Maintain your independence and move freely with these foundational exercises you should do every day.
Before you get started, make sure you have plenty of room to move and a sturdy chair for balance support. As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
Ankle and Wrist Mobility
This quick combo is a great way to improve your wrist and ankle mobility at the same time.
Sit tall in a sturdy chair. Gently raise your right knee up to lift your foot from the floor. Then, raise your left wrist up and try tracing a word in the air with your left hand and right foot. For example, try spelling out “SilverSneakers” with your hand and foot at the same time.
Then, switch sides. Lift your left knee up and raise your right wrist. Then, spell a word in the air with your left foot and right hand.
Sit tall in your chair and press your feet to the floor. Slowly hinge forward from the hips about halfway to your knees and try to keep your spine straight. Then, pull your elbows back toward the ceiling. Next, push and stretch both arms toward the floor, then pull yourself back up to sitting tall. For the next part of this combination: Lift your elbows out to the sides and push your arms forward to the space in front of you (as if you’re pressing an invisible ball away from your body). Then, squeeze your shoulders blades together as you pull your elbows in again. Gently relax your arms at your sides and repeat this push-pull combo 3-5 times.
Stand tall in front of your chair with your feet planted to the floor. Slowly hinge forward from your hips. Then, squeeze your glutes to push yourself up and stand tall. Next, gently bend your knees and sink down to sit in your chair. While seated with your feet to the floor, lift both heels up, then push your heels into the floor. Repeat the combination of moves 3-5 times.
Stand behind or beside your chair, close enough to grab it for support as needed. First, gently lift your right knee up. Then step your right foot forward in front of your left, with your heel meeting the ground first, then the ball of your foot, and then your toes. Next, lift your left knee up and step your left foot in front of your right (heel-ball-toe). Now, move back. Lift your left knee up, then step your left foot back. As you step back, let your toe meet the floor first, then the ball of your foot, and then your heel. Next, lift your right knee up. Then step your right foot back behind your left (toe-ball-heel).
We recommend repeating this tandem walk 2-3 times, alternating two steps forward and two steps back.
Rotational Squat & Reach
Stand tall with your feet facing forward and spread apart comfortably. Step your right foot back with your right toes facing the right side of the room while your left toes point forward. Then, gently bend your knees and sink down into a squat. Next, push yourself back to standing and step your right foot beside your left. Then, reach your left arm up and pivot on the ball of your left foot as you twist and reach your left arm up and toward the right side of the room. Relax your arm down and repeat the moves on the opposite side of your body. Step your left foot back so that your toes are pointing to the left side of the room and your right toes are pointing forward. Then, sink into your squat. Step your left foot up to face forward again and reach your right arm up and overhead toward the left side of the room.
Add these five exercises to your daily routine and keep doing the things you love.
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