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As you get older, there are lots of changes that happen to cause us to be less mobile, such as muscle loss and weaker bones. Often older people have undergone some form of surgery or have ailments that have left them with poor functionality, but that doesn't mean have to accept their "new body"! There are many exercises both upper and lower over sixties can try to keep active and maintain movement across the whole body.
Upper Body Exercises
If standing is a problem, then all of these exercises can be completed while sitting to take the strain off of the back. To start with simply complete the movements with no weight and 12 repetitions of each. Gradually, you can add some small weights such as a 1kg dumbbell or even a canned food tin!
- Bicep Curl - start with the arm outstretched and slowly bend at the elbow until the forearm touches the upper arm. Then bring the arm down until fully straight and repeat. Complete holding a tin of beans or something similar to make it harder.
- Shoulder Raises - Start with arms down by your side, slowly raise one arm up (while straight) until it is level with the shoulder, hold for 5 seconds and then lower back to the side. Then repeat with the other arm - hold for longer at raised point to make harder.
- Shoulder Rotations - Again start with the arms down by your side, when ready start to lift the arm (straight) forwards and upwards to make a circle up and over the shoulder and bring back to the start point. Repeat with the opposite arm. If full 360 degrees is not possible, swing the arm forward and back as high as you can.
- Overarm Extensions - Raise your arms above your head keeping the elbow straight as if trying to touch the ceiling. When ready bend at the elbows (much like a bicep curl), hold at full bent motion and then return to the start. Complete both arms at the same time to avoid lack of circulation in the arms.
- Diagonal Flexion - Start with the arms down at your side and relax. When ready with one arm reach across the body and upwards to the opposite side. Imagine there is a giant square in front of you and your are swinging up to touch the opposite top corner, draw a line back down the straight to the bottom corner, then across to the opposite top and back down to the start. And then repeat with the opposite arm.
- Shoulder Rolls - Relax the arms down by the side of the body when ready using just the shoulders pull them forwards and round in a circle. Just like shrugging but around in a rotation rather than upwards and downwards. Complete 6 forward and then 6 backward rotations.
- Seated Shoulder Press - Sitting with a straight back imagine your are holding a straight bar and keeping it level with your shoulders. When ready fully straighten the arms above your head as if pushing the bar up and away from you until the arms are straight, hold for 5-10 seconds and then lower to shoulder height, then repeat.