10 / 03 / 21

Six gentle exercises for strength, balance and flexibility

When you think about exercising you may think of all those pumping iron in the gym.

But exercising isn’t just for gym-goers, it is for everyone at every age.

Keeping your muscles strong, improving your balance and increasing flexibility can all help you do all the day to day things you need to, like climbing the stairs and carrying heavy bags of food shopping to the car. Plus, you don’t need to join a gym to keep yourself fit as here we outline six exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Exercises for Strength

Chair Squats

These are great for strengthening the entire lower body.

Stand in front of a chair with your feet hips apart. Bend your knees while keeping your chest upright. Then simply sit down, but as soon as your bottom reaches the seat, stand quickly back up again. If you want to make it a little more difficult, slow down the sitting movement by counting to three before you take the seat. Repeat 10 -15 times rest a minute then go again as many times as you feel you can.

Wall Push-Ups

These are simply a push-up movement against a wall rather than from the floor. But this movement will provide strength for your entire upper body with the focus being on your arms and chest.

Stand in front of a wall up to two feet away to allow for range of movement. Placing your hands up against the walk and keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and lean in towards the wall. Stop when your face is close to the walk quickly straighten your arms pushing yourself away from the wall. As with the previous exercise, if you want to make it more challenging slow it down. 10-15 reps and repeating it three times is a good place to start.

man doing wall push ups

For Balance

Single Foot Stand

This is harder than you may think and does need a fair amount of concentration. It is basically standing on one foot but for an amount of time. To start, stand behind a sturdy chair and hold onto the back of it. Raise your left foot and balance on your right foot and try to hold it for 60 seconds then swap your legs. Attempt to increase the time as you go along – trying not to wobble!

woman standing on one leg balancing

Tip Toe Lifts

This is a simple but effective exercise to strengthen your legs and improve your balance.

Standing behind a chair and holding the back for support, push yourself onto your tip toes as raise yourself as high as you can go then return back to the floor. Keep repeating for as long as you feel comfortable.

For Flexibility

Wall Snow Angels

Growing up, did you lie down and perform snow angels in the freshly fallen snow. Well, this next exercise is reminiscent of that.

This movement really helps to open up your chest and encourage flexibility in your back and shoulders.

Stand a couple of inches from a wall and place your head and lower back flat against it. Put your hands by your side, with your palms facing out and the back of them against the wall. Move your hand above your head as high as possible, keeping the backs of your hands touching the wall at all times. If you are not that flexible, keep your hands as close to the wall as possible. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable doing.

The Head Turn

A simple exercise to flex and strengthen the neck area. Sit down on a straight-backed chair and turn your head left to right until you feel a little stretch. Hold the position for a few seconds before turning your head to the other side.

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