two blue weights, a scale, black sneakers, and a blue exercise ball in a bright gym at a continuing care retirement community

When you get older, things change and your physical mobility decreases. One of the best ways to keep your mobility intact is by performing light exercises. These exercises help to keep your strength, balance and flexibility, and to prevent any injuries from day-to-day activities. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any of these exercises at home.

1. Ball Taps

This exercise will build your core strength, which will help with your overall balance. For this exercise you will need a chair to sit on and a small ball. You can also use any small object such as a phone book or a bowl set upside down.

  • Start by sitting up straight in the chair, making sure to not lean against the back. Holding your body upright will assist in engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Then place your hands behind your head, which will contract your abdominal muscles.
  • Slowly lift one of your feet to touch the top of the ball and then return it to the floor.
  • Continue these movements for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Light Wall Push-Ups

Wall push-ups can also help build core strength and may help with balance. This exercise can be done anywhere there is a wall and clear space for you to fit your body.

  • Start by facing the wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Also, be sure that your knees have a slight bend in them.
  • Place your palms on the wall with fingertips pointing towards the ceiling.
  • Slowly bend your elbows bringing your chest towards the wall, once you reach the wall then slowly push back away to starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise for 30-60 seconds.

3. One Leg Stand

The one leg stand can help improve balance as well. This exercise can be done in the same spot as the light wall push-ups.

  • Start by facing the wall with your feet shoulder width apart, being sure that your knees have a slight bend.
  • Reach out and touch your fingertips to the wall. Make sure to stand up straight and hold your balance.
  • Lift your leg up, keeping your hips level. Your opposite leg should still have a slight bend as you’re lifting.
  • Hold the lift for 5-10 seconds, then slowly place your foot back down on the floor. Repeat with the other leg.

4. Step Ups

Step ups are used to strengthen your mobility and engage your core. For this exercise, you can use a platform if you have one, but if you don’t, you can use your staircase. Using a staircase may be more helpful for you if need the support from the railing.

  • Start with both feet on the floor facing the platform.
  • Step up with your right leg.
  • Bring your left leg up to join the right leg.
  • Step down and return to the starting position.
  • Perform 5 steps with each leg.

Practicing these exercises a few times a week can be beneficial to someone looking to improve their overall mobility. These exercises are also helpful on days where you may not be able to take your afternoon walk because of the weather or other barriers.

Sources:

Nurse Next Door

NHS

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