Movement is something that we as humans often take for granted in life. However, there may come a time in your life where these simple movements become increasingly difficult. This can be due to a number of different reasons; physical conditions, mental conditions, age etc.
On the bright side, even though your mobility becomes limited in future, there are various exercises that can help you maintain a healthy level of movement or even increase it!
Before attempting any of the below, please:
Ensure chair is sturdy and safe.
Ensure supportive shoes are worn.
If the individual exercising experiences chest pain, dizziness or shortness of breath, STOP immediately and call 111.
Expect slight soreness the next day.
1) Heel Raises
Step 1: Get a stable 4-legged chair and stand tall behind it securely holding on the back of the chair.
Step 2: Lift your heels off the floor, moving the weight onto your toes.
Step 3: Hold this position for 3 seconds, then slowly lower with control.
(Repeat 10 times)
This exercise focusses on strengthening your calve muscles which are essential to good balance.
2) One-leg stand
Step 1: Get a stable 4-legged chair and stand tall behind it securely holding on the back of the chair with one hand.
Step 2: Balance on one leg, looking straight, keeping your posture upright and supporting your knee.
Step 3: Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, then change leg and repeat.
(Repeat 3 times each leg)
This exercise focusses on strengthening your hamstring muscle which ultimately increases overall balance. It is also a good exercise to boost stability confidence.
3) Heel Toe Walking
Step 1: Stand upright with one hand on a support surface (eg: kitchen cabinet, windowsill)
Step 2: Look straight ahead and walk forward placing one foot directly in front of the other to form a straight line (like walking on an imaginary tight rope)
Step 3: Aim for a steady walking line till you reach the end, then turn around and repeat in the other direction.
(Repeat 3 times each direction)
This exercises focusses on increasing your overall balance and stability, whilst correcting your walking technique.
4) Regular Walks/Marches
Regular walks are the most important exercise of all. Not only does it work a collection of essential muscles, it also promotes independence and improves overall quality of life!
When walking for exercise it is important to occasionally include marches as leg movements. This prevents shuffling of feet and reduces risks of falls in future.
(Repeat as often as possible!)