Four fab exercises from Move it or Lose it
With the winter weather well and truly here, heading out for a daily walk may not be possible for some older people. Instead, a fitness expert has urged them to do a little exercise while waiting for the kettle to boil.
Julie Robinson, founder of Move it or Lose it, a fitness business that designs specialist exercise programmes for older people, said its fab four “cuppa” exercises can help people to stay strong and independent – and they only take a couple of minutes to do.
“It’s particularly important for older people to keep active, so while exercise classes and daily walks are great to maintain fitness levels, it’s also easy to supplement regimes with our very simple routines that can be done every day while waiting to make a cup of tea,” she said. “These ‘cuppa’ exercises are gentle and they can really make a difference to an older person’s strength and mobility.”
The Heel Lift
Place your hands on the kitchen counter and stand as straight as possible with your feet hip-width apart. From a standing position, raise your heels so that you are standing on the balls of your feet, then slowly return your heels to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, or as many as you can manage. This is a great exercise that helps to work your calf muscles.
This is a great weight-bearing exercise that will help to keep arms and shoulder muscles strong. Just grab a couple of tins or two small bottles of water – no need to buy special weights – and stand up straight, legs slightly apart. Hold a tin or bottle in each hand and place them down by your side. Slowly raise your arms to shoulder height, hold briefly, and then lower arms slowly back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, breathing normally throughout.
Sit To Stand
You’ll need a dining chair for this exercise, which is perfect for maintaining leg and hip strength. Simply sit and stand in a slow, controlled manner 10 times, keeping your back straight. If you are able to, try not to use your arms to support you as you stand because this will help to strengthen your leg muscles more. When you are confident, you can even raise your arms sideways when standing.
Side Leg Raises
Stand side-on to the kitchen counter and support with one hand. With your back straight (avoiding tilting), slowly raise your one leg to the side and place back on the floor. Keep your feet facing forward, ensuring you don’t turn out at the hip. Repeat 10 times and then turn around do the same on the other leg.
Move it or Lose it exercise classes have been carefully developed by experts to help people over 60 improve their flexibility, aerobic health, balance and strength. Instructors complete an online training course and two practical assessments, all of which typically takes eight weeks.
Julie said: “When you start off, just do as much as you can – that may only be one or two repetitions, but try to build up to 10 at a time as your strength improves. If you try to do an exercise every time you boil the kettle, it’s amazing how many exercises you can fit into a day.”