Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
Exercise does not have to happen at the gym, at a yoga studio, or even outdoors. Getting your body moving and your blood pumping at home, without any expensive gadgets and gizmos, can be simple.
3 exercises you can do at home
1. Staircase push-ups. While the staircase is best for this exercise, if your home is on one level, you can also use a kitchen counter or sturdy coffee table. Standing in front of the staircase, place your hands on the fourth or fifth step. You'll know you're in the right position when, at the deepest stage of the push-up, your hands on the step are on either side of the center of your chest. Touch your chest to the edge of the step and press back up for completion. If it's too difficult, move up a step, and remember to move your feet forward a bit to keep your chest centered on the edge of the step you choose. If it's too easy, move down a step. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
2. Couch squats. Standing in front of the couch, stand with your feet wider than hip-width distance, and angle your toes out slightly. Now, with the couch about six inches behind you, push your hips back as you begin to bend your knees and lean forward slightly. Lower yourself gradually until you feel the couch below you, and stand back up to complete the squat. Beware: people often bend their knees too far forward, putting their knees past their toes. Instead, by pushing your hips back and leaning forward slightly as you bend, you'll engage more leg muscle and put less pressure on your knees. To increase the difficulty, hold a heavy book against your chest or wear a backpack to add weight. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
3. Couch sit-ups. Lie on the floor, facing your couch, with your knees bent, and tuck your toes under the base. Cross your arms over your chest and sit up, using your toes under the couch for leverage. Sit all the way forward until your elbows touch your knees and lie all the way back as you rest your head on the floor to complete the sit-up. To make this easier, hold a can of beans in your hands over your head, with your arms mostly extended, for momentum. To make it more challenging, hold a heavy book to your chest with your arms still crossed. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Perform and repeat these exercises in a circuit two to three times to increase the strength in your chest, shoulders, triceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and abdominals.
What are you favorite exercises to do at home? Let us know in the comments!
To learn more about exercise and diabetes:
Tip of the Week: Exercise Is Your Best Friend
Pump Iron, Not Insulin: How Workouts Curb Diabetes
Exercise Tips and Guidelines for Diabetics