• Elizabeth Coots, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences -Adult Exercise

As we age, moving can seem more difficult. However, the CDC recommends that adults 65 and older should still participate in 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Focusing on strength, balance and coordination for people over 60 helps prevent falls and increase self-efficacy. Below are six exercises that can be performed to increase movement. If worried about balance, start the standing exercises while holding on to a sturdy chair or counter. Before starting any exercise program, always talk to a physician and review health history in advance.

Shifting Weight

• Stand with feet hip-width apart and weight evenly distributed on both feet.

• Relax hands at sides. This exercise can also be done with a sturdy chair in front of in case of the need to grab it for balance.

• Shift weight to right side, and then lift 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 on each leg.

Wall Pushups

• Stand about three feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with feet shoulder-width apart.

• Lean forward and place hands flat on the wall, in line with shoulders. Body should be in plank position, with spine straight, not sagging or arched.

• Lower body toward the wall and then push back.

• Repeat five to 10 times.

Toe Taps

• Sitting in a chair and keeping heels on the floor, lift toes high enough to feel the muscles along the shin working. (This helps keep blood circulating in legs and also strengthens the lower leg.)

• Repeat 10 times.

Heel Raises

• Sitting in a chair, keep toes and the balls of feet on the floor and lift heels.

• Repeat 10 times.

Knee Lifts

(Seated or Standing)

• Stand behind a chair and grasp the back of the chair with both hands.

• Slowly lift one leg off the floor and toward the chest by bending the knee.

• Hold for five seconds.

• Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg.

• Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite leg.

• Seated in a chair, with arms resting but not pressing on the armrests, contract right quadricep muscles and lift leg. The knee and the back of the thigh should be two or three inches off the seat.

• Pause for five seconds and slowly lower leg.

• Complete eight to 12 times and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Seated Hamstrings Stretch

• Sit with legs extended and heels touching the floor.

• Slowly lean forward and slide the hands down the legs.

• Stop when tension is felt in the lower back or the back of legs.

• Hold for five to 10 seconds.

• Slowly return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.

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