Keeping muscles, joints and tendons strong and limber is the key to enjoying an active lifestyle. As our bodies change with age, engaging in regular exercise to maintain muscle strength and flexibility can also help prevent injury.
You don't have to join a gym or start lifting weights to reap the benefits of strength-building exercises. Kendal at Oberlin offers many enjoyable activities that promote a healthy, active lifestyle for both residents and members of Kendal at Home. But everyday activities also offer numerous opportunities to build muscle and increase flexibility. Engaging in just a few of the following exercises two or three times a week will help you stay fit and active.
- Plank to strengthen your core. Lie flat on the floor on your stomach. Keeping your body straight and your forearms and toes flat against the floor, raise your body off the ground (like a push-up). Hold for 30 seconds; then rest and repeat.
Goal: 5 repetitions.
- Stand on one leg to improve balance. Stand on one leg and hold for 20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. At first, you may want to practice this exercise while holding onto a sturdy object. As your balance improves, perform the exercise without holding on to anything. To increase the difficulty level, close your eyes.
Goal: 10 repetitions with each leg.
- Light lifting builds muscle strength. When you are unloading groceries from the car or toting laundry to the washing machine, stop for a moment and slowly raise the object above your head. Hold for 10 seconds; then lower to shoulder height and repeat. Lifting exercises can be done with any object. Even light lifting can help strengthen muscles and protect joints.
Goal: 10 repetitions.
- Squats strengthen legs and lower back. Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and your arms straight out in front of you for balance. Keeping your back straight, squat slowly with the goal of getting your thighs parallel to the floor, then slowly return to a standing position.
Goal: 20 repetitions.
Check back next time for even more strength building tips and practices. In the meantime, download our free guide on beginning an exercise routine it doesn't need to be difficult no matter your age or physical ability! Click here.