8 Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed: Improve Daily Functioning and Reduce Functional Limitations

Exercising regularly is very important for your health. Engaging in regular physical activity can have several benefits for your brain and body. It can enhance brain health, assist in weight management, lower the chances of developing diseases, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your overall ability to perform daily tasks.

Adults who spend less time sitting and engage in any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity experience some health benefits. Physical activity is one of the most important lifestyle choices for your health. Anyone can enjoy the health benefits of physical activity, regardless of age, abilities, ethnicity, shape, or size.

Benefits of Exercise

Weight Management

Both the way you eat and the way you exercise are important for managing your weight. If you eat and drink more calories than you burn, including the calories burned during physical activity, you will gain weight.

To maintain your weight, gradually increase your physical activity to 150 minutes per week. This can include activities like dancing or doing garden work. To reach the goal of 150 minutes per week, you can exercise for 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week.

The amount of physical activity needed for weight management varies greatly among individuals. To reach or maintain a healthy weight, you might need to be more physically active than other people.

Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles

As you get older, it’s important to take care of your bones, joints, and muscles. They support your body and help you move. It’s important to keep your bones, joints, and muscles healthy so that you can do your daily activities and stay physically active.

Doing activities that strengthen your muscles, such as lifting weights, can help you build or keep your muscles strong and powerful. This is important for older adults who have less muscle mass and strength as they get older. By gradually increasing the weight and number of repetitions in your muscle strengthening activities, you can gain even more benefits, regardless of your age.

Improve Your Ability to do Daily Activities

Some examples of everyday activities are climbing stairs, going grocery shopping, or playing with your grandchildren. A functional limitation refers to the inability to perform everyday activities. People who are physically active in their middle-aged or older years are less likely to have difficulty with everyday tasks compared to those who are not active.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed

Doing different types of physical activity can help older adults improve their physical function and reduce the chances of falling or getting injured from a fall. Make sure to include physical activities like aerobic exercises, muscle strengthening exercises, and balance training. You can do multicomponent physical activity either at home or in a community setting as part of a structured programme.

A hip fracture is a severe health condition that can happen when someone falls. Breaking a hip can have serious and long-lasting negative effects, especially for older adults. People who are physically active are less likely to experience a hip fracture compared to those who are inactive.

Increase Your Chances of Living Longer

By simply increasing their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by a small amount, adults aged 40 and older in the US could prevent approximately 110,000 deaths per year. Just adding an extra 10 minutes each day can have an impact.

Walking more each day can also reduce the risk of dying early from any cause. For adults under 60 years old, the risk of dying early stops increasing after they take around 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. For people aged 60 and older, the risk of dying early remained steady at around 6,000 to 8,000 steps per day.

Can Anyone Exercise?

It is important to speak with your doctor before you begin an exercise programme. This is particularly important if your doctor is already keeping track of your health condition, like heart disease or osteoarthritis.

But, physical activity is beneficial for everyone. Most people can start exercising at a slow pace on their own. If you have never exercised before, begin by doing a 10-minute session of gentle exercise. Walking briskly every day is a good way to start exercising. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise.

It’s important to exercise, even if you have a physical disability that makes it difficult to move. If you talk to your doctor, they can suggest different exercises that can help improve your overall health.

How Hard Must I Exercise for Health?

Doing even a little bit of exercise is better than doing nothing at all. Begin by choosing an activity that you like and feel comfortable doing. Discover how to measure your pulse and determine your target heart rate, which is typically around 80% of your maximum heart rate. As you get more comfortable with exercising, aim to exercise within your target heart rate zone to maximise the benefits. Before you start, make sure to talk to your doctor. Not everyone should exercise at 80% of their target heart rate. This is particularly true if you have specific health conditions or are taking certain medications.

To check your pulse, place two fingers gently on the side of your neck, halfway between your ear and chin. Count the number of beats for a duration of 10 seconds. To find the number of beats per minute, multiply this number by 6. Here’s an example: if you’re not moving and you count 12 beats in 10 seconds, you can multiply 12 by 6 to find out that you have 72 beats per minute.

To determine your target heart rate, subtract your age (in years) from 220. This is the highest heart rate your body can reach during physical activity. To find your target heart rate, multiply that number by 0.80.

For instance, if you are 40 years old, you can find your maximum heart rate by subtracting 40 from 220. This will give you a maximum heart rate of 180 (220 – 40 = 180). Multiply the number by 0.80 to get the result. For example, if the number is 180, multiplying it by 0.80 gives you 144 (180 x 0.80 = 144). Your target heart rate should be 144 beats per minute.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed

Butterfly Bridges

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Then, bring the bottoms of your feet together with your knees open, like butterfly wings. Keep your arms by your side and press your palms into the mattress. Press your feet into the bed and raise your hips while keeping your knees spread apart. As you lower yourself, stop just before your butt touches the bed, then push your hips back up. Try to do 20 to 30 repetitions.

Twisting Plank

Begin by positioning yourself in a forearm plank position, which means resting on your elbows with your body lifted off the ground. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lower your hips towards the right side. Raise them back up to the centre and lower the hips towards the left. That’s one repetition. Ensure that your buttocks are not raised too high and that your hips do not sag downwards. As you move, your feet will naturally turn.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed

This exercise may be more difficult to perform in bed because the soft mattress creates an unstable surface, making it harder to keep your body aligned. Using this unstable surface will make your abs work harder to keep your body balanced. If you’re a beginner, it might be easier for you to do this exercise, as well as any planks, on the floor. Try to do 20 repetitions.

Happy Baby Pose

Start by lying on your back and bringing both knees in towards your chest. Hold the feet directly with your hands. To hold the centre of the foot, you can use both hands or wrap your fingers around the big toes. To open your knees wide and bring your feet towards the ceiling, keep your back on the mattress and do it gently.

Make sure your ankles are aligned with your knees. Your legs should have bent knees and be at a right angle to the floor. Keep this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, which will help stretch your hips and groyne.

Supine Twist

Lie down on your mattress, positioning your body on the right side in a curled-up foetal position. To make it easier, bend your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle. Then, extend your arms straight out in front of your right shoulder. If you want to support your head, you should lie on a pillow. Breathe in and raise your upper arm. Rotate it to the left until you feel comfortable. Some people are able to fully rotate their body into a lying spinal twist position.

If you are unable to open that far, you can place your left hand on top of pillows that are stacked next to you for support. Look at the left hand. Hold for 20 seconds, then move your left hand back to meet your right arm. Turn over and change positions so you can stretch the opposite side. – Mike Donavanik is the founder of Sweat Factor.

Child’s Pose with Mattress Hold

Position yourself so that your knees are directly under your hips and your toes are pointing behind you, with the big toes touching each other. Extend your arms in front of you and grab the top of your mattress to hold the stretch. Remember to take deep breaths while doing this.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed

Rest your forehead on the mattress and breathe out as you fold deeper into the pose. Adjust the position of your knees as necessary. Try to hold your breath for 5 to 10 counts. This stretch is excellent for your back and shoulders. It also helps to relieve tension in your hips.

Cross Ankle Hamstring Stretch

Position yourself on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mattress. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh. If you feel satisfied with the stretch, gently apply pressure to your right thigh and hold for approximately 20 seconds.

To stretch your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your thighs) more effectively, raise your left leg off the mattress and hold your hands behind the top of your left thigh. You should feel a stretch in the back of your left thigh. This stretch can help to open up your right hip. After taking a few breaths, switch to the other side.

Bicycle Crunch

Lie on your back and lift your knees up so that your thighs are vertical and your hips are at a 90-degree angle. This is also known as a tabletop position. Bend your right knee and bring it straight towards your chest, allowing it to bend even more. Extend your left leg out in front of you while keeping it raised off the ground.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in Bed

To perform this exercise, tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your left shoulder blade off the floor. Then, slowly twist your body to bring your left elbow towards your right knee, which should be bent towards you. Try to move your elbow towards the knee on the opposite side. Ensure that your lower back remains in contact with the bed. Hold the position and then do the same thing on the other side, switching the positions of your legs. Perform 15 repetitions on each side.

Cat Cow

Begin by positioning yourself on the bed with your knees and hands, forming a quadruped position. Make sure your torso is in a straight line. Take a deep breath and start to gently curve your back for the Cow position. Place your toes in a position where they are bent under your foot. Adjust the position of your pelvis so that your tailbone is pointing towards the ceiling. When you turn to look at the ceiling, your neck is the last part of your body to move. Make sure to tighten your abdominal muscles as you bring your belly button towards your spine while lowering your torso towards the bed. Hold for two seconds.

Breathe out as you slowly round your back into the Cat position. To come out of the arched position, start by placing your feet flat on the floor. Then, lower your pelvis and tuck your tailbone under. Keep engaging your abdominal muscles and lower your head so that you are looking towards your thighs. Hold for two seconds. Keep changing positions for 10 breaths.

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