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Paul J. Mackarey, PT, DHSc, OCS

A healthy immune system may be the difference between recovery from illness and dying. While you may not be able to improve an otherwise healthy immune system, you can take steps to maintain its health and integrity. Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system.

With the closing of fitness centers, school gyms and exercise classes due to COVID-19, it may be a good time to begin a home exercise program that is quick and easy. For some, home exercises can be done before or after working from home to gain or maintain muscle tone. For others, home exercises may help maintain independence and safety performing daily activities around the house such as; climbing stairs, getting in and out of a shower, putting on shoes and socks, cooking, cleaning, and carrying groceries or laundry. 

I have comprised 10 simple exercises including upper and lower body and balance and core. The only equipment you will need is a chair and resistance bands; yellow has the least resistance, black the most, red, green, blue in between. They can be purchased at any sporting goods or department store.

Remember, for most people it is more harmful not to exercise, so contact your physician to discuss whether independent exercise is appropriate for you. If you have special needs, you may need to consult with a physical therapist to get started. Good luck…I hope this helps you survive the COVID-19 quarantine!

Sitting Exercises with Resistance Band

These exercises are performed while sitting in a chair with a backrest, slowly. Hold the position for 3 seconds. Perform 5 -10 repetitions. Do these exercises 3-5 times per week. Begin with a yellow light resistance band. 

Row the Boat (PHOTO 1)

Saw Wood (Photo 2)

Elbow Extension (Photo 3)

Hip Spread (Photo 4)

Hip Hike (Photo 5)

Leg Kicks (Photo 6)

Standing Exercises with Resistance Band:

Shoulder Shrug (Photo 7)

Elbow Bend (Photo 8)

Standing Leg Curl (Photo 9)

Standing Walk Aways  - Backward (Photo 10)

Standing Walk Aways  - Forward 

Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.      

Keep moving, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and live long and well!

Read Dr. Mackarey’s "Health & Exercise Forum" every Monday in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.