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Exercise these forgotten body parts for improved mobility.
FEET and ANKLES
It’s important to strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles to prevent pain, improve balance, and stay mobile. Weak feet and ankles lead to dangerous falls. Here are simple exercises to do daily.
•MToe Curls — Sit or stand. Practice picking up small objects, like marbles, with the toes of each foot and hold them as you slowly count to 10. Rest and repeat 10 times.
•MToe Spread -- Spread your toes as far apart as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Now squeeze them together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat 5 to 10 times.
•MHeel Raises -- Heel raises are great for strengthening your feet and ankles to improve balance and coordination. Steady yourself with a wall or sturdy chair. Raise your heels as high as you can, standing on your toes. Hold for several seconds and slowly lower heels to the ground. Rest and repeat 10 times.
•MHeel Walk -- Position yourself next to a wall for balance. Lift the front of both feet off the ground, balancing on your heels. Now walk along the wall on only your heels, turn and walk back. Repeat 10 times.
Knees can be painful as we age, causing us to limit our mobility, but for some people, certain exercises can help to lessen their pain. Strengthening knee muscles with simple stress-free exercise helps to maintain flexibility and mobility. Here is a very simple exercise you can do every day.
•MLeg Extension — Sit in a firm straight-backed chair with knees at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Now raise your right foot, breathing in as you straighten your leg as much as you can. Hold for a second and breathe out as you lower your foot to the floor. Now do the same with your left foot. Repeat 10 times on each side.
When was the last time you thought to exercise your neck? Probably never. But your neck is key to maintaining a good posture that promotes stability. Try these simple exercises daily to maintain neck mobility and good posture. These are especially good to do first thing in the morning.
•MNeck rolls -- This sounds easy but you're going to find out just how stiff your neck is. Start by dropping your chin to your chest. Now roll your head to one side, laying your ear on your shoulder. Continue rolling your head back, looking up at the ceiling. Roll to the other side, then back to chin to chest. Repeat 10 times.
•MBack Straighten -- Stand with your heels up against a wall and flatten your back, shoulders, and head against the wall. Try to arch your back as little as possible, pressing your spine to the wall while also keeping your neck and head against the wall. Hold this position while you deeply breathe in and out several times. Rest and repeat 10 times.
WRISTS and FINGERS
Let’s face it, stiff hands, fingers, and wrists come with age. Keeping them exercised reduces stiffness and arthritis pain. Fortunately, these exercises are super simple to do, anywhere at any time.
Keep up this whole routine daily and you’ll go a long way to having good mobility.
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.