton. Warm warmer and warmist!

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@lolaemma

Wherein Fla? Gen area please? I have to wind up legal stuff in CA and get moving better here water therapy is so wonderful. My family is in Palm Coasut, Riverview, Boca Raton. Warm warmer and warmist!

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lolaemma, I'm in Jacksonville, not far from Palm Coast, which I love. It's really growing, tho, changes it alot. Love this area. Beaches, very Florida but not as hot as further south. That makes me happy. I love Florida, but don't want to live south of Orlando anymore. It's much hotter and very different. Have family in Port Orange, Mt. Dora – central Fla, used to be packed full of orange groves. Disney's there now! ANd the Villages! where the orange trees were. Beautiful area – are you planning to make a move? It's a bit of heaven and I can't handle cold or ice or snow. Physically can't handle it at all, so I'm in the right place. Might be good to be near family, too? Water therapy? I use the 94degree therapy pool 2X weekly, usually….begin again this week! Blessings, Elizabeth

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@ess77

lolaemma, I'm in Jacksonville, not far from Palm Coast, which I love. It's really growing, tho, changes it alot. Love this area. Beaches, very Florida but not as hot as further south. That makes me happy. I love Florida, but don't want to live south of Orlando anymore. It's much hotter and very different. Have family in Port Orange, Mt. Dora – central Fla, used to be packed full of orange groves. Disney's there now! ANd the Villages! where the orange trees were. Beautiful area – are you planning to make a move? It's a bit of heaven and I can't handle cold or ice or snow. Physically can't handle it at all, so I'm in the right place. Might be good to be near family, too? Water therapy? I use the 94degree therapy pool 2X weekly, usually….begin again this week! Blessings, Elizabeth

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Thank you. I as well an intolerant of cold ice etc.My older daughter and her husband bought in Palm Coast 2009.It was indeed of buyers for foreclosures then. Both retired now can bike miles swim and really happy there. Two and aha lf

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@lolaemma

Wherein Fla? Gen area please? I have to wind up legal stuff in CA and get moving better here water therapy is so wonderful. My family is in Palm Coasut, Riverview, Boca Raton. Warm warmer and warmist!

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Thank you. My one finger tapping is so messy.Mg daughter and hubby bought in PC 2009 now retired there and certainly content. Their son and family in Riverview also sounds good. Need to clear out excess and visit when back on my feet. Self representing in divorce that was initiated two years ago is hysterically funny to me now. So mentally occupied us not a problem.I'm never bored but have alot of distractions. The rest of family two sons in CA probably won't leave. Conn is the rest when Leah retires maybe but ? Too cold. Right now healing is my priority. Standing and walking now. I didn't pack my stuff. Home was under renovation it was easier to point out donations.My dog is in foster care close need to be able to care for her. Phone broke in ER replacement insured hah! Dream about Sheila and I sitting in warm light dozing. Our favorite activity. How could I be bored? Busy busy. Happy safe New Year.

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Sue! Your message 6 days ago is awful!!!!!!! You wore me out just reading it! You actually toss your laundry further away??? ANd stretch??? Smart lady, but I'm way past you, sorry to say. I guess you got from previous notes, I'm blessed to be able to get up the stairs and down safely once daily! That's a good day for me! Partial jest….I do walk w/walker at Mayo as I mentioned before…..inside in the connecting corridors between 3 major buildings. To and from the gift shop! I do enjoy that walking and it's a good bit of steps, too. Can't always do it, but getting stronger now from October/Nov when I ended up in hospital I've been upstairs 3 times today, putting together gift bags for Mayo docs tomorrow – lemons from my 'cocktail tree'- (lemon/lime tree). Well, off to bed. Tired. from this busy day. 3X on the steps is a lot for me. God bless you, Sue, You're remarkable. Elizabeth

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@ess77

Sue! Your message 6 days ago is awful!!!!!!! You wore me out just reading it! You actually toss your laundry further away??? ANd stretch??? Smart lady, but I'm way past you, sorry to say. I guess you got from previous notes, I'm blessed to be able to get up the stairs and down safely once daily! That's a good day for me! Partial jest….I do walk w/walker at Mayo as I mentioned before…..inside in the connecting corridors between 3 major buildings. To and from the gift shop! I do enjoy that walking and it's a good bit of steps, too. Can't always do it, but getting stronger now from October/Nov when I ended up in hospital I've been upstairs 3 times today, putting together gift bags for Mayo docs tomorrow – lemons from my 'cocktail tree'- (lemon/lime tree). Well, off to bed. Tired. from this busy day. 3X on the steps is a lot for me. God bless you, Sue, You're remarkable. Elizabeth

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Sue, how do you count your steps? Do you wear a watch? Please give me some tips, something waterproof and not to important. I don't need it to do much, just count steps walking and in water, maybe heartbeat? or ???? I ck'd online, but got more confused. Don't want to spend a fortune for this, but would enjoy and find it helpful. Any info is appreciated. Blessings. Elizabeth

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Sue: I was stuck for a long time when the Covid scare was bad and they didn’t know what they were doing (as if they do now!). The gym membership was still being charged but the gym was closed.

I got a bit creative by walking before/after store hours so I was by myself. This way I could plan depending on the weather. I can’t walk very far (falling risk), so I would go into a parking lot outside of a grocery store that left carts outside, wipe the handle with a wet one, and walk around the lot with a cart. It’s open and very visible from the road so the police would always see me, which made me secure to know they were watching out for me. With a shopping cart I could go for miles, but with a cane only a small fraction of that. (The store managers don’t mind as long as I return them clean.)

I would also make use of my time by using dumbbells. When watching tv I would walk carrying dumbbells around the house during commercials (most shows are about 40 minutes show, 20 minutes commercials) so at least I would get activity. It’s good for a huge list of benefits!

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@howardm

Sue: I was stuck for a long time when the Covid scare was bad and they didn’t know what they were doing (as if they do now!). The gym membership was still being charged but the gym was closed.

I got a bit creative by walking before/after store hours so I was by myself. This way I could plan depending on the weather. I can’t walk very far (falling risk), so I would go into a parking lot outside of a grocery store that left carts outside, wipe the handle with a wet one, and walk around the lot with a cart. It’s open and very visible from the road so the police would always see me, which made me secure to know they were watching out for me. With a shopping cart I could go for miles, but with a cane only a small fraction of that. (The store managers don’t mind as long as I return them clean.)

I would also make use of my time by using dumbbells. When watching tv I would walk carrying dumbbells around the house during commercials (most shows are about 40 minutes show, 20 minutes commercials) so at least I would get activity. It’s good for a huge list of benefits!

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@howardm, What a great and creative way to find a solution to outside walks that would keep you moving while keeping you safe from others and under the watch of police if needed for help from a fall! Using the carts for stability as you walked was an added benefit.

Congrats to you for your creativity!

REPLY
@ess77

No worry, Fiesy76! United Health Care coverage for this is great! They began offering it in Fl 1/2020…..I signed up that day almost. It's the same coverage as Silver Sneakers I think…..I can join for free all the gyms/YMCA's/and others and attend all the Silver Sneakers programs. I joined the Y in my area that has the warm therapy pool so I can use it with their programs…..baby water arobics, etc…..as well as use it alone. I haven't gone to the classes yet….seated yoga, etc…..due to own health issues and covid. Soon I hope. Enjoy your new found gift! Blessings, Elizabeth

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@ess77, Thank you so much for this information and for your good wishes, Elizabeth!

REPLY
@ess77

Sue! Your message 6 days ago is awful!!!!!!! You wore me out just reading it! You actually toss your laundry further away??? ANd stretch??? Smart lady, but I'm way past you, sorry to say. I guess you got from previous notes, I'm blessed to be able to get up the stairs and down safely once daily! That's a good day for me! Partial jest….I do walk w/walker at Mayo as I mentioned before…..inside in the connecting corridors between 3 major buildings. To and from the gift shop! I do enjoy that walking and it's a good bit of steps, too. Can't always do it, but getting stronger now from October/Nov when I ended up in hospital I've been upstairs 3 times today, putting together gift bags for Mayo docs tomorrow – lemons from my 'cocktail tree'- (lemon/lime tree). Well, off to bed. Tired. from this busy day. 3X on the steps is a lot for me. God bless you, Sue, You're remarkable. Elizabeth

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@ess, Laughing at your response to Sue and hoping that your doc visit goes well tomorrow! How kind of you to share gifts of lemons from your "cocktail tree" with your docs. Hope you'll let us know the results of visit and that it is just a "well-baby" follow-up?

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