Hello and welcome back to the REACT blog.
If you have been following the exercise routine described in the first few weeks of the blog you should be starting to see some improvements in your fitness and strength by now. So do think about increasing the intensity of the exercises you are doing and the number of repetitions, as described in our last blog. That way you will keep on improving.
In order to avoid getting bored with your exercise programme, and as you have access to a computer or a tablet, you could consider trying out one of the free exercise routines available online. When you are choosing an online exercise programme make sure that it is appropriate for your physical abilities. There are quite a few programmes available specifically for older adults which would be a good starting point. But before starting please go back and review the safety guidance in the first week of this blog. Staying safe is always the most important thing.
One tried and tested and very quick routine was developed by an organisation called Move It or Lose It. It’s called the Cuppa Routine – because it is designed to be done while you boil the kettle for a cup of tea or coffee. Ideally, do it every time you boil the kettle!
Not only are the exercises easy to do, but the act of switching on the kettle also acts as a trigger to remind you to do this simple routine. It’s little things like this that can really add up to make a big difference.
The video guides you through four exercises:
- Side leg raises to strengthen the hips and bottom muscles which are vital for balance
- Chair raises to strengthen the thigh muscles to help with stair climbing and walking
- Arm raises strengthen the arms and shoulders to help with everyday tasks such as housework and gardening
- Heel raises strengthen the ankles and calf muscles to improve balance and walking
If you make four cuppas a day, you will have done 40 chair raises by the end of the day!
Just click on this link to give it a try:
Another organisation called Later Life Training have created a series of videos called Make Movement your Mission where they encourage people to take ‘activity snacks’ throughout the day. Well worth looking at as there are options to suit everyone.
The NHS also has a series of exercise videos available including pilates and yoga sessions specifically for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, knee problems, back pain and Osteoarthritis. So if you have any of these issues these videos would be well worth trying.
Whichever online programme you choose remember to also keep up your daily REACT sessions too and you will go from strength to strength. Next week we’ll be talking about our bones and what we can do to keep them strong and healthy.
Stay safe and keep moving!
Afroditi, Janet, Jolanthe and Pete
Dr Afroditi Stathi, REACT Chief Investigator, University of Birmingham
Dr Janet Withall, REACT Trial Manager, University of Bath
Dr Jolanthe de Koning, REACT Research Associate, University of Bath
Dr Pete Ladlow, UK Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre