The Sport of Staying Home

By Kaitlyn Lorant PT, DPT
YTA Committee Member

For individuals with GBS or CIPD, rehabilitation is of the utmost importance. While in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be daunting to create new and engaging activities to maintain strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance. This article compiles a list of some fun, yet feasible exercises and activities to do while at home. Before starting any new exercises, patients and families should always consult with their therapy and medical team to ensure the activity is safe to perform.

  1. Let’s target those legs! Parents- find a window or hang up some paper and place a step stool in front. Have your child perform step-ups onto the stool to reach for something stuck on the window or to color on the paper. My personal favorite is to use tape to stick balloons onto a window or a wall that are challenging to reach for. Encourage your child to perform 1 step up for every 1 minute of coloring or after grabbing each toy.
    • This activity can also be performed in tall kneeling or half-kneeling instead of standing.
  2. Let’s get outside (following social distancing guidelines)! Parents, if you have a kiddie pool, set it up in the backyard and put toys in the pool that will sink. Have your child stand in the pool and squat/bend down to grab the toys.
    • Another idea in the pool is to have your child sit down and play “red light/green light” while kicking their legs in the water. Red light means stop, yellow light mean slow, green light means fast!
  3. Let’s move like an animal! Animal walks are one of the easiest exercises to implement and provide a high reward of working the whole body. These activities work best in an area with plenty of space and are something the whole family can participate in.
  4. Let’s get moving! This activity will require stickers, paper, and tape. Tape two pieces of paper to the floor about 6 feet apart. Start at one piece of paper and side shuffle to the other piece of paper and place a sticker on the paper. The side shuffle can be performed quickly or slowly. Make it a timed game and see how many stickers are on the pieces of paper after 3 minutes! For added difficulty, put a resistance band around the thighs or ankles!
  5. Let’s do some yoga! Yoga is an activity for kids typically 8 years and older, and any skill level. It targets all muscles in the body and incorporates stretching! For younger kids, write different yoga poses on popsicle sticks and take turns picking sticks. 
    • For teens and young adults, many yoga studios and fitness apps offer free online classes! Remember when searching for a yoga class, look for the yoga instructor’s credentials. Yoga Ed is a great online resource to start your search! (https://academy.yogaed.com)

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