If you’re an older adult looking to establish an exercise routine, you should, be able to incorporate 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity into your week. This can include walking, swimming, cycling, and a little bit of time every day to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.
Regular exercise helps control cholesterol levels, body weight, and blood pressure. It reduces the risks of stroke, heart attack, hardening of the arteries, and strengthens bones to help fight osteoporosis.
Be sure to start slowly and take it easy if you haven’t been active in a while. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Single Limb Stance: Stand behind a steady, solid chair (not one with wheels), and hold on to the back of it. Lift up your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet.
2. Walking Heel to Toe: Put your right foot in front of your left foot so that the heel of your right foot touches the top of the toes of your left foot. Move your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel. Then, shift your weight to your toes. Repeat the step with your left foot. Walk this way for 20 steps.
3. Back Leg Raises: Stand behind a chair. Slowly lift your right leg straight back, don’t bend your knees or point your toes. Hold that position for one second, then gently bring your leg back down. Repeat this ten to 15 times per leg.
4. Side Leg Raise: Stand behind the chair with your feet slightly apart. Slowly lift your right leg to the side. Keep your back straight, your toe facing forward, and stare straight ahead. Lower your right leg slowly. Repeat this exercise ten to 15 times per leg.
5. Single Limb Stance with Arm: Stand with your feet together and arms at your side next to a chair. Lift your left hand over your head. Then, slowly raise your left foot off the floor. Hold that position for ten seconds. Repeat the same action on the right side.
6. Shoulder Rolls: Rotate your shoulders gently up to the ceiling, then back and down. Next, do the same thing, but roll them forwards and then down.
7. Marching in Place: Marching is a great balance exercise for seniors. If you need to hold onto something, do this exercise in front of a counter.
It’s important to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.