Building and maintaining your muscles at any age is critically important to keeping your body strong, improving your physical resiliency, and reducing your risk of a fall.
Carrie Mancini is CVHHH’s Rehab Coordinator and a practicing Physical Therapist. Carrie works with clients living with a range of conditions, including those recovering from joint replacement or a fall and people living with chronic conditions.
We asked Carrie for easy exercises that people of any age can do to help build and maintain muscle. She says that there are small steps you can take every day to maintain your overall physical health. “It is so important to do what you can to keep your body as strong, limber, and as active as you can manage. This puts you in the best possible position for a quick and easy recovery should you ever need surgery. Plus, by maintaining your overall health, you are likely to experience an increase in your energy, and you will generally feel happier.”
Easy Exercises for People of Any Age
Pick an Activity You Love and Do It Carrie gives the same advice to all of her clients. “Pick an activity you love, and do it,” she says. “Regular exercise keeps the blood flowing to your muscles. It also helps maintain your range of motion, and it keeps your heart and lungs strong. Plus, it will make you feel great and increase your energy.”
Take a Walk Carrie says that walking is one of the best exercises you can do. “Walking uses the whole body, your core, arms, and legs, and it can help you improve your balance and coordination.”
Focus on your Quads Your quadriceps, says Mancini, make up the bulk of your thigh muscles and are some of the largest muscles in your body. It’s so important to keep these muscles nimble and strong. Sit-to-Stand, or Chair Stand Strength Exercises, are a good option to help you build core and thigh muscles. Here are instructions from the Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH, a very easy to use resource for instructions and information on exercises to improve endurance, strength, flexibility, and muscle.
This exercise, which strengthens your abdomen and thighs, will make it easier to get in and out of the car. If you have knee or back problems, talk with your doctor before trying this exercise.
- Sit toward the front of a sturdy, armless chair with knees bent and feet flat on floor, shoulder-width apart.
- Lean back with your hands crossed over your chest. Keep your back and shoulders straight throughout exercise.
- Breathe in slowly.
- Breathe out and bring your upper body forward until sitting upright.
- Extend your arms so they are parallel to the floor and slowly stand up.
- Breathe in as you slowly sit down.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
- Rest; then repeat 10-15 more times.
*Please consult a physician before beginning any new exercises.*
Featured image source: iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz