Strong And Healthy At Home

How To Stay Strong And Healthy At Home

Strong And Healthy At Home

Many adults aren’t getting the physical activity their body needs. Maybe your schedule has gotten busier lately. Or there aren’t as many exercise classes available. Or maybe you simply don’t feel comfortable in large group fitness settings anymore. While it’s easy to think of reasons to avoid activity, it’s critical that you start making it a priority. Especially if you’re an older adult. Your health and quality of life depend on it. Here’s how to stay strong and healthy at home, regardless of your age or fitness level.

Stay Strong And Healthy At Home

There are countless benefits to exercising. For instance, it can slow physical signs of aging. In addition, it can lower your risk of chronic diseases, and improve your ability to think and function. It can also increase your muscle strength and reduce fall-related injuries. Click here to learn more about preventing fall-related injuries.

You lose muscle strength every week that you’re not active. In fact, it’s around 12% of strength to be exact! It can be challenging for older adults to regain that strength after as little as 2 weeks. Not only should adults 65 and older perform strengthening exercises, but they should also do aerobic exercises every week to stay healthy.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises should be done at least twice per week. You can use resistance bands, household items, dumbbells, or just your body weight.

Beginners should try to reach a level of 5-6/10 intensity during their workout. Those who are more advanced, however, should exercise at a 7-8/10 intensity. It’s important to make sure the exercises are challenging. This will ensure that you’ll get stronger as time goes on.

Aerobic Exercises 

Aerobic exercises are activities that get your heart rate going. For example, this can include things like:

  • Marching in place
  • Climbing stairs
  • Walking briskly

Aim to do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity 5 days a week and 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity 3 days a week. To illustrate an easy way to gauge whether you’re hitting the right intensity level is with the “talk test.” During moderate intensity, you should only be able to speak a single sentence in between each breath. Short phrases between breaths should be difficult during vigorous activity. 

Any type of exercise is better than none at all. However, the right exercises can have even greater benefits. The exercises that are going to keep you strong and healthy depend on your walking ability. You may experience slight soreness 24-48 hours afterward. This is expected and normal and should go away relatively soon.

Adults Using A Walker

Grab a stopwatch or kitchen timer. Set it for 10 minutes and run through this routine as many times as you can before time is up.

Modified Sit To Stands

  1. Sit on a firm chair that has back support attached. Adjust your feet to be shoulder-width apart. Keep your walker in front of you.
  2. Then, push through your feet and stand up tall.
  3. Hold onto the chair behind you and slowly lower yourself back down to a seated position. You can try standing without using your hands if you feel confident enough.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Modified Deadlift

  1. Stand in front of a stable chair with your walker. Place your hands on the walker for support.
  2. Bring your butt down and back, like an escalator, towards the seat of the chair. At the same time, bend your body in half (at your waist), keeping your back straight.
  3. Pause an inch or two before touching the seat. Then, squeeze your buttocks muscles as your return to the standing position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Elevated Pushup

  1. Stand a little farther than arm’s length away from your kitchen counter.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the counter, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.
  3. Slowly lower yourself toward the counter, keeping your back and body straight. Tighten your abdominal, buttocks, and thigh muscles as well.
  4. Then, push yourself away from the counter and back into the starting position. 
  5. Repeat 10 times

Walking

  1. Find a clear pathway, like a long hallway.
  2. Walk 20 steps at a moderately difficult pace.
  3. Take big steps, keeping your walker close.
  4. Repeat throughout the day several times.

Adults Using A Cane

Grab a stopwatch or kitchen timer. Set it for 10 minutes and run through the routine as many times as you can.

Sit To Stands

  1. Sit on a firm chair that has back support attached. Adjust your feet so they’re shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Then, push through your feet and stand up tall.
  3. Slowly lower yourself back down to a seated position, using your hands to hold onto the chair if need be. 
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Modified Deadlift

  1. Stand in front of a stable chair. Hold your cane with both hands so it’s parallel to the ground.
  2. Keep your cane flush against your body. Bring your butt down and back, like an escalator, towards the seat of the chair. At the same time, bend your body in half (at your waist), keeping your back straight.
  3. Pause an inch or two before touching the seat. The cane should be almost down to your knees. Then, squeeze your buttocks muscles as your return to the standing position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Elevated Pushup

  1. Stand a bit farther than arm’s length away from your kitchen counter.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the counter, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.
  3. Slowly lower yourself toward the counter, keeping your back and body straight. Tighten your abdominal, buttocks, and thigh muscles as well.
  4. Then, push yourself away from the counter and back into the starting position. 
  5. Repeat 10 times

Walking

  1. Find a clear pathway, like a long hallway
  2. Walk 20 steps at a moderately difficult pace.
  3. Repeat throughout the day several times.

Adults Who Walk Without Assistance

Grab a stopwatch or kitchen timer and set it for 10 minutes. Run through the routine as many times as you can.

Modified Squat

  1. Stand in front of a firm chair that has back support attached. Adjust your feet so they’re shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Slowly, and with control, lower yourself toward the chair. Briefly touch the seat with your buttocks without completely sitting. Make sure your knees don’t go in front of your toes while you lower yourself.
  3. Then, push through your feet and stand up tall.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Modified Deadlift

  1. Find a weighted object that you can easily hold. For instance, a big bottle of pop, a laundry basket filled with clothes, or even just a dumbbell.
  2. Keep the weighted object flush against your body. Bring your butt down and back, like an escalator, towards the ground. At the same time, bend your body in half (at your waist), keeping your back straight.
  3. Pause an inch or two before the weighted object passes over your knees. Then, squeeze your buttocks muscles as your return to the standing position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Modified Pushup

  1. Stand a bit farther than arm’s length away from your kitchen counter or another stable surface.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of the counter, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows straight. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.
  3. Slowly lower yourself toward the counter, keeping your back and body straight. Tighten your abdominal, buttocks, and thigh muscles as well.
  4. Then, push yourself away from the counter to return to the starting position. 
  5. Repeat 10 times

Walking

  1. Find a clear pathway, like a long hallway.
  2. Walk 20 steps at a moderately difficult pace.
  3. Allow your arms to swing naturally as you walk.
  4. Repeat throughout the day several times.

Physical activity is such an important part of staying strong and healthy. Prioritizing exercise will help improve your quality of life, regardless of your age or fitness level.

About The Author

Jaime Curl

I've explored various fields within physical therapy including acute care and oncology at Troy Beaumont Hospital and outpatient physical therapy. As the office administrator and marketer, I'm able to combine my love for health and exercise science with my interest in marketing and numbers skills. My hobbies include spending time with friends and family, baking, crafting, and watching my favorite movies or tv shows.

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