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Given below are some simple Exercises & Regimens you could follow. There are many myths about Elders Exercising. Here are the myths and realities. You will also find on this page and the one on Physical Fitness, some precautions you should take. Take the advice of your doctor and get started Right Away.
Remember the keywords "Slow & Steady".
Wish you the very best!

Exercising by Elders

Myths Realities
Exercise takes too much time. To get in shape one has to exercise for atleast two hrs everyday One has to exercise only for about 30 mts-1hr., 3-4 days a week, to be fit.
Exercise is for people who have been active all their life. No matter at what age one begins or how inactive one has been, exercise is always beneficial. Just follow some precautions given in these pages, and also take your doctor's advice
Exercise is for young people. It does more harm as one gets older. In reality, a regular physical activity program can change a person's level of fitness to that of someone 10-15 years younger. 
Exercising is expensive How can walking and simple exercise be expensive?

Caution: The body responds to increased physical activity in these ways. But one has to watch out for warning signs. If these appear one should rest immediately and contact the doctor.

Normal Responses to exercise Abnormal responses to, exercise or "Warning Signs"
Increased heart rate Severe shortness of breath
Increased breathing rate Wheezing, coughing, or other difficulty in breathing
Mild to moderate sweating, depending on your exercise level Cramps, severe pain or muscle aches
Feeling or hearing your heart beat Excessive perspiration
Muscle aches and tenderness that might last a day or two as you get started Chest discomfort, pain, pressure or tightness felt in the chest and possibly extending to your left arm or neck
0 Light-headedness, dizziness, fainting
0 Severe, prolonged fatigue, or exhaustion after exercise
0 Nausea

IIf a person has not been physically active, one's sense of balance may not be good. Regular physical exercise itself can help restore this balance, but while starting, it would be better to hold onto a chair or do the exercises on the floor. Slow & steady are the key words

The following are some recommended strengthening and flexibility exercises.
Do only those you feel comfortable doing. As your body adjusts to the new activities, you can gradually add more repetitions and other exercises. Start slowly with two-three repetitions of each exercise you choose. Suggestion: If you have a printer, you could take a print-out of this exercise program.
Strengthening exercises:
1.Finger squeeze: Strengthens hands; good for circulation. Straighten arms in front at shoulder level, palms down. Make a fist, then release. Turn palms up, make a fist and release.
2.Shoulder shrug: Strengthens your back and shoulders, helps relaxation. Lift shoulders up toward your ears, then back, down and relax.
3.Arm circles: Strengthens shoulders and upper back. Start with arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Rotate arms from shoulders forward, then backward. 
4.Shoulder touch: Increases flexibility of shoulders, elbows and helps tone upper arms. Start with arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Bend elbow and bring palm of hands to shoulders. Turn palm away and push arm down to start position.  
5.Leg flexion--extension: Strengthens hip muscles. Stand erect, holding onto a chair or table for support. Lift one leg forward, then back from the hip. Be careful not to lean forward and back. 
6.Side leg lift: Strengthens hip and thigh muscles. Stand erect, holding onto a chair or table for support. Raise one leg out to the side and down. Try not to lean or bring your leg forward. You can try this lying on your side, too! 
7.Alternate leg lunges: Strengthens upper thighs and inside of legs. Also stretches back of leg. Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold on to something for support if you like. Step forward about 18" to 24" with right leg. Keep the left heel on the floor. Shove off with the right leg and return to the start position. 
8.Calf raises: Strengthens lower leg and ankle. Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold onto something for support if you like. Raise up on your toes, lifting heels. Slowly lower yourself back down to your heels. 
9.Leg extension: Strengthens upper thigh muscles and tones lower abdomen. Sitting in chair, back straight, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, tighten knee and raise foot up. Alternate with each leg. 
10.Squat: Strengthens front thigh muscles. Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold on to the back of a chair for support. Keep back straight and slowly bend knees as if you are going to sit  Slowly return to start position. Do not go down too far! This will improve as you get stronger. 
11.Toe raises: Strengthens ankles. Standing or sitting with feet shoulder-width apart, raise your toes up off the floor as if tapping to music. 
12.Ankle circles: Strengthens ankles. Standing or sitting, make circles with each ankle, to the right and then the left. 
13.Abdominal strengthening: Strengthens stomach muscles providing support for your back. Stand or sit straight. Take a deep breath in through your nose, then slowly exhale through your mouth as if blowing out a candle. Feel your stomach go in as you blow out. Hold stomach tight after blowing out, then relax and repeat. 
14.Sit-up: Advanced abdominal strengthening. Lay on the floor with   your knees bent and feet flat. Reach with your arms toward your knees, raising your head and shoulders off the floor. You should readily feel your stomach muscles tighten. Slowly return head and shoulders to the floor. Work up to doing five-ten repetitions.
Flexibility exercises
1.Neck circles: Maintains joint motion. Standing, or sitting in a chair, slowly move chin over to one shoulder and then to the other as if nodding "no." Slowly lift your chin up slightly and back down toward your chest as if nodding "yes." Repeat several times. 
2.Flexed leg back stretch: Maintains flexibility in torso, low back, and legs. Stand with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly and gently slide hands down front of legs, bringing finger tips toward the floor. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Hold for the count of five when you start to feel the stretch. Stay within  your comfort range- no more than five repetitions. 
3.Side bends: Maintains trunk flexibility. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Slide right hand down right leg towards knee. Repeat to left side. Hold five seconds; five repetitions to each side. 
4.Trunk rotation: Maintains trunk flexibility. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Turn from your waist to the right, then left. 
5.Back arch: Stretches abdominal wall, chest, maintains flexibility. Do not do this exercise if you have a history of back problems. 
On stomach: Place hands by shoulders, slowly push up on arms and arch back. Keep hips down. Try to straighten elbows completely if back is comfortable. Return to stomach; three-four repetitions. 
6.Overhead reach: Stretches shoulder girdle and rib cage. Take a deep breath in as you raise your arms overhead. Exhale slowly as you lower your arms behind your head or to your shoulders, then return to your sides. 
7.Achilles stretch: Stretches the calf muscle. Stand facing a wall, with feet two-three feet away. Straighten arms, leaning into the wall. Move left leg forward 1/2 step, right leg backward 1/2 step or more. Keep right heel on floor. Lean toward the wall with weight on forward leg, stretching the heel tendon of the right leg. Hold five-ten seconds. Reverse legs; three-five repetitions. 
8.Shin and quadriceps stretch: Kneel on both knees, turn to right and press down on right ankle with right hand and hold. Keep hips thrust forward. Do not sit on heels. Repeat on left side. 
9.Hip and thigh stretch: Kneel with right knee directly above right ankle and stretch left leg backward so knee touches floor. Place hands  on floor or seat of chair for balance. 





A walking programme for those who have not been exercising regularly

3 times a week
Week Distance
in km
1 1/2 na
2 1/2 na
3 3/4 na
4 1 na
5 1 na
6 1 na
7 1 20
8 2 1/2 30
9 3 1/4 40
10 3 1/4 40
11 4 50
12 4 1/2 60
The Talk Test: If one is not able to comfortably carry on a conversation while walking, then one should rest.
5-10 mts after activity the pulse rate should come to pre- activity level. Unusual tiredness one hr after exercise means one has to slow down the pace.

To know about the benefits of exercise for the Elderly, see the page on
Physical Fitness

How is Exercise important for the Diabetic?