While doing many many admissions with Matthew, exercise in the hospital was often the only option for me.
As a special needs mum taking care of yourself by exercising has so many benefits.
What motivated me to exercise?
Years ago I suffered a back injury which effected 3/4 of my back, I spend years doing Pilates as rehab to support the injured areas, prevent it happening again, and manage the pain.
We had to manage it through 3 pregnancies, with all the exercise I had done over the years pain wasn’t an ongoing issue.
Until Matthew got older, having a growing boy reliant on you for every part of his care put enormous strain on you in every way, including physical.
I was already at risk, I also have a casual job which requires yearly fitness assessments, which in the scheme of things I am very grateful for. This gave me motivation to find ways to maintain and even increase my fitness while in hospital. After I addressed the exhaustion and made sure I was putting good things into my body.
So I came up with a list of exercises in the hospital.
Some without even leaving Matthew’s room.
6 Hospital Friendly Exercises
If you can’t do any that’s okay. I couldn’t do any either.
I started doing 5 from my knees on the couch or bed. The cushioning made it easier to get used to. I once had the chance to ask an Olympic trainer, “Is it okay if I only do 10 minute workouts?”
He said absolutely yes. He said that doing 10 minutes of an exercise multiple times a day you’re going to do more and have more improvement than if you just do one long session a day.
So don’t let the fact that you only have a few minutes to do something before your next task stop you from doing something.
Just wash your hands after your done. We all know how gross hospital floors can be!
My preference over a sit-up any day. My physio recommended this over a sit-up, to help protect my pelvic floor and my back. Again start small, 10 – 30 seconds and go from there.
Admittedly I haven’t done these in the hospital personally but they are super simple. But VERY effective for just about every part of your body.
Watch some youtube videos for guidelines on getting your form right, but again so simple, only takes a few seconds each.
When you’ve got a few and would like distraction, try searching in youtube for the ‘bring sally up squat challenge’ if nothing else it’ll be a good chance for a laugh at yourself.
Then do it again another day, see if you can beat your record.
Alright so this isn’t an exercise you can do inside the hospital.
But we all know the hospital staff are always encouraging us to take some time out. Clear your head. Get outside even. When desperate and the weather was bad, at our hospital* I was able to get access to the gym that was part of the complex.
Just 15 minutes of running could change everything for your mental health, your physical health. Set a timer. Even download a couch to 5k app, it will make it super simple.
Before you know it you’ll be back inside grabbing a shower and back by your child’s side, energised and with a clear head to face what is happening next.
If running is a no go for you, go for a walk.
If you’re taking a walk I challenge you to make sure it is outside. The benefits of the fresh air should not be underestimated. This means a trip to get another coffee doesn’t count as going for a walk.
*At the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne in theory the wards should be able to get you guest access. If you’re staying at Ronald Mcdonald House, the office definitely has guest passes.
You want your child to have the best version of you right?
On your game, mental clarity, strength to lift them, move them. Stamina to get through those long nights, endurance for those long and stressful admissions.
All of those things are easier if you take care of you first. I know you might feel guilty or argue that you just don’t have time. But would you say that to them? You feel guilty doing things to make life better for them?
Set the example for them.
I’ve tried but I am just too exhausted
May I make a recommendation?
Luke brought this stuff home for me to try when I was completely overwhelmed and sleep deprived. I was taking it for 4 or 5 months before the fog lifted and I had the energy to exercise again, and I haven’t looked back since. The benefits just in getting better sleep were mind blowing.
What are your hospital tips and ideas for exercise?
How do you exercise in the hospital? I’d love to hear your tips.
Leave me a comment hear or jump over to facebook and leave a comment on the blog post so we can share what works for us.