7 Simple At-Home Exercises for Seniors

7 Simple At-Home Exercises for Seniors

Jun 26 2014

Not everyone can or is able to go to a gym to workout. But that shouldn't keep anyone from doing simple, at-home exercises for seniors to help increase mobility. Balance exercises in particular are important to help prevent falls.

These seven at-home exercises for seniors are easy ways to help increase mobility by promoting strength and balance, and they are simple enough to be done by most. However, check with a doctor before performing any exercises if you have a pre-existing condition or injury.

One-Legged Balance

Promotes: Balance

Using a chair for balance, raise one leg off the ground, bending the knee slightly. Hold for ten seconds, then slowly lower your foot to the ground. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times for each leg.

Tennis Ball Squeeze

Promotes: Grip strength, so you can better hold onto walking devices and railings.

You'll need a tennis ball or similar ball (one with give to it, like a rubber or foam one) for this exercise.

Grip the ball in one hand and slowly squeeze it for three-to-five seconds. Relax your grip gradually. Repeat the exercises 10-15 times for each hand.

Tightrope Walk

Promotes: Balance

Do this exercise in an area free of obstacles, like a hallway, and near a wall in case you need to brace it for support.

Focus on a point ahead of you and imagine an invisible tight rope is leading there. Extend your arms laterally, making a "T" shape for balance.

Place one foot in front of the other, with the heel touching or nearly touching the toes of the foot behind it. Then take another step the same way, slowly placing that heel in front of the other foot's toes. Remember to use the wall for support if you need it.

Calf & Ankle Raises

Promotes: Balance, calf and ankle strength

Stand behind a chair and hold onto it for support. Slowly raise yourself onto your tiptoes and hold for about one second, then slowly lower yourself until your feet are flat on the floor. Repeat this about 10 times.

Lateral Leg Lifts

Promotes: Balance, hips and thighs.

Using a chair for support, slowly raise one leg to the side, keeping it straight. Go as high as you can while remaining comfortable. Try to keep your back and hips straight and breath slowly. Bring your leg slowly back to the ground. Do this exercise five-to-ten times for each leg.

Stepping

Promotes: Balance, leg strength

You'll need a step for this exercise, so look for one near a railing. Simply step onto the step with one foot, bring the other up to join it and then step back down. Do this five times for each leg. Use the railing for support if you need it.

Grapevines

Promotes: Balance

If you like to dance, you may be familiar with this one. This exercise is best performed in a kitchen, where you can trail the counter with your hand and use it for support.

Stand with your feet together, then cross your left foot in front of your right foot. Then bring your right foot to the side of your left foot, which will uncross your feet. Repeat the process until the end of the counter, then turn around and begin again, this time starting with your left foot crossing over your right foot. If this exercise is too difficult, just do side steps, without crossing your feet.

Additional Tips:

    • If you begin to feel pain, stop exercising immediately. If the pain persists, call your doctor.

    • Keep yourself hydrated.

    • Easy does it: Even simple exercises can be tough when you first begin, but don't push yourself. If you can only do three repetitions instead of 10, that's three more than zero.

    • Keep track of your exercises. As you gain strength, you may wish to add ankle weights, hold a position for a longer time, or increase the repetitions.

Find your community.

Try this:
Check your spelling and use one of the common location formats below:
  • Zip Code
  • City/State
  • 60610
  • Chicago, IL
FEEDBACK
© 1995 - 2019 Move, Inc. All rights reserved.