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Keep Moving (While Sheltering in Place)

So COVID-19 is here.

You’ve been trying to work from your couch for the past several weeks. You’re suddenly fondly missing your office chair and it’s ergonomic curves. But the end of the lockdown isn’t in sight so you’re looking at somewhere in the ballpark of 4 to 4,000 more weeks of couch working. So what’s to be done?

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THERE IS HOPE! The world will make it through this somehow and so will you.

OK before you read further please go wash your hands….

OK done? Great!

There are two top priorities for your poor creaky body during this time.

First priority: Keep your joints moving.

Moving a joint helps to lubricate the bone surfaces to keep them healthier. It helps make the joint fluid more viscous making movement easier and more fluid. It improves circulation of blood to the joint. This means the joint receives more oxygen and its waste gets carried away more effectively.

How should you move all your joints? You can get as unoriginal or as creative as you want. I don’t have a lot of brain space these days for joint creativity (I’m too busy reading websites like this one…). So I’m going for the boring version.


For the sake of simplicity try all these moves about three times each.

Ready, Set, Go:

Neck: Circle your head one way (1,2,3) and then the other way (1,2,3)

Shoulders: Do windmill circles with your arms one way…and then the other way

Elbows: Bend and straighten, bend and straighten

Wrists: Circle one way…and then the other way

Fingers: Wiggle, wiggle. Like you’re playing the piano

Rib cage: Circles in one direction. Like you’re hula-hooping with your rib cage. Then the other direction

Pelvis: Circles in one direction. Now you’re hula-hooping with your hips. Then the other direction

Hips: OK this is the crazy one. Hips are important. You have to move them in three directions (x, y, and z-axis for you math people).

  1. Swing one leg back and forth. Then the other leg
  2. Swing one leg from side to side. Then the other leg
  3. Now lift your knee up a bit and pivot your foot side to side. This lets your hip rotate. Then the              other leg

Knee: Bend and straighten. Bend and straighten

Ankles: With your foot up in the air do circles in one direction. Then the other direction

Toes: Wiggle. Wiggle


But seriously I know that was a lot of words. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never have to read through it again because it’s pretty intuitive. It also seems long but I just timed myself and the whole thing told 1 minute and 13 seconds. Also full disclosure my whole body sounded like snap, crackle, pop and now my heart is pounding (for the record I’m writing this while sitting on my couch).

So grab your quarantine mate to read the list to you while you try it (or make a Zoom call or something).

See wasn’t that something? Don’t you feel more alive now???

(Go wash your hands)

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Second priority: Get some aerobic activity.

“Moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with better immune function.”And we all know we want that right now.

If you want to know more here’s a good read.

This could be a walk or a bike ride if you’re allowed out of your house. If you aren’t 5 minutes of jumping jacks or jumping rope will do the trick.

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I suggest doing your joint movement dance twice a day and your aerobic routine once a day. And of course, wash your hands.

Stay healthy everyone!

“All posts and information provided within this blog are for informational and educational purposes only, and should not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this website. The information provided in this blog is believed to be accurate based on the most current research and best judgment of the author. However, you as the reader must be responsible for consulting with your own health professional on matters raised within. Greenwood Physical Therapy staff authors and all guest authors on this blog will not be held responsible for the actions or consequential results of any action taken by any reader.”


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