Exercise advice for the elderly

March, 2013

Every month as part of our medical advice for the elderly section, we provide a number of simple exercises to help the elderly community to stay active. We believe with regular movement and exercise the elderly can keep fit and stay independent for longer. If you care for elderly people encourage them to get active too! Last month we looked at a few exercises focusing on flexibility and this month we turn our attention to strength.

Sit to stand – good for leg strength

A. Sit on the edge of the chair, feet hip-width apart. Lean slightly forwards.

B. Stand up slowly, using your legs, not arms. Keep looking forwards, not down.

C. Stand upright before slowly sitting down, bottom-first.

Aim for five repetitions – the slower the better.

Mini squats

A. Rest your hands on the back of the chair for stability and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

B. Slowly bend your knees as far as is comfortable, keeping them facing forwards. Aim to get them over your big toe. Keep your back straight at all times.

C. Gently come up to standing, squeezing your buttocks as you do.

Repeat five times.

Sideways leg lift

A. Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.

B. Raise your left leg to the side as far as is comfortable, keeping your back and hips straight. Avoid tilting to the right.

C. Return to the starting position.

D. Now raise your right leg to the side as far as possible.

Raise and lower each leg five times.

Wall press up

A. Stand at arm’s length from the wall. Place your hands flat against the wall, at chest level, with fingers pointing upwards.

B. With back straight, slowly bend your arms, keeping elbows by your side. Aim to close the gap between you and the wall as much as you can.

C. Slowly return to the start.

Attempt three sets of 5–10 repetitions.

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