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9 July 2021 09:26

Exercises to try at home

Cramond Residence’s physiotherapy partner Balanced Edinburgh recommends doing 10-20 minutes of targeted exercise most days alongside general aerobic activity (depending on ability). Balanced’s favourite exercises include:

Resident exercising in gym with physio

Sit to Stand

The ability to rise from a chair is critical in terms of independence, so this is a great exercise to start with.

• Sit up tall near the front of the chair.
• Position your feet hip-width apart and slightly back.
• Lean forward a little.
• Stand up slowly – use your hands to push you up if necessary.
• Slowly lower yourself back into the chair.
• Repeat up to 10 times.

Begin by using a high chair or put cushions under your bottom and progress to a lower chair. Off-setting your feet, not using the arms of the chair or holding a weight can be used to make this exercise more difficult as you improve.

Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop.

Sit and Reach

This is a flexibility exercise which stretches out the hamstrings. Many seniors struggle to touch their toes when standing or sitting which makes dressing difficult.

• Sit in a chair and straighten one leg while keeping the other one bent.
• Slowly reach forward, sliding your hands down the straight leg until you feel a stretch (do not push into pain).
• Return and sit up nice and tall.
• Repeat 5 times each side.

Care should be taken to do this gently if you have a back or hip problem. Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop.

Tandem or Single leg balance

The kitchen is the perfect place to practice this balancing exercise as the work top can be used to steady you when necessary.

• Stand close to the work top and hold on while you raise one foot off the ground.
• Then try and hover your hand off the supporting surface, balancing on one leg.
• Repeat on the other side.
• As you progress, try and increase the time you can remain on one leg without support.

If this is too difficult then try a tandem stand – place the heel of one foot in front of the toe of the other then swap. This can even be modified further by placing the side of one heel into the arch of the other foot.

Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop.

For further information on movement and exercising at Cramond Residence visit our Physiotherapy page.