The Importance Of Physical Activity

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that older adults who remain physically active are less likely to suffer from falls and if a fall does occur, physically active older adults are less likely to sustain serious injury. In addition to a lower risk of falls, being physically active can improve mobility and can help maintain independence. Below are a few key guidelines for older adults wishing to be more active:

  • Remember to always speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
  • Do your best to move more and sit less! Whether that is going for an afternoon walk or doing a little housework during the day, it is important to move throughout the day.
  • Balance is an important component of fitness for older adults. Working on your balance can help prevent falls and improve your ability to perform activities of daily living such as eating, bathing and dressing.
  • If you have a chronic condition, be sure to ask your doctor how that impacts your ability to be physically active.

Looking for more guidance? Here are a few documents from the CDC and American College of Sports Medicine that can help you get started!

Physical Activity Framework Graphic

Being Active as We Get Older

Be Active Your Way

Below are three exercises you can do from your chair –

Seated Calf Raises – increases strength and mobility in the lower leg

  • Sit tall in a chair with your feet planted on the floor
  • Start with one foot, lift your heel off the ground as high as you can with your toes still planted on the ground. Slowly lower heel back to the ground and repeat with the other leg.

Seated Hip Marches – Improve flexibility and mobility in the hips

  • Sit tall in a sturdy chair with feet flat on the ground
  • Hold on to the edges of your chair with both hands and use your core to stabilize yourself. Lift your right leg with your knee bent as high as you can as though doing a knee-march.
  • Slowly lower your leg to the floor and repeat with the other leg

Seated Torso Twists – works to engage the core and encourages spinal mobility

  • Sit tall, feet flat on the floor (make sure you don’t lean back in your chair)
  • Put your hands behind your head; elbows bent, pointing out to the sides of the room
  • Keeping your core strong, exhale and twist your torso to the right as far as you can comfortably
  • Inhale and return to the center keeping your hips stable
  • Switch sides and continue until you’ve done 5-7 repetitions

These are movements you can do from your chair and can help you stay active from home this winter!