Top Tips on Movement for Cocooners
- During the cocooning phase it’s essential we try and stay as active as possible and keep our joints and muscles in good shape.
- ‘Motion is Lotion’. If your joints feel stiff and sore they will benefit from regular gentle movement. People with arthritis, who get into the habit of keep their joints moving often, find activities easier than those who rest a lot.
- Sitting for long periods is not helpful for our mental or physical health. Stretch and stand up at least once an hour.
- No matter what your level of ability or your age, movement will benefit you.
- Regular movement boosts our circulation and stops our bodies from feeling sluggish. Even a light marching with our legs and, or an arm swing for a few minutes can be helpful.
- Build strength work into your daily routine. You can do this by lowering yourself into your chair as slowly as you can to build leg strength. Use your legs as much as possible, not your hands to get up from a chair. Strong legs make you steadier on your feet so activities like climbing stairs and getting up from the floor are easier.
- Build balance activities into your daily routine. This can be very beneficial, so you can step easily in different directions and react quickly in case you trip.
- Safety is important. There is a risk of injury if you move too fast, don’t have adequate supports or try keep up with people who are much fitter or stronger.
- Research findings: A person on bed rest for 1 week can lose up to 1% bone density and 20% strength. The good news is that research has also shown that strength can be regained with regular strength activities, progressed over time.
- Think about moving regularly to stay stong, steady and straight.
Compiled by Vanda Cummins, HSE Primary Care Physiotherapist, Community Health Organisation Dublin North City and County.