Over 70? Our Guide To Staying Fit & Active At Home During Self Isolation
Staying Fit And Active During Self Isolation
Whilst you’re self isolating, we’ll be bringing you information and support to help you stay fit, active and improve wellbeing. Just simple exercises to be done at home with no equipment.
Here, Nancy our physiotherapist at ElWell has written a sample of the best strength and balance exercises that the over 70s can do at home to stay fit and active at home during the coming weeks and months. Many of them can be adapted to make them easier or harder depending on the individual.
These exercises are a great way to stay fit after 70. You may already be familiar with them if you have been to a strength and balance class or had advice from a physiotherapist.
All these strength and balance and muscle strengthening exercises are general advice. You know your body the best so if you don’t feel able to do one or all, then please don’t. Look after yourself.
Benefits Of Exercise For Over 70s: Why Exercise When Self Isolating?
Self-isolation and stopping non-essential contact is going to be hard, and it’s important to keep our strength (both mentally and physically) up during this time. Regular exercise is one way to help with this.
Did you know that the over 65s have the most to gain from keeping fit and exercising?
This is because, even during normal times, they are more likely to be sedentary than other age groups.
Any change from a sedentary lifestyle to a moderately active one makes a big difference to your health. And the more you do, the greater the senior health benefits. Plus, there’s a real synergy between exercise and mental health. Read more about looking after your mental wellbeing here.
Doing these muscle strengthening exercises two to three times a week can make you stronger, meaning you are less likely to fall at home. If you want to read more about falls prevention, we’ve got some articles here.
How To Exercise At Home When You’re Over 70
Here are my favourite, tried and tested exercises to help improve balance, strength and core stability.
I have split them into three different locations in the house: the bedroom, the kitchen and on a chair.
The bedroom: These exercises can be done lying down either on a mat or on the bed if you have trouble getting up from the floor.
The kitchen: Standing exercises that are best done where there is something sturdy to hold on to like the kitchen unit
The chair: Exercises sitting down in the chair.
You could do these exercises at different times of the day to get yourself in a routine starting with the ones on the bed when you first wake up, then in the kitchen after breakfast and in your chair in the afternoon.
Working on these will help you maintain and potentially improve your mobility and independence around the house while you are unable to go out.
Before you start make sure that you are hydrated, wearing comfortable clothing and suitable footwear (backless slippers are not advisable).
These exercises can all be done on the bed, or lying on the floor and concentrate on your core stability. When doing these exercises think about the quality and control of movement as you are doing them.
1. Bent knee fall out (Transversus abdominus)
2. Core stability in crook with alternate leg elevated
3. Bridge (simple)
4. Active range of motion
These exercises work primarily on your strength and balance and can do be done standing, holding on to a rail or kitchen uni. Make sure you have something sturdy you can hold onto, but resist the temptation to grip onto too tightly and use your arms instead of your legs to balance.
The pictures below show some exercises with a frame this is just to show that they are suitable for people of all abilities. Exercises 5 & 6 can easily be done without a balance mat, or you can just use a cushion to make it more challenging.
1. Mini squats
2. Heel raises
3. Hip extension
4. Hip abduction
5. Timed unsupported stand with feet together
6. Tandem standing
These exercise can all be done in a chair, even at the same time as watching the TV.
1. Cervical rotations
2. Shoulder circles
3. Scapula retraction
4. Sit to stand
5. Knee extension
6. Ankle circles
Online Physiotherapy Support
We can help you stay active and mobile at home during self isolation with personalised one-to-one physiotherapy sessions over video call (Skype, FaceTime, Zoom – your preference).
These will be conducted with Nancy, the lead physiotherapist at ElWell. She is a chartered physiotherapist with over 15 years’ experience working in hospital and in clients’ homes – you can read more about her here.
Tailored to you, the session will include:
✓ Initial phone call with Nancy to discuss your current situation
✓ Assessment of identified area
✓ Personalised exercise programme
✓ Exercise diary
✓ Mobility equipment recommendations, easily ordered online and delivered to your door
✓ A check-in during the following week to see how you are getting on
Booking online physiotherapy support
You can ring ElWell on 01865 238185, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below.
If you feel well then these exercises will help you to stay fit and active. Click on the download button next to each section (bedroom, kitchen, chair) for more details on each exercise. Good luck and stay safe.