Hints, Tips & Advice

Simple Exercises for the Elderly – Part 2

There are several ways to obtain descriptions of exercises (i.e., online, from a physical therapist, from your internist, etc.) that can be adapted and utilized for your elder. However, considering the degree of difficulty that most people face in beginning an exercise program either for themselves or for others, it might be easiest to list several of the specific exercises that are recommended for our seniors. Remember, before getting involved in any exercise program, it is imperative that you contact your elder's physician to gain approval for such a program. (The exercises listed below have been taken from an article in Helium, www.helium.com, titled "Simple Exercises for the Elderly" by Debbie Kendle Lawson.)


Exercises You Can Do While Lying Down

Total Hip – Abduction Exercises:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat, on your back with your kneecaps and toes pointed up.
2.  Place a pillow or rolled towel between your legs.
3.  Gently slide your right leg to the right side.
4.  Keep your kneecaps and toes pointed up, then gently slide your right leg back to the pillow – which is up against your left leg.
5.  Repeat this exercise with your left leg By gently sliding your left leg to the left side.
6.  Keep your kneecaps and toes pointed up, then gently slide your left leg back to the pillow or rolled towel – which is up against your right leg.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Quad Sets Exercises:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat, on your back with your left leg straightly located firmly on the bed or mat and tighten your thigh muscle. Hold this position for a count of 5.
2.  Repeat the same exercise reversing your legs.
3.  Lie on your back with your right leg straight on the bed or mat and your toes pointing toward the ceiling.
4.  Push your right knee down into the bed and tighten your thigh muscle. Hold this position to a count of 5.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Heal Slides Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your back with your legs out straight on your bed and relaxed.
2.  Slide your left leg toward your buttocks by bending your left knee and hip.
3.  Slowly straighten your left leg.
4.  Repeat the same exercise, only reversing your legs.
5.  Lie on your back with your legs straight out on your bed or mat, and relaxed.
6.  Slide your right leg towards your buttocks by bending your right knee and hip.
7.  Slowly straighten your right leg.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Hamstring Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat.
2.  Sit straight, with your hands on your bed or mat supporting you.
3.  Then, sit with your left leg bent at the knee.
4.  Sit with your right leg straight on your bed, and your toes pointed the ceiling.
5.  Tighten the bottom of your thigh muscles by digging your heel. Hold for a count of 10.
6.  Repeat the same exercise, only reversing your legs.
7.  Sit with your left leg straight on your bed or mat and have your toes pointed toward the ceiling.
8.  Tighten the bottom of your tight muscles by digging your heel. Hold for a count of 10.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg.

Quadriceps Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat.
2.  Sit straight with your arms supporting you on your bed or mat.
3.  Then, sit with your left leg straight on your bed or mat.
4.  Point your toes toward the ceiling.
5.  Tighten the top of your thigh muscle, and push your heel down into the bed or mat. Hold for a count of 10.
6.  Repeat the same exercise only reversing your legs.
7.  Sit with your right leg straight on your bed or mat.
8.  Point your toes toward the ceiling.
9.  Tighten the top of your thigh muscles, and push your heel down into the bed or mat. Hold for a count of 10.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the
exercise with the other leg.

Straight Leg Raise Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat with your left leg bent at the knee.
2.  Keep your right leg straight on your bed or met and raise it to the height of your opposite knee.
3.  Keep your toes of your raised leg pointed toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10.
4.  Return to starting position and then change legs.
5.  Do the same exercise, only reversing your legs.
6.  Bend your right leg at the knee and keep your left leg straight on your bed or mat.
7.  Raise your left leg to the height of your right knee.
8.  Keep the toes of your raised leg pointed toward the ceiling. Hold this position to a count of 10.
9.  Return to starting position.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Hip Abduction Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your left side.
2.  Hold your head up with your left arm and hand.
3.  Raise your right leg up towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10.
4.  Return to starting position.
5.  Keep your right leg in line with your body and your toes pointed forward.
6.  Do the same exercise – only reverse legs and position.
7.  Lie on your right side and hold your head up with your right arm and hand.
8.  Raise your left leg up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10.
9.  Return to the starting position.
10.Keep your left leg in line with your body and your toes pointed forward.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Hip Extension Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your stomach.
2.  Raise a straight, right leg up toward the ceiling. Do not arch your back. Hold this position to a count of 10.
3.  Return to the start position.
4.  Reverse legs and raise a straight, left leg up toward the ceiling. Do not arch your back. Hold this position to a count of 10.
5.  Return to the start position.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Knee Flexion Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your stomach.
2.  Bend your right knee. Hold this position to a count of 10.
3.  Return to the start position.
4.  Reverse legs and bend your left knee. Hold this position to a count of 10.
5.  Return to the start position.
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other.

Short Arch Quad Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your back with pillow rolled up under your right knee.
2.  Straighten

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