Its More Important than Ever
If your mom is like mine, she relies on an active lifestyle rather specific exercise routines to keep her body moving. With the new way of life at home, she is struggling to keep her joints and spine supple. This is a blog I wrote a while back for Mother's Day that I'm repurposing for the active aging woman in your life.
Currently it is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide suffer from Osteoporosis. Approximately 30% of all postmenopausal women have osteoporosis in the United States and in Europe, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. So why not assume that our Mom’s have it? Why not teach her some postural exercises, balance challenges and safer ways to perform everyday chores? To get her started, send her this link or share it on her Facebook page. Get the information to her however you can and follow up with a SKYPE call in case she has any questions. You could even do it with her. ;)
Bird Dog - Starting on all fours (a great position to strengthen her wrists) Keeping the core stable, extend opposite arm and leg. It is important that the leg and arm lift to a LOW height so that the shoulder and low back are not strained. 8x each side
Chest Expansion - This exercise strengthens the muscles of the upper back which reverses the effects of the rounded forward head position that is associated with Osteoporosis. It can be performed with light weights or pulling on a band that is wrapped around a pole or column. 10x
Practicing balance and strengthening the muscles in the front of the hip and ankle will help with gait and balance to prevent falls.
Stand on one leg by the kitchen counter or a chair. The opposite leg is held up at 90 degree angle at hip and also the knee with the foot flexed. Be sure the hips stay level. Try 30 seconds on each leg, holding the chair only if needed.
Learning to squat instead of lean over is so important. Avoiding rounding and bending over especially while picking up something with weight is essential. Practice how to pick up low items, unload groceries, lean over the sink or oven and pick up your pet safely by bending at the knee and keeping the back straight. My Mom laughs because she feels like she is sticking her butt out but she feels better in her low back so she keeps it up.
Squats - Watch our Squat Tutorial here
What to Avoid
Crunches of any sort. Any exercise that rounds the spine: Yoga Forward Fold, Pilates Rollup and Spine Stretch. Deep twisting and side bending without support.