Free Resources for a Home Exercise Regimen
Think back a year. What was your usual exercise routine? A twice-a-week workout at the gym? Hopping the bus to a nearby park? A walk with a big group of friends? Your exercise class at the senior center? Sessions with a personal trainer or physical therapist at your senior living community?
Most older adults are sheltering at home these days, and many—along with younger folks, as well—are finding that it’s hard to get enough exercise. This is a real health risk. Slowing down our activity level raises the risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and a host of other ailments. It can make arthritis a lot worse, and can lead to depression and loss of independence.
But being home doesn’t mean being inactive! Check out some of these resources from the National Institute on Aging (NIA):
- Workout to Go is a free booklet you can download to guide you through a home exercise program. It includes lots of information and a set of easy-to-follow strength, balance, and flexibility exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere, using simple, inexpensive equipment, or even items most of us have around the house.
- You can find exercise and physical activity articles on the National Institute on Aging website. Topics include getting started, staying motivated, tracking your progress, even a clothes shopping guide.
Sometimes when we exercise alone, we wonder if we are doing it correctly. Are we using the right technique to get the benefits we want? Could improperly performed movements damage our muscles or tendons? A video is worth a thousand words—and a thousand pictures, at that! Check out free virtual exercise classes on the NIA YouTube channel. You can find videos featuring:
- A warm-up routine to reduce the risk of injury and prevent muscle soreness later.
- Strength-building activities to enhance muscle mass and make it easier to perform everyday activities.
- Balance exercises to reduce the risk of falls and create extra confidence when walking.
- Endurance and aerobic activities to promote independence, benefit the heart, lungs, and circulatory system, and reduce the risk of many diseases.
- Stretching routines to increase flexibility, reduce pain, and make it easier to reach things and move around.
The instructors offer not only encouragement but also a lot of good information to build your confidence. You can find the whole list of videos here.
Make YouTube your own gym! Sheltering with family or friends? These exercises are good for anyone. Start a household exercise program.
Source: IlluminAge AgeWise reporting on the program from the National Institute on Aging.