Five exercises to boost muscle strength in our elderly loved ones

Five exercises to boost muscle strength in our elderly loved ones

As we get older we do need to pay more attention to our bodies and that includes as we enter our twilight years. Mobility issues can have a huge impact both on physical and mental health.

Keeping muscles strong, maintaining balance and flexibility can be really important in preventing falls and promoting independence and exercises are recommended by many professionals from physios and GPs to carers in elderly care home services

Naturally, exercises do need to be adapted to suit the condition and needs of elderly loved ones, but encouraging parents, grandparents and other elderly relatives to stay active and partake in exercises is incredibly important. So, here are five you can suggest to them to do…

Chair Squats

Chair squats are an excellent exercise for strengthening the muscles of the legs and buttocks. This exercise mimics the action of sitting down and standing up, making it highly functional for daily activities.

How to do it:

1. Place a sturdy chair behind you.

2. Stand with feet hip-width apart.

3. Slowly lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you are about to sit down.

4. Just before you touch the chair, pause and then push through your heels to stand back up.

5. Repeat 10-15 times.

Chair squats help improve leg strength and stability, making it easier to perform tasks such as getting up from a seated position.

Wall Push-Ups

Wall push-ups are a great way to strengthen the upper body muscles, including the chest, shoulders, and arms, without putting too much strain on the joints.

How to do it:

1. Stand facing a wall, about an arm’s length away.

2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

3. Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and lean towards the wall.

4. Push back to the starting position.

5. Repeat 10-15 times.

This modified version of the traditional push-up is easier on the joints and suitable for older adults, helping to build upper body strength and improve posture.

Seated Leg Lifts

Seated leg lifts target the muscles in the lower abdomen and thighs, and they can be performed while sitting in a chair, making them accessible for those with limited mobility.

How to do it:

1. Sit tall in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor.

2. Slowly lift one leg straight out in front of you, keeping it as straight as possible.

3. Hold for a few seconds, then lower it back down.

4. Repeat with the other leg.

5. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each leg.

Seated leg lifts help strengthen the lower body and improve balance, which is essential for reducing the risk of falls.

Toe and Heel Raises

Toe and heel raises are simple yet effective exercises for strengthening the calf muscles and improving ankle stability.

How to do it:

1. Stand behind a sturdy chair and hold onto it for support.

2. Lift your heels off the ground, rising onto your toes.

3. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back down.

4. Next, lift your toes off the ground, standing on your heels.

5. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your toes back down.

6. Repeat 10-15 times.

These exercises can be performed anywhere and are great for enhancing lower leg strength and balance.

Arm Curls with Light Weights

Arm curls help strengthen the biceps and improve the ability to perform daily tasks that require lifting and carrying.

How to do it:

1. Sit or stand with a weight in each hand (use light weights, such as 1-2 kg, or household items like water bottles).

2. Keep your elbows close to your body and palms facing forward.

3. Slowly curl the weights towards your shoulders.

4. Hold for a moment, then lower the weights back down.

5. Repeat 10-15 times.

This exercise helps build upper arm strength, making it easier to carry groceries or lift objects.

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