Stay fit and feel well
The NHS is overstretched, and we’d all like to avoid doctor’s appointments and hospital visits if possible. A little strength exercising every day can go far to keep us healthy, and balance exercises can help prevent falls.
Why bother learning to balance better?
Improving your balance may not be your number one fitness goal, but it should definitely be high on the list -because balance affects every area of your life, including your workouts.
Think about it: Even walking around requires stability, as does bending down to pick something up, going up the stairs or climbing onto a step stool, (not to mention actual exercises like running, pilates and yoga).
Balance is crucial regardless of your age or activity level. The main reason why is also the most obvious: increasing your stability means you’re less likely to stumble and fall. The older we get, the more prone we are to slips and injuries. Working on your balance also strengthens the support around your joints, which helps keep them healthy in the long run. It also helps injuries (like ankle sprains) heal faster because it improves proprioception, which is your sense where your body is in the space around you, which typically suffers after you get hurt. Even better, there are about as many ways to improve balance as there are benefits, so you can find the exercise approach that’s best for you.
Try the Sissel Balancefit. It is designed to improve balance, physical co-ordination, strength and circulation. It features specially shaped knobbles in two thicknesses, and these have the added effect of increasing the body’s perceptive ability. It is also ideal for foot massage, working on pelvic floor exercises or as a dynamic sitting aid.
What about strength training?We all lose muscle mass as we get older, so it’s important to slow the decline by working out. Even just a bit. Even from home. Even from a sofa or bed…
These stretching rings and bands are particularly good for strength, and many exercise regimes recommend bands. These have helpful hand holds, and are colour coded for resistance.
We searched for a reasonably priced high quality set of weights, and we came up with these. They aren’t very onerous to wear, but strapped in place they make movement that little bit harder and therefore that little bit more strengthening. And they’re a subtle smart dark green with black.
If you can, set up a small workout space that’s enjoyable to be in. Consider investing in a few key pieces of equipment, such as a mat, some resistance bands, maybe some light ankle and wrist weights. Take safety seriously – consider the space you are in, test any furniture you might be planning to lean on, and if you can, watch yourself perform the exercises in front of a mirror. There’s no avoiding the knowledge that you have the wrong position if you can see it!
It can be fun (really!) to roll out a mat (we love our yoga mat– made of stayput, anti-slip squidgy material) and follow a youtube video to practise using any of the equipment mentioned to improve posture, strength and balance. Have a look and don’t dismiss it out of hand. Just a few minutes every day can make a huge difference.
We also highly recommend posture cushions – a great way to strengthen your back without exercising!
Sitfit and Sitfit plus are air filled cushions to balance yourself on, primarily while sitting. The Sitfit plus has a straight edge for using solely on a chair, the basic Sitfit is circular, and better for floor exercise. Both are really good for posture!
We also have hot and cold pads which help alleviate muscle pain and aching joints for pre or post exercise. Just pop them in the microwave, oven or fridge as instructed and feel the benefit. The Sissel brand is high quality- we’ve sold many and they have been very well received.
And then… relax
Some exercise methods that we’ve come across and been impressed by are Buff Bones and The Franklin Method. We stock ‘Franklin balls’ in our Stay Fit section on our website.
Quite apart from the improvement in posture and strength – and the knowledge that because you can balance better you are less likely to fall – there’s the bonus of looking much better. Exercise, even only a little, has benefits all round. A positive glow comes from knowing you’ve been taking care of yourself and there’s the improvement that exercise of any sort brings to your mood. It has been shown many times that the chemicals that flood your body during and after any exercise are positively cheering.
And who wouldn’t enjoy that?
This article was written by the fantastic team over at GrannyGetsaGrip. At GrannyGetsaGrip they believe that aids for independent living should complement individuality and taste, without compromising on quality and safety. Discover more and get a discount with your CarersCardUK card at grannygetsagrip.com!