In later life, it can be more of a challenge to get out of the house to exercise. However, it’s important for us all to stay active. Regular exercise is vital for anyone who wants to stay healthy and independent. Although you may struggle to get to the gym or the swimming pool, there are lots of ways to exercise at home.
Top 5 Ways to Exercise at Home
Before you begin any exercise, make sure to clear up the area around you. Remove anything that could become a trip hazard. Open curtains or turn on lights so you can see what you are doing. Wear comfy clothes, sturdy shoes with good grip, and make sure you have a glass of water to hand.
1. Get Moving
The easiest way to get some exercise into your daily routine is just to stand up. Lots of older people spend the majority of their time sitting down. Once every hour or so, stand up from your chair and have a quick walk around. Even walking to the kitchen and back to make a cup of tea will help.
2. Chair Exercises
You might not believe that you can exercise while sitting down, but it’s true. This kind of activity is perfect for those who struggle with balance or mobility. Choose a sturdy chair without wheels, and preferably without armrests. From your chair, you can perform a variety of stretches and strength exercises.
Have a look at the HSE website for their official recommendations. The following exercise is especially good for lower body strength and flexibility, which can help prevent falls.
- Sit up straight on your chair – do not lean on the backrest.
- Let your hands hang by your sides or hold onto the sides of the chair.
- Place your feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent. Then, lift one leg up, keeping the knee bent.
- Raise the leg as high as is comfortable. Then gently place your foot back on the ground.
- Repeat with the opposite leg. Aim to do 5 lifts with each leg.
- As you build strength, increase the number of lifts.
This is a great way to exercise at home. It helps you improve balance, fitness, and muscle strength. Plus it doesn’t require any special equipment.
Stand up straight and lift one knee at a time. Try to lift your knee as high as is comfortable. It might help to hold onto something sturdy – trying placing one hand on a wall or holding onto a kitchen countertop.
When you hear the word ‘yoga’, you might think of super-flexible young people twisting themselves into knots on a yoga mat. Don’t panic though. Yoga is for everybody. There are plenty of varieties that are perfect for older beginners. Chair yoga is more and more popular in retirement homes and exercise classes. Try the following seated yoga pose:
- Sit up tall on a sturdy chair.
- Place your hands behind your head on either side.
- Next, gently twist your upper body to one side and hold this position. You will begin to feel a nice stretch down your side. Don’t be tempted to push further than is comfortable.
- Breathe deeply.
- Slowly return to the centre, then repeat on the other side.
5. Bicep Curls
This might sound intimidating, but we promise it couldn’t be simpler. Strength exercises like this one are great for older people because they help build muscle (which lots of us start to lose as we get older).
You don’t need to buy proper weights. Just find two items of the same weight. Tins of soup work well. Alternatively, fill two empty bottles with a little water. Hold one weight in each hand down by your sides. Then bend your elbows and bring the weights up towards your chest. You can lift one at a time or lift both together. Aim for 10 reps on each side.
Stay Active, Stay Safe
We hope you’ve enjoyed our top tips for exercise at home. If you’re worried about your health or wellbeing, you might like to consider a personal alarm from Lifeline24. Our personal alarm pendants give you 24/7 access to our Emergency Response Team. If you ever have a fall or you just need some assistance, you can press your pendant alarm button. We’ll answer the call straightaway and send help to your home.
Don’t forget, you can also order your life-saving personal alarm online from Lifeline24.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 12th May 2022 to reflect current information.