Fitness

Improve Mobility and Balance in Just 6 Minutes a Day

After a certain age, people are more prone to falling and injuries. That’s because mobility and balance naturally decline in time.

But maintaining an active lifestyle can prevent and improve this issue.

Exercise does not only stimulate your entire body to function at high capacity, but also boost your general mood and brain cognition.

Did you know that every type of non-sedentary activity is crucial for your body’s well being?

Not only that but exercise has been proven to make the brain release serotonin (the happy hormone). 

Even the smallest actions, such as walking or strolling for one hour a day, or even squatting instead of bending after things, can make you stronger and increase blood flow in your body.

Not only that, but you will decrease the risk of injury, improve balance, etc.

While, on the other side of the spectrum, studies have shown that you start losing strength, flexibility, and balance after just a few days of lying in bed.

Regular Exercise Can

Improve Your

  • Immunity
  • Cardio-Respiratory Function
  • Cardiovascular Function
  • Bone Density (decreases the risk of Osteoporosis)
  • Gastrointestinal Function

While Decreasing Your

  • Risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, diabetes, obesity, etc.
  • High cholesterol
  • Arthritis pain

But I’m not just going to simply tell you to exercise and be active. No, I will show you how easy you can incorporate exercise into your life!

Therefore, if you like dancing or swimming, you already know what to do. However, if you don’t necessarily want to leave the house, then I’ve got the solution for you.

I have devised a simple workout routine that you can incorporate into your daily activities. Unless you have a serious health issue that impedes you from exercising, you are good to go.

Related: Scientists have a New Simple Trick for Maintaining Health – Brisk walking

In only six minutes a day, every day, you get to strengthen your core and improve your balance this way:

Stretch – improves your motor ability and relieves tension.

Neck Stretch 

Stand upright, feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Keeping your hands relaxed, start turning your head gently to the right and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Now turn to the left, hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times.

Attention:

  • When you feel a slight stretch, stop.
  • Don’t tilt your head forward or backward.

Upper Back Stretch 

upper back

Sitting in a firm chair place with your feet shoulder-width apart, flat on the floor. Raise your arms up and out in front of you, shoulder height, palms must face outward (the backs of your hands are pressed together).

Relax your shoulders and reach your fingertips out until you feel a stretch. This way, your back will move away from the back of the chair. Stop in that position and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat this stretch three to five times.

Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch 

Bend your right arm, the elbow is at chest level, and your right fist should be near your left shoulder. Placing your left hand on your right elbow, gently pull your right arm across your chest.

Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze (not only stretches the chest but also strengthens your postural muscles)

In a firm seat, sit up straight and rest your hands in your lap. Squeeze the shoulder blades toward one another.

Your focus is on keeping your shoulders down and hold in this position for three seconds. Release and repeat eight to 12 times.

Pelvic Tilts (besides stretching the lower back, they also strengthen your muscles)

Take a deep breath, tighten your buttocks and slightly tilt your hips forward. Hold for three seconds. Now tilt your hips back and hold for the same amount of time.

The movement should be very subtle. Repeat eight to 12 times.

Related: Mythbusting – Is Stretching Helpful If You’re Not Working Out


Strength exercises – builds muscles, increases blood flow, and preserves a good posture.

Wall Push-Ups

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing a wall approximately three feet away, lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall (they should be in line with your shoulders).

Your body must be in a “plank” position, spine straight, not sagging or arched. Gently lower your body toward the wall and then push back. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

For the next exercises, you will need to be seated in a firm chair.

Toe Taps 

Keep your heels on the floor, lift your toes just high enough to feel the muscles in your shin working. Repeat 20 times.

Heel Raises

Keeping your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor, lift your heels. Repeat 20 times.

Knee Lifts

knee lifts

Rest your arms but don’t press them on the armrests, contract your right quadriceps muscles and lift your leg. Your knee and the back of your thigh must be two or three inches off the seat.

Pause for three seconds and slowly lower your leg. Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Ankle Rotations

Lifting your right foot off the floor, slowly rotate your foot five times to the right and then to the left. Repeat the exercises with the other foot.

These basic exercises are sure to keep you in motion and activate your entire body. Add to them an enjoyable walk in nature for 15 minutes, and you have yourself a very productive way.

However, I’ve decided these are not enough for you and I want to give you more!

I know that at this age you are more prone to falling, this being the most significant source of injury for many seniors. That’s why balance exercises are essential for your well-being.

Although after a certain age your balance decreases, practicing regularly can help boost it significantly. You can choose activities such as Tai Chi or Yoga, but if you want to be in the comfort of your own home, I’ve got you covered.

Moreover, you can also do the following exercises anywhere, in line at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, etc.


Bonus Boosting Balance Exercises

Shifting Weight 

Standing with your feet hip-width apart (weight evenly distributed on both feet) relax hands by your sides. Shift your weight on to your right side, then lift your left foot a few inches off the floor.

Hold for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat three times.

If you need extra balance, in the beginning, you can also do this exercise with a sturdy chair in front of you in case you need to grab it.

Single Leg Balance

Standing with feet hip-width apart and your hands on hips, lift your left foot off the floor (bending at the knee and lifting your heel halfway between the floor and your buttocks).

Hold for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat three times.

If you need extra support, you can place your hands on the back of a sturdy chair.

Being healthy is a choice, and it’s yours to make.

I recommend you put into practice these daily exercises and see how you feel. You cannot expect change if everything remains the same. I am here for you.

Please tell me how you felt after doing these exercises and followed my tips. I am very curious!

If you have any questions or comments please write them down in the comments below.


References:

  1. Messier, Stephen P., et al. “Long‐term exercise and its effect on balance in older, osteoarthritic adults: Results from the Fitness, Arthritis, and Seniors Trial (FAST).” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 48.2 (2000): 131-138.
  2. Antunes, Hanna Karen Moreira, et al. “Depression, anxiety and quality of life scores in seniors after an endurance exercise program.” Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 27.4 (2005): 266-271.
  3. Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek J., et al. “Exercise and physical activity for older adults.” Medicine & science in sports & exercise 41.7 (2009): 1510-1530.
  4. Menec, Verena H., and Judith G. Chipperfield. “Remaining active in later life: The role of locus of control in seniors’ leisure activity participation, health, and life satisfaction.” Journal of aging and health 9.1 (1997): 105-125.

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