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IKF Blog
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Bring your workout indoors: 5 great exercise options you can perform at home

Despite your best intentions to stay active and exercise, there are some obstacles that we have no control over. COVID-19 is one of them. Since everyone has been inside and it’s still not clear when exercise rooms and other common areas will be open, it’s more important than ever to find ways to meet your physical goals while at home.

Staying active and maintaining your strength, balance and flexibility can reduce the risk of falling and losing mobility while improving the quality of life.  Although some people worry that the possibility of injury may increase, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) notes that there is no increased risk for exercising at home and the benefits are many.

There’s no need for special equipment or weights and there are plenty of online resources that can illustrate how to perform the exercises in the proper way. As with any program, it’s important you have your doctor’s approval. And remember - safety always comes first.

Exercising at home

While you wait to get back to the gym, here are 5 areas where the benefits of exercise can clearly pay off:

1. Endurance

As we grow older, we naturally begin to lose some of our endurance, so it’s important to slow this process down. The best exercises to increase heart rate include walking, jogging, swimming or playing tennis. But what can you do if you’re staying inside and your gym or fitness center isn’t open?

Make it fun. Turn on the music and create your own dance steps as you go along. Jog in place or find an online Zumba or cardio class. The key is to get your muscles moving and your heart pumping. If you can go outside, check out this link for ideas.

2. Strength

This training not only helps build and maintain your body strength, but it can also keep your bones healthy, improve your stability and prevent falls. You won’t need a set of weights to perform these at home. The only equipment, in fact, is a kitchen chair for support.

Create a routine of squats, which strengthens your lower body and core, wall push-ups for your upper body or standing on your toes to build up your calf muscles. Review thislink for examples.

3. Balance

Maintaining your balance can help prevent falls and keep you moving. Some of the basic exercises you can do at home include:

Standing leg lifts - stand behind a chair with your hands holding the back if needed for support. Slowly lift your right leg up and balance on your left leg and hold. Repeat with the left leg.

Balancing on your toes – holding onto a chair if needed, rise up on your toes and hold the pose to build up your calf muscles.

Walking the tightrope – walk heel-to-toe while pretending to navigate a tightrope. Keep your arms out for balance while walking in a straight line.

Follow this video for beginner balance exercises.

4. Flexibility

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to bend as far as you would like in the beginning. Regular stretching will help this improve. Review this video for some examples.

Start with basic side stretches, shoulder stretches and then turn to your calf and hamstrings. It’s easy to find online examples or videos if you need a little instruction. If you’ve already been practicing Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi or always wanted to, check out the online videos or sign up for virtual instruction.

5. Join a group class

It will need to be virtual of course, but this is a great option to get a good workout in and not feel that you’re so isolated. Try Go4Life Workout Videos for suggestions. They offer everything from 10 to 60-minute workouts that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Make sure you find one that is appropriate for your fitness level and that you enjoy it. Decide on how many days a week you’ll participate and try to stick to the schedule.

Fitness bonus tips

  • Regardless of where you may exercise, there are general recommendations to follow:
  • Dress comfortably and wear the proper shoes so you’ll have freedom of movement but still be stable.
  • Make sure you have a clear space to work out.
  • Have a chair handy if you need to sit down. Also, use the chair, countertop or the back of a couch to help balance if needed.
  • Warm-up first and cool down after you’re finished.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Find your exertion balance between too little and too much. NCOA recommends gauging your effort with the talk test, which means find the exercise level where you can still talk, but not sing.

Taking advantage of your time at home

While we’ve all been at home to stay safe, many of us are tiring of movies, televisions and playing games. It’s understandable, especially for active adults that are ready to get back to their life. Thankfully, we can now see that day is coming.

But until it’s here, you may find that using your time productively can help you cope both physically and emotionally. Taking part in an exercise program is beneficial to your health no matter where it occurs.

Ingleside at King Farm Independent Living

At King Farm, we are supporting our residents during this health epidemic as they stay at home and stay safe. And together, we look forward to returning to our social activities and engaging community life. Knowing that we are all in this together helps us continue to welcome the future with optimism and strength.

When we are able to reopen our shared spaces, you’ll find everything you need to stay physically fit as we offer a heated indoor pool, walking trails and a fitness center. And it’s all within a short distance from your beautiful apartment home.

Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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