Are you finding it hard to move around these days?
It’s important to stay active, no matter how hard it may seem.
By working on your strength, you can help maintain your mobility and prevent falls.
Before you begin to exercise, be sure to speak with your doctor to make sure it is safe to workout. Do this especially if it has been a long time since you’ve exercised or have health concerns.
Always start a workout with a warm up; you can walk for 5 minutes on the treadmill, do some modified jumping jacks, or perform swinging motions with your arms and legs.
Once you’re muscles are ready to exercise, you need to focus on a few things:
1. Correct Posture
- Incorrect posture will do more harm than good;
- No matter the exercise, make sure your shoulders are back and chest is out;
- For standing upper body exercises, make sure your legs are shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, shoulders back, and chest out;
- For standing lower body exercises (like squats and leg raises), make sure your legs are shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and upper body leaning slightly forward. Imagine yourself in a tennis player’s form.
- Do not hold your breath;
- Take long, full breaths in order to maximize oxygen intake.
3. Choosing the Right Weight
- Arms & Shoulders – Start with 2lbs in each hand
- Upper Body – Men should try starting with 8lbs, and women should start with 5lbs
- Lower Body – No weight is necessary, weight should be enough
The following are 7 exercises that can help increase your strength:
- Aerobics: You can walk on the treadmill, go for a walk or hike, or take a swim in the pool.
- Standing Squats: Bend as far into a sitting position as you can without letting your knees go past your toes. You can hold onto a chair for balance if you’d like. Perform 2 sets of 10.
- Arm Raises (Sitting or Standing): Hold hands (with or without weight) at your side and without bending your elbows, lift the weights to shoulder height. Hold it for a second then raise your hands above your head. Perform 2 sets of 10.
- Bicep Curls (Sitting or Standing): Hold weights (2-8lbs) at your side with your palms facing forward. Then bend your elbow, bringing the weight toward your chest! Perform 2 sets of 10 on each arm.
- Standing Push Ups: Stand with your palms flat against a wall and arms fully extended. Bend your elbows, bringing your torso closer to the wall, and hold it for a second. Then straighten your elbows back until they are fully extended again. Perform 2 sets of 10.
- Standing Leg Extensions: While holding onto the back of a chair for balance, raise one leg directly behind you from the hip. Don’t let the leg you’re raising bend at the knee and hold it for one second! Perform 2 sets of 10.
- Calf Raises: While holding the back of a chair with your feet together, raise yourself up only with your toes. Hold it for a few seconds and then lower your heels back to the ground. Perform 2 sets of 10-15.
After your workout, it’s important to make sure you stretch. There’s plenty of different types of stretches: from trying to touch your toes to rotating your torso back and forth. Whichever one you choose, make sure to hold or perform it for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Remember, a stretch should never hurt! If the stretch is causing you pain, immediately stop and try something else. Try stretching anywhere from 2-5 days a week!
Make sure to perform exercises you can do comfortably. The point is to stay active and prevent injuries, so don’t push yourself too hard. Do you have any exercises you’d like to add? Please leave your favorites and feedback in the comments below!