Finding the motivation to exercise on a lazy Sunday can be a challenge. Between service, football and family dinner it may seem there’s no time (or energy) for a workout. But you can sneak in a couple of healthy moves and still enjoy your R&R.
Feeling super lazy? You can do a few of these without getting out of your chair.
1. Put on Your Game Face
Disappointed with a call the ref just made? Did your fantasy football player intercept a pass? Put your mood to work for your facial muscles. Simple range of motion exercises can help reduce stiffness in the face and mouth muscles, a common Parkinson’s symptom. These moves are quick and easy to do, anywhere, anytime.
Happy with a play? Smile wide with your lips open, close them, then grin again with closed lips. Surprised the quarterback got sacked? Try the sour lemon expression – pucker your lips as if sucking on a lemon. This tightens the muscles around your mouth. Then gently relax. Raising your eyebrows or frowning also help work the facial muscles too.
2. “Souper” Stretches
Prepping that cozy Sunday soup or chili? Before you pour the ingredients in the pot, grab the cans and do a few simple arm lifts. If your balance is OK that day, you can try this strengthening exercise while standing up. Otherwise, grab a kitchen chair and take a seat first. Grasp a can in each hand. Your arms should be relaxed at your sides with your thumbs facing up and palms facing each other. Gently try to push your hand as high as you can without pain.
Bonus tip: You can also do this exercise in front of the TV using any type of beverage can.
3. Touchdown Stretch Did your team just score a touchdown? Mimic the ref’s arms-up call with this simple doorway exercise. Note: You’ll need to be able to reach the top of the door frame to do this move.
To start: Stand in a doorway. Straighten your arms, lift them up in the air, and gently place your hands on the frame overhead. (Safety tip: Make sure the frame is safely secured to the wall.) Slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your shoulders and chest. Hold for 10 seconds or a bit more, then relax.
Can’t reach the top of the door frame? Hold your right arm out to the side, bend at the elbow, and place your forearm on the door frame. Gently turn to the left and feel a nice stretch in your right shoulder and chest. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, then switch sides.
Remember: Never overstretch, and stop immediately if you feel pain.
4. Microwave & March
Heating up some snacks or popcorn for a Sunday movie marathon? March around the kitchen while the microwave counts down. March 10 steps, then take 10 long steps. Swing your arms while you do so. The marching movement helps build endurance, and swinging helps loosen the shoulder and arm muscles so you ease stiffness.
Not in the mood for food? Try this exercise during a commercial break or on your way to the bathroom. Turn up your favorite song and march to the beat. Don’t want to miss a bit of the movie action? You can march in place while seated.
Exercise is simple medicine. Adding a few easy moves to your daily routine is simple to do and will help reduce stiffness and help you live better with Parkinson’s.
Learn more about the benefits of exercise for Parkinson’s disease and find fun classes in your area by connecting with The Power Through Project.
By Kelli Miller