Stuck at Home? Maintain Your Physical Fitness with These 5 Easy Exercises
If you’re finding it difficult to stay physically active while under quarantine, try these five easy exercises you can do at home.
Sheltering in place can be particularly challenging for older Americans, many of whom are isolated from family, worried about access to medical care and nervous that simple tasks like grocery shopping might put them at risk. And it can be especially difficult for normally active retirees who are accustomed to daily walks or low-impact workouts at local gyms or community centers.
But maintaining a regular exercise routine is key during a pandemic — as it helps the older population strengthen their immune systems to fight off infections. It’s also known to improve emotional health, which can suffer if you’re stuck at home.
The National Institute on Aging recommends practicing four types of exercise for maximum benefits: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Here are five low-impact, at-home exercises that cover all four — and even help fight off those homebound blues.
Walking. Believe it or not, you can get a pretty good aerobic workout even in a small apartment or house. During phone calls, stroll from room to room or through hallways. Walk up and down a staircase a few times a day. If you’re unable to climb a complete flight, just go up and down the bottom step. Repeat 20 times, then rest for a minute, and do it again. These exercises may seem small, but over the course of a day they promote better breathing, increase heart rate and strengthen leg muscles.
Stretching. Hackensack Meridian Health recommends that retirees perform both upper- and lower-body stretching exercises at home. For the upper body, simply stand with your feet apart about the width of your hips, raise your arms over your head, lock your fingers together, then gently lean to one side and hold for 20 seconds. Return upright and repeat, leaning to the other side. This can also be done while sitting.
Knee-to-chest stretches work the lower body. Lie on the floor with your legs extended (if this is uncomfortable, you can bend your knees). Bring one knee slowly toward your chest, grasping the back of your thigh and holding for 20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat ten times per leg. This exercise can also be performed while seated.
Wall push-ups. This is a great exercise for improving and maintaining shoulder and chest strength. Stand three feet from a wall with your legs parted to shoulder width. With your hands flat against the wall and your back straight, lower your body toward the wall and push back. Repeat 10 times.
Weight training. No heavy lifting involved here! Begin with one- or two-pound weights. If you don’t have weights, use common household objects such as bottled water or canned soup. With your feet flat, hold the weights at shoulder height. Raise your arms to lift the weights above your head, then lower your arms to their original position and repeat. Complete two sets of 10 raises. Do weight exercises at least two days a week, but never two days in a row, as your muscles need time to rest. To prevent injury, use smooth, steady movements, and avoid locking your joints in a tightly straightened position. Gradually increase the weights over time as strength grows.
Knee extensions. Knee extensions are critical for improving balance. Simply sit in a chair with your back straight, then extend your legs to unbend your knees. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your legs back to the bent-knee position. You can raise both legs together, or do them one at a time, performing ten repetitions for each leg.
Consult with your doctor first
The National Library of Medicine recommends that you start slowly and work up to your goal. Your exercise regimen depends greatly on your age and health, so always check with your health care provider before you begin any exercise routine.
Making healthier choices — with your finances
While you’re taking charge of your physical well-being, take charge of your retirement savings, too. If you’re a homeowner age 62 or older, a reverse mortgage loan from Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) can help you leverage the equity you’ve built up in your home to maintain a comfortable retirement. To learn more, call RMF today at (888) 277-1567 and schedule a convenient, in-person appointment with a local loan specialist.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.6-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
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