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How to Get Healthier, Stronger, and Pain-Free During COVID-19 Isolation and Distancing

Stuck at home and without a gym to stay moving? Isolation and distancing doesn’t mean you need your health to deteriorate.

My name is Kathleen Schoell, a Physical Therapist and Women’s Health specialist at Buffalo Rehab Group.

COVID-19 has affected us all — and if we’re not careful, it can continue to affect our lives long after the virus has been removed.

As a women’s health specialist, I’m continuing to find my patients who feel tired, weak, and, as my patients often put it… “blah.” More than ever, many (both men and women) are spending too much time slouched on the couch or in a chair.

Aside from struggling physically, many are struggling mentally, too.

Whether it’s missing valuable time with your family or brunch with friends — life is different.

But you do have a choice to improve both your physical and mental health during this time. You can still take care of yourself — improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and even heal injuries and pain.

Here are three ways I encourage you to fight back against isolation, distancing, and inactivity associated with both — even if you have no exercise equipment at home:

Walk a minimum of 30 minutes every day

  • Brisk walking can help not only from a physical standpoint but also mentally and reduce stress.
  • Walking can improve your posture that so many are struggling with by being stuck inside. Improving your posture can help you with pain in the neck, shoulders, and low back.
  • Walking can help you maintain the health of your lungs, joints, bones, and muscles. As the old saying goes – if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Use free weights or resistance bands 3-4 times per week

  • The use of free weights has been shown to drastically outperform other forms of exercise.
  • Focus on exercises that use multiple muscle groups to burn the most calories and to build strength in multiple areas at once.
  • If you don’t have access to weight or resistance bands, common home goods like cans of soup and bags filled with books can be a great substitute.

Connect with your friends and family online.

  • Isolation can affect us all differently, but social interaction is critical for your mental health.
  • Don’t let technology overwhelm you! Many platforms online platforms, like Facetime, Zoom, and Facebook Video are simple to use once you do it!
  • Take your regular social events and bring them online. Book clubs, family meetups, dining, and happy hours are easy to move online.
  • Online interaction is not meant to replace person-to-person, but it’s important for your mental health to connect with your family and friends.

The key is to focus on what life can look like when COVID-19 is over. Will you be stronger? Will you be healthier and pain-free?

It’s what I am working on with my patients — even as most choose to stay home and use us with online telehealth appointments. The above suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg.

Luckily, insurance companies have made it simple for me and other Physical Therapists to help our community.

Some, like Independent Health, BlueCross, and Univera, have even waived patient copayments and deductibles! And when you consider the appointments are simple to set up and attend — it’s an easy decision to get help.

I can’t encourage you enough to use the three simple steps above to take care of yourself.

And if you’re interested in having personalized help from a Physical Therapist to help you with your strength, pain, or injuries, then I encourage you to schedule an in-person or online appointment with a Physical Therapist.

Scheduling and set up for appointments is simple and with our expanded hours from 7am-7pm, you won’t have to miss work or time with your family.

Here’s the number to call to schedule: (716) 458-1990

You can also request online by clicking this blue button:

All the best to you and your family,
Kathleen Schoell PT DPT
Physical Therapist