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Four Ways to Maintain Your Mobility as You Age

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  • Written By: Allied Services Integrated Health
Four Ways to Maintain Your Mobility as You Age

From a young age, we are encouraged to make exercise a part of our daily routine. For parents, it may be a happy coincidence that regular exercise is beneficial for our children’s health and has a way of tiring them out. As adults, we are more likely to take into consideration the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise. Being more active can help us to think, feel and sleep better. It reduces our risk factors for a myriad of health issues including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity. This goal can be especially challenging for seniors as winter approaches and the prospect of exercising outside of the home becomes more daunting. Add in the current need to isolate to reduce the risk of exposure to the Corona virus, and you have a recipe for a sedentary lifestyle.

Physical inactivity in seniors is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, dementia, bone loss, falls and depression. At the most basic level inactivity in seniors can lead to difficulty performing daily activities. When we don’t get enough physical activity, we begin to lose lean muscle tissue, making dressing, bathing and simply getting around our homes more challenging. The good news is that there are simple, free ways that we can safeguard our health at any age. Theresa Craig, MSc, Fitness Manager at Allied Services Aronica Wellness Center in Scranton suggest these 4 ways to approach your physical fitness at home.


Walking outside with a friend or family member is great for your physical and mental health. However, you can maintain your aerobic endurance by committing to moving more. Instead of trying to carry the groceries or laundry to another room in one trip, carry smaller loads and make more trips to add steps into your day. If you’re watching TV, get up during the commercial break and march in place. Spread your chores throughout the day to keep you moving at regular intervals.


Next time you’re watching TV, grab a bottle of water or can of soup and perform seated arm raises. Engage your core and work your arms and legs by performing sit to stand exercises from your sofa or favorite lounge chair. Try for 10 sit to stands in a row, making sure to avoid sudden movements. If you feel light headed or dizzy, stop immediately.


To maintain your range of motion, perform light stretches throughout the day. While standing, gently raise your arms over your head and swing them down to your hips following a circular motion. Place your feet hip width apart and slowly stretch to one side and then the other. When you’re sitting on the sofa, perform toe touches, making sure to reach slowly and smoothly.


Hold onto a chair or other stable surface and balance on one leg. Try a few seconds balancing on each foot. As you do the exercise more often, you can increase the time and work up to a minute. You can also perform standing heel and toe raises. Stand on a firm surface and slowly rock forward onto your toes and then slowly back onto your heels, holding onto a counter at all times.

While regular exercise is important, remember to avoid overexertion. Some exercises such as bending or standing up too fast can cause dizziness or loss of breath. Take it slowly and be patient with yourself. If you find that you are struggling with these exercises or with activities that are part of your daily life, it may be that you need additional support.

On the recommendation of your doctor, a physical therapist can provide you with a personalized plan and series of exercises that address your weaknesses and help to restore your function. To request an evaluation call 570-348-1360. There are now more ways to safely receive therapy including at home with a visiting therapist or via telehealth. Click here to explore your options.