Body strengthening exercises are fundamental as you age. You don’t need to buy a lot of equipment to form a home gym; all you need is a dedicated space to move without getting hurt. It would help if you worked on your balance, so you don’t want to fall into some clutter while doing so.
After clearing away any trip hazards, you can create an area to work on your body and balance. Working out is the best defense against an aging body, and you can strengthen yourself to reduce the slip/trip accidents that have become commonplace.
NOTE: When starting an exercise routine, check with your doctor first.
Ten Body Strengthening Exercises You Must Try
An alarming statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They state that people 65 and older suffer more injury-related deaths by falling. The main reason people have these accidents is that they have poor balance.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it. Not only can you reduce the risk of tumbling, but you can also help pain levels from the natural part of aging like arthritis. Here are ten exercises for you to try.
1. Ankle Movements
•Start by standing and moving your body to place your weight on your left leg.
•Now, lift the right foot’s heel so that you’re balancing on the left foot.
•Raise your right knee as high as you can.
•Make sure to keep your head and shoulders facing forwards.
•Point your knee towards the left side and flex it.
•Now, turn and do the other side.
*Note: If you need support while doing this maneuver, try moving your arms about or using a chair.
2. Marching in Place
•Start in the standing position.
•Move your weight to the right leg and employ your core.
•With power, elevate your left knee and keep your foot bent.
•Keep your shoulders and head pointing forward, and make sure the head is held high.
•Raise your knee as tall as possible, but make sure you don’t get it above the height of your hips. You want to ensure your thigh is parallel to the ground.
•With your knee in the air, pause for a minute.
•Now, rotate and put the other foot on the floor as you shift to work the other side of your body.
3. Heel-Toe Walking
•Start in the standing position.
•Place your left foot in front of your right one, and make sure that the heel of the left touches the right toes.
•Gently turn your right foot in front of the left one.
•During this move, keep your weight on the right heel, as you want to roll on the ball of your foot.
•The tighter the position of your heel-to-toe, the more challenging the exercise will be.
•You may need to place your feet further apart for balance, and it’s okay to start here and work your way to a tighter heel-to-toe position.
*Note: Make sure that you’re not so worried about the placement of your feel that you lose your balance. Keeping the alignment is most important here.
4. Rock the Boat
•Start by standing straight and tall.
•Keep your feet far apart, about a shoulder’s width.
•Look straight ahead.
•Transfer your mass to the right foot as you raise your left heel from the ground.
•If done correctly, you should end up standing on the toes of your left side.
•Now, take a moment and pause.
•Decrease the left heel and change to work the right side.
•Keep on transferring from side to side, differing the pace as you develop confidence in your balance.
*Note: If you feel confident in doing body strengthening exercises and want to add more challenges, try doing different arm positions to test your balance. Another method you can try is lifting your foot off the floor.
5. Side Arm Lifts
•Start in the standing position and keep your arms to your sides.
•Slowly lift your arms outwards and turn your palms facing upwards.
•Now, bring your arms back down towards your side, and as you bring them down, make sure your palms are facing inward.
•Move your arms up and down and each time aims to reach higher than the last time.
6. Shoulder Rolls
•Body strengthening exercises should always include shoulder rolls, as your daily life needs you to move them around and have a good range of motion.
•Start by standing tall and keeping your arms loosely placed against the side of your legs.
•Now, gently lift your shoulders until they align with your ears.
•Shift your shoulders up, down, and to the back, making a circular motion.
•Your ending position should be where the shoulders are pointed towards the back and away from the ears.
Note: Standing and watching yourself do this maneuver in the mirror helpful. This will ensure good placement while working out and doing it correctly.
7. Stand Tall
If you don’t have good posture, it will affect your balance, so learning to stand tall is essential. It would help if you built your muscles that help to give you a foundation. You must know how to stand tall and balance your core for every maneuver on this list.
•In the standing position, keep your feet about two feet apart.
•Make sure you keep the crown of your head held high, and your knees slightly bent.
•Bow your knees just a tad, as If you hyperextend your knees, also known as locking out, it can cause pain.
•Now, close your eyes and note how you feel when you’re in the position.
• It’s normal for you to sway back and forth a bit. If you have too much sway or feel like you might fall, keep a chair nearby.
8. Foot Massage
•You can either sit or stand tall for these strength-building exercises.
•You need a baseball or tennis ball that you can use to massage the foot.
• Place one of the balls under your foot and roll it all around.
•You want to move it front to back and side to side.
•If you notice that one area is tender, then it’s okay to stay in that area and work on it for a while.
•Try to do about one minute on each foot before rotating to the other.
9. Front Arm Lifts
•Stand up and place your arms by your sides.
•Raise your arms so they’re in front of you, and keep your shoulders level. Make sure your palms face one other.
•Glide your arms back down to your sides. Make sure that you keep your palms facing inwards.
•Let your arms go as high as your shoulders allow.
•If you feel comfortable in your balance, look upwards as your hands soar, which helps give some movement in the neck.
•Strive to do about ten reps.
10. Heel Raises
•Body strengthening exercises don’t have to be complicated. For this one, start by lifting your heels until you’re resting on the balls of your feet.
•Slowly lift your body weight higher and hold the stance.
•Now, return your heels to the ground.
•Each time you repeat, you should strive to hold the stance for extended periods.
•Once you feel steady enough, you can raise your arms and place them in front of you. Rotating them back and forth will add some intensity.
Final Thoughts on Body Strengthening Exercises
The most important thing to remember is that your goal is to get healthier and not cause any discomfort. Sure, you’re going to be sore when working muscles. You don’t usually engage, but you shouldn’t be in agony. Should any position cause significant discomfort, stop and try something else.
According to Harvard Medical School, if you want to have an excellent balance and greater flexibility, you must maintain good health and exercise. The minor things require good flexibility that you don’t even consider, like putting on your socks and shoes.
It’s a massive problem as you age. Have you seen those devices that help you put on your socks, so you don’t have to bend over? Whoever started the rumor that you must spend an hour in the gym was wrong.
You can use your home gym or an area of the home that you dedicate to your workouts. If all you have to devote to body strengthening exercises is ten to fifteen minutes a day, then it’s better than nothing.
Lastly, it would help if you listened to your doctor’s advice. While none of these exercises listed above will cause great strain, if you have a medical condition that can be overwhelmed by it, you shouldn’t do it. Above all else, you want to be safe while trying to get in shape.