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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Video Tip Week 5: Fitness in the Home


Download PDF copy of this week's tip sheet

Watch this week's video tip below to see Blythe Hiss demonstrate some creative ways to increase your activity at home.




Video Clip Text:

Many individuals have a difficult time getting out into the community to access recreation and fitness activities. Whether it is an environmental issue such as weather or transportation, or an issue of not being comfortable in a gym or fitness facility, a natural alternative is being active at home. This can be an easy, safe and rewarding endeavor for both you and your family. Today I have some items that are commonly found in your home, that you can use to be active.

Various Jump Ropes
Various Jump Ropes
A jump rope can help with agility, balance, cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. It can be done slowly with little or no impact (i.e. walking or stepping over the rope), or fast with high impact (if you're really good!). It can be pretty inexpensive (less than $5) and can be done to your favorite music, or to no music, your choice. Jump rope can be done in the driveway, in the yard, or in the garage. It can be done fast or slow, and you can jump to a specific number (i.e. 20) and then try to increase the number each time or for a certain amount of time. It can be done with family and friends or alone. If you use a wheelchair or have difficulty maintaining your balance, try it seated. Just fold the rope up so the handles are together, and using one or both hands together, swing the rope on your sides, alternating, staying on one side, or mixing it up. You can even try a lasso type movement. Again, be creative. You may need to cut or tie your rope to make it the appropriate length for this.

Aerobics can be done at home with a video or just with your favorite music. If you are doing a video, you may need or want the routine to be taught, or described by a partner if you have a visual impairment, until you feel more comfortable with the movements, but eventually you can do it independently (if you want, though, sometimes it's more fun with a partner). NCHPAD does have a video list that you can access online (Exercise Video List). If you can't find one that you like or you don't want to spend the money to purchase one, browse internet sites like youtube.com to see if there are video clips of aerobics movements you can upload, or rent an aerobics video from the local video store. Maybe you can't find a whole video that you like, so write down some of your favorite moves from various videos or video clips and create your own. Even if a video doesn't seem to be specific to your abilities, be creative and adapt the movements. Remember, almost any movement done standing can also be done from a seated position, so don't let that stop you. For example, marching in place just using your arms can also increase your heart rate. Or keep a chair nearby so you can perform movements while holding onto it, using it to sit down if needed. Just make sure the movements are comfortable and you stay within your body's range of motion as well as targeted intensity levels using the RPE scale.

Various Balls
Various Balls
Basketball is fun and accessible whether the participant has a basket or not. You can use inflatable balls (shown in video) or even a balloon. If you're alone, you can bounce or toss the ball to yourself sitting, walking, running, or even skipping. Like jumping rope, aim for a certain number, or for a certain amount of time. My 4 year old and I use a balloon to see how long we can keep it from hitting the ground, and I get pretty worn out in just a couple of minutes! You can practice shooting the ball either at an actual basketball hoop or just into a trash can or bucket. If you have a visual impairment, have someone tie a bell to the basket. They can ring the bell to determine the location of the basket before you aim the ball in that direction. You can pass the ball back and forth like hot potato with a partner, increasing speeds to increase your heart rate or increasing the size or weight of the ball to increase the resistance.

Hopefully something I've said today will spark some ideas and allow you to be creative in increasing your activity. Again, just always remember to keep the movements comfortable and stay within your body's range of motion as well as targeted intensity levels.


Please visit http://www.ncpad.org/survey/survey.php?sid=61 to provide us with your valuable feedback.


If you have any questions, please contact Blythe Hiss at sbonne2@uic.edu or call 312-996-5965.


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