Stay fit and healthy at any age

Physical activity is vital for health and wellbeing at any age. Exercise can help you think positively, recover from illness, aid weight loss and reduce the risk of disease.  VMCH physiotherapist, Ashutosh Porwal, shares his top exercises for staying fit and healthy as you age.

1: Five minute warm-up walk

Dosage

  • Try to do this exercise on most days of the week.

Benefits

  • Great warm-up exercise
  • Improves cardiovascular functions
  • Improves overall balance and strengthens your legs
  • Helps you to be able to walk without getting too tired.

Technique

  • Always wear appropriate, safe footwear for this exercise
  • Walk at a pace slightly faster than your normal walking pace.
  • If you normally use a walking frame or stick, use it when doing this exercise
  • Time your walking and walk continuously for 5 minutes
  • Take deeper breaths in and out as you pace your walking.

Precautions

  • Avoid walking on uneven surfaces
  • Avoid this exercise immediately after a meal
  • It is not a race to finish, do not walk too fast.

Too easy?

  • Try to walk for 10 minutes.
  • Too hard?
  • Try to build up and start this exercise by walking for 2 minutes every day.

2: Standing hip circles

Dosage

  • Do this exercise at least 2-3 times a week
  • 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions per session.

Benefits

  • Improves balance and core strength
  • Improves hip muscle strengthening
  • Helps you with functional tasks like taking steps /climbing stairs and getting in and out of a car.

Technique

  • Start with holding onto a stable rail or chair with both hands
  • Slowly lift one leg off the floor by bending the knee
  • Slowly make 2-3 circles with your knee in clockwise and then counter clockwise directions
  • Repeat the same with the other leg.

Precautions

  • Be sure to use a stable support and always look straight ahead when performing this exercise
  • Looking sideways and looking at the floor can make you dizzy
  • Do not perform this exercise unsupervised if you have poor balance.

Too easy?

  • Try to make 5-6 circles with your knees when you lift your leg up.
  • Too difficult?
  • Try to make 1-2 circles with your knees when you lift your leg up.
  • Too difficult to do in standing?
  • Try to do this exercise when seated in a chair.
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