A great way to hold on to your independence at old age is to practice leg strengthening exercises. It improves balance and straightens posture, so seniors are able to take more of what life throws at them every day. Read on to learn some simple exercises. Therapists advise performing them 3 times a week, starting with 10 repetitions each.
Start your routine seated, with this simple warmup exercise. Simply form circles with your ankles, 20 times in one direction and then 20 in the other. Your ankles will thank you for making them more flexible.
Take a seat. March with your hips, raise them as high as you can and lower them like a soldier would. But don’t become overzealous! Even if you take it slow, you will strengthen your hip flexor, thighs, and abdominal muscles.
On your chair, straighten your left and right knee one at a time. Hold your knee in the air for a few seconds, then lower it. You will find that your balance and knee range of motion will improve.
You’ll need to stand for this exercise. Use your chair as support and raise yourself up on your toes, going as high as you can. Rinse and repeat. This exercise does improve blood circulation.
Do what you did for calf raises but this time, lean on your heels. With this exercise, you’ll be better able to avoid tripping.
In the same position against the chair, lower yourself, and bend your knees to improve your balance.
Standing Knee Flexion
Still using your chair as support, bend your knee backwards as high as you can, then lower it. Repeat with your other knee. This exercise improves balance and strengthens your hamstrings.
In the same position against the chair, extend a straight leg backward and repeat. This exercise strengthens your hip joints.
Side Hip Raise
Still resting against your chair, raise your left leg to your side and go as high as you can before coming back down. Repeat with your right. This improves endurance and counters hip arthritis.
Sit to Stand
Stand in front of your chair, lean forward, lower yourself until you’re almost about to sit then stop. Stand back up, rinse and repeat to maintain your leg and hip strength.
Move your chair away, keep your feet a shoulder-width apart and step forward. Learn on your forward leg and feel a slight stretch. Do this more often and you’ll find it easier to get up from a chair.
Straight Leg Raise
Lie on a yoga mat and bend one knee. Raise your straightened leg to the level of your bent knee and repeat. This will strengthen your abdominal muscles.