As we age, our bodies will experience muscle loss, which is inevitable unfortunately. The loss of muscle mass can result in a higher risk of a person suffering a fall, and a subsequent fracture as a result of this.
As we get older, our range of mobility may not be what it once was, meaning that moving around becomes more difficult. With this in mind, we have taken a look at a series of exercises you can perform whilst seated in one of our nursing home beds, which will help strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of falling.
Sit upright with your shoulders down, and look straight ahead. Slowly move your head to look towards your left shoulder as far as is comfortable and hold for five seconds, then return to your starting position. Do the same movement to the opposite shoulder and hold for the same amount of time, and do this three times on each shoulder. This exercise is good for improving the mobility and flexibility of your neck.
If you are experiencing tight neck muscles, this exercise can help to loosen them. Starting in the same position as the last exercise, place your right hand on your left shoulder and push down. At the same time as doing this, slowly tilt your head to the right whilst holding your shoulder down. Hold each stretch five seconds and repeat three times on each side, swapping over arms to the opposite shoulders.
Sit upright and slightly away from the back of your chair. Pull your shoulders back and downwards and extend your arms out to the side. Gently move your chest out and up until you feel a stretch across your chest, and then hold for ten seconds. Repeat this five times, and it can help to improve your overall posture.
Upper body twist
Sit upright in your chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor and cross your arms, reaching towards your shoulders. Without moving your hips, turn your body to the left as far as is comfortable, and hold for five seconds. Repeat this to the right, and then repeat each side five times. This exercise will develop and maintain the flexibility in your upper back.
To help strengthen your hips and thighs, as well as improving flexibility, hip marching is a great exercise. You sit upright in your chair, and grasp the sides of your seat. Lift your left leg up as far as is comfortable, and then lower the leg, placing your foot on the floor with control. Repeat with your right leg, and do five raises with each leg.
Sit upright and grasp your chair in the same way you would for the previous exercise. Straighten out your left leg with your foot off the floor. With the leg straight and raised, point your toes away from you and hold for a few seconds. Then, point your toes back towards yourself and hold again. Try to do two sets of five stretches with each foot, which helps to improve flexibility in your ankles, as well as reducing the risks of blood clots forming.