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9 Daily Physiotherapy Exercises for Homebound Individuals with Reduced Mobility

One’s ability to move is everything and we don’t realise it until it’s compromised. You’ll know this if you suffer from reduced mobility which makes it hard for you to leave your home. But staying as active as possible is essential for your overall health and well-being.

In this article, we’ll share some easy-to-do and effective exercises for mobility that you can do at home!

Understanding the Benefits of Daily Exercises

Some benefits of exercising at home while you’re bedbound or have limited mobility are:

  1. Enhanced Quality of Life: Imagine regaining enough mobility to perform daily tasks more efficiently, experiencing less pain, and feeling that uplifting sense of autonomy again.
  2. Boosted Mobility: Each movement is a step toward loosening the grip of stiffness and immobility, making your body more fluid and agile, if that’s a possibility.
  3. Reduced Health Complications: Exercises for homebound individuals are like a shield that guards you against the potential risks of sedentary living, such as cardiovascular issues or worsening mobility.

You should religiously stick to your exercise program to increase home mobility and enjoy its benefits. Consistency isn’t just about repetition; it’s about making a commitment to your health and watching the small, daily efforts bloom into significant improvements in your physical well-being.

Preparing for Your Daily Routine

Exercising at home is different than in a gym or a physiotherapy clinic in London. It’s best to have a physiotherapist come to your home to guide you on how you can set up your home environment to make it suitable for your mobility exercises.

For example, our physiotherapists can walk you through setting up a little sanctuary in your home which has ample space for movement and is safe. Think of it as your personal gym, tailored just for you.

We can also tailor your exercise program to ensure that each exercise is perfectly suited to your needs and is safe and effective.

Why? So you don’t hurt yourself using the wrong equipment or small spaces. It also allows us to personalise your exercise program based on your goals and facilities.

9 Daily Physiotherapy Exercises for Homebound Individuals with Reduced Mobility

The exercises detailed below are generally suitable for people of all mobility levels. But you should still chat with your physiotherapist before doing any of them.

1.   Warm-Up Exercises

Gentle neck stretches are brilliant for easing stiffness that may creep into your neck from staying in one position for too long.

To do these safely, sit up straight and slowly tilt your head towards one shoulder (such that you bring your ears towards the shoulder) until a gentle stretch is felt on the opposite side of your neck. Hold it there, taking deep breaths, then gently return to the starting position.

Repeat on the other side.

This simple movement helps maintain neck flexibility and can be a real game-changer in reducing discomfort. You can stretch to the point you’re comfortable and increase intensity as you progress.

Another exercise for mobility is the shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight and imagine holding a ball between your shoulder blades. Now squeeze them together, hold for a few seconds, and release.

It’s a great way to engage and strengthen the muscles around your shoulders and upper back, improving your posture and reducing the risk of strain.

2.   Core Strengthening and Stability

Did you know that you can do a pretty decent core workout while sitting?

Seated abdominal contraction is a core-strengthening exercise you can do at home without getting down on the floor.

Sit up as tall as you can, breathe in, and as you exhale, tighten your belly, and pull your belly button towards your spine. Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release.

You can make it more challenging by lifting your feet off the ground while you hold your abdominal contraction. A 2021 research found that such exercises can increase trunk stability and your spine, which may be useful to support you while sitting without back support, standing, or walking.

Pelvic tilt is another subtle yet effective exercise to increase mobility at home. Sit on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor. Tilt your pelvis forward slightly, tightening your abdominal muscles, then gently arch your lower back. It’s a small movement that introduces flexibility around your pelvic regions and promotes a stable foundation for your body.

3.   Lower Body Mobility

Maintaining your ankle mobility is crucial, especially when movement is limited. Ankle circles are a great way to do that. In either sitting or lying down, lift one foot off the ground and rotate your ankle, making circles in the air.

This action gets the blood flowing, reducing swelling and improving joint flexibility. Switch feet after several rotations. It’s a simple move with benefits for your entire legs. You can make it harder by adding a resistance band or wearing ankle weights around your lower legs to really challenge your muscles.

Ankle circles are valuable for people with chronic ankle instability, balance issues, and fear of falling. You’ll notice that this exercise makes its way into nearly every mobility program for hospitalised patients.

Knee extension exercise helps people with limited mobility by strengthening their thigh muscles and keeping their knee joint flexible.

While seated, extend one leg out in front of you and then raise your foot off the ground, straightening the knee. Lower the foot back down with control. Add ankle weights or load a backpack with a few books and lift it with your legs to make this exercise harder for greater benefits. This exercise can help make your daily movements smoother and less strenuous.

4.   Upper Body Strength

A simple exercise for improving mobility in the upper body is arm raises. Lift both arms out to the side and then overhead, like you’re reaching for the sky. This movement enhances shoulder strength and flexibility, making overhead tasks easier and reducing the risk of shoulder issues. Plus, it’s a great way to inject a little energy into your routine.

You can take it up a notch by holding dumbbells or any weighted object in your hands and repeating the exercises until exhaustion if you want greater strength in your upper body.

Our wrists do so much for us, so let’s show them some love. Do basic wrist flexion and extension exercises by gently moving your wrists up and down and in circles. Hold everyday objects such as an umbrella, phone, or water bottle to make the exercise more challenging and train yourself for daily tasks.

This exercise builds wrist strength and flexibility, supporting almost every hand movement, from typing to lifting.

5.   Enhancing Overall Circulation

Torso twists are our favourite way to get your blood flowing. Sit up straight and hug yourself such that your hands are on the opposite side of your back. Then gently twist your torso to one side, then the other, keeping the movement smooth and controlled.

This exercise isn’t just about flexibility; it’s about nurturing your spine, encouraging healthy blood flow, and keeping your back limber and pain-free.

You can also do this in lying by bending your knees and rocking them from one side to the other, twisting your hips and lower back. Simultaneously, extend your arms and move them the opposite way.

Consistency is Key

Regularity isn’t just beneficial; it’s crucial if you want to make the most out of your physiotherapy exercises for reduced mobility. Think of these exercises as part of your daily routine, much like having your morning cuppa.

By performing these exercises consistently, you’ll likely see improvements in your mobility and a reduction in discomfort. It’s like planting a garden; the steady care brings blossoms.

Consider setting a daily schedule, perhaps with a mobile app or a physical diary, to keep track of your exercises. If you’re unsure where to start, our physiotherapists can help design a routine that’s just right for you, tailored to your needs and abilities, ensuring you progress every day.

Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Routines

Tracking your progress with these exercises can be incredibly rewarding and informative. It helps you see the strides you’re making, no matter how small they may seem day to day.

Plus, it’s vital to tweak your routine as you improve or if you encounter new challenges – this keeps your exercises effective and engaging. Regular check-ins with a physiotherapist allow for these adjustments. It ensures your routine remains beneficial and aligned with your mobility and health goals.

This way, you’re not just going through the motions; you’re actively advancing on your health journey.

Your Next Steps

Remember, every little movement counts towards a larger goal of enhanced mobility and a better quality of life. Stay motivated and committed to your routine. And remember that these small daily actions are building blocks to a more active and fulfilling life.

If you’re feeling stuck or need a bit of extra guidance, visit our physiotherapy clinics in Eltham, Battersea, Norbury, or Woolwich.