Simple and easy exercises for older adults | ͵͵

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I want to be active but I find exercise difficult

We all know moving more is good for us. But knowing what kind of activity is right for you can be difficult – especially if you've just had a fall, an operation, or if you're living with a long-term health condition.

Being more active doesn't have to mean working up a sweat or joining a gym. It's about moving more each day in whatever way works for you. A few small changes can make a big difference. After the video, we've brought together some ideas of activities that could help you get started.

Moving more, in the best way for you

Her consultant thought she'd never walk again, but Sue's determination to keep moving every day in a way that worked for her has put her back on her feet.

Stand up regularly

If you sit down a lot during the day, try to get up once an hour and have a little stretch. If that's not possible, move your arms and legs for a few minutes while you're sat down.

Standing without help

Use the following steps to work towards pushing up from sitting down to a standing position without using a walker or leaning on someone else.

  • Sit on a chair without arm rests, with your arms across your chest.
  • Lean forward.
  • Put your weight on your feet while leaning forward.
  • Stand up by straightening your knees.
  • Sit down again.
  • Repeat this as many times as you feel able.
  • Try to do this exercise 3 to 5 times a day.

Try some gentle stretching

It's a good idea to do some gentle stretching everyday to help you stay mobile – you can stretch in bed or from a chair if that's easier for you.

  • While sitting or lying, bring your toes towards your shin and then point them toward the floor. Repeat for both feet.
  • Sitting on a chair, lift your leg up off the seat, keeping your knee bent. Return to starting position and repeat.
  • Sitting on a chair, pull your toes up, tighten your thigh muscle and straighten your knee. Hold for about 5 seconds, if you can, and then slowly relax your leg. Repeat for both legs.
  • Sitting on a chair with your feet on the floor, bend your knee as much as possible. Repeat for both legs.
  • Sitting on a stool, let your back drop and get rounded, then use your back muscles to straighten your back and arch it – but not too much because you don't want to overstretch your back.

Walking between rooms

If you're steady on your feet, try walking from one room to another and back again. You could time how long it takes you and try to beat your time each day.

Worried about falls?

As we get older, we may start to feel a bit unsteady on our feet. But there are lots of things you can do to prevent falls and stay steady on your feet.

Chair-based exercise classes

Lots of local ͵͵s run chair-based exercises classes, where a trained instructor will take you through a series of simple, fun exercises to music you'll love. As well as helping you to get active, they're also a great place to meet new people.

See if your local ͵͵ runs chair-based exercise classes

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If you're contemplating starting an exercise class, do it. No matter your problem, there's always some way of matching an exercise to your ability. And you'll find that you feel so much better.

Jean, who goes to ͵͵ Lincoln's seated exercise class

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Last updated: Jul 19 2024

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