Everyone knows that it’s good to exercise to stay fit and healthy, but with adults aged 65 and over spending an average of 10 hours a day sitting down, maintaining an exercise regime for older people is vital.
Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintenance of good physical and cognitive function. The NHS recommends that older adults should undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength at least two days a week.
Whilst you should check with your doctor before engaging in any kind of exercise, the following are simple, low-intensity NHS-recommended exercises and stretches which can still make a difference to your health and wellbeing:
To develop and maintain upper back flexibility, sit on a chair and cross your arms with your hands on your shoulders. Using just your upper body, twist to the left and hold for five seconds before twisting to the right.
To loosen neck muscles, sit upright on a chair, look straight ahead and hold your left shoulder down with your right hand. Slowly tilt your head to the right while holding your shoulder down. Repeat on the opposite side. Hold each stretch for five seconds and move on to the other side.
To strengthen leg muscles do some mini squats by placing your hands on the back of a chair and standing with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees as far as you can, keeping your back straight. Slowly raise yourself up and repeat five times.
To improve and maintain balance, face a wall and stretch your arms out so that your fingertips touch the wall. Lift one leg, keeping the other one slightly bent, and hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat three times for each leg.