For seniors who want to be fit for life, there are many functional exercises that can be done to keep the body strong and flexible and will mimic everyday activities that you do to remain independent. Here are some exercises for you to do at home that can be done everyday and is sure to keep you active and healthy.
Wall Ball Squats
Using an exercise ball, place it on a wall and lean against it with your lower back. Place your feet shoulder width apart and slightly out in front of you. Slowly squat down until your knees are bent to between 45 and 90 degrees, or whatever is comfortable, then stand up and repeat. The use of a ball will make it easier to roll up and down the wall while exercising the leg muscles.
Chair Squats/ body squats
To help move in and out of a chair and exercise the leg muscles, place your feet shoulder width apart and repeat standing and sitting from a chair. If you need assistance, boost the chair height by adding a pillow or thick book so you are sitting higher. Sit in front of a railing or table and use the surface to assist you in standing if needed.
This is made easy and safe to do with a medicine ball, but dumbbells can be used also. Holding the weight with both hands and keeping it close to your chest, press it overhead extending as far up as you can, and then return to your chest. This will mimic placing an item on a high shelf.
Twists with Step
A medicine ball is ideal, but a dumbbell can also be used. Hold the weight with both hands and twist your torso moving the weight across your body from the left hip up toward your right shoulder. Switch sides and repeat. You can also do this exercise while taking a step in any forward or side direction. Step at many angles for the best results as you will work a wide variety of muscles throughout the body.
Step and Place
To mimic lifting something from the ground and putting it on a counter or shelf. Begin by placing the medicine ball at your feet on either side. Bend at the waist and lift the weight up and place it onto a table of shelf. Use a variety of placements table and shelf heights for best results.
Another excellent choice to maintain activity levels is to use a Reebok B-1 step counter. This way you can stay motivated and accountable by setting daily goals for walking.
For each exercise, start with 1 set of 10-15 repetitions and progress to 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. Use a weight that is challenging yet comfortable to improve your strength and decrease the risk of injury.