Maintaining strength and balance when we're older or have a long term health condition is as important as ever. Gardening and housework will help keep you fit and busy, but for a home workout whenever you want, try popping some cans of food into a shopping bag or filling up an empty milk carton with water to use as makeshift weights (2 litres = 2kg). For an exercise band, tie some old tights into a loop.
If you're able, try getting into the habit of getting out of your chair for a minute whenever the ads come on the TV - something that simple will genuinely help your balance and keep your legs strong. Or just head for the stairs - the Ramblers reckon 475 flights and you'll have tackled Snowdon (add another 3,400 for Everest).
Depending on your age and your specific condition you may be able to head outside but if not, below are some free ideas to get you started. As with all exercise, take it slowly and stop if you feel at all unwell.
- NHS strength exercises
- NHS balance exercise
- NHS seated exercises
- 10 Today - ten lots of ten-minute audio or video workouts, suitable for those in chairs, with Surrey's own Terry Keen (also on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra on DAB & Freeview from 5-10am Mon-Fri at time of writing)
- Later Life Training - loads of fantastic exercises, broadcast daily: make movement your mission!
- Exercises for balance from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy - six video exercises to help you maintain your independence
- Exercises for balance - pdf download (3MB) - 'Super Six' exercises from C.S.P. similar to the above but available as a printable document
- Green Goddess' exercise sessions - think that your days of exercising are behind you? Keep Fit and Carry On with Surrey's own Diana Moran in these short clips - or see her on BBC Breakfast at 6.55am on Mon & Weds and 6.55 & 8.55am at weekends (at time of writing)
- Joe Wicks exercises for seniors - not quite as energetic as his daily PE sessions for the grandchildren, but still worth following
People with health conditions or disabilities
You might have developed a chronic health condition as you aged, or you may have lived with a disability all of your life. It may even be that you've been told to self isolate due to preganancy. Whatever the reason, it's important that you stay active within the constraints of your condition, particularly if you have been advised to self isolate. Here are some of the sites that have stood out for us so far:
- #WeAreUndefeatable is a campaign powered by Sport England and 15 of the UK's leading health charities, with advice on ways to keep moving for those with self-isolating conditions
- Mums-to-be can check out exercise videos and more from our sister Active Partnership, MSP
- Adaptive Yoga from Wheelpower for those in wheelchairs, or strength exercises using reistance bands
- Parasport home workouts - two c.20 min sessions for those with disabilities
- Disability Sports Coach have a home exercise programme aimed at disabled people available for download
- Arthritis Action have some great seated exercises, particularly suitable for those with hand, hip or knee problems, or spinal Osteoarthritis
- The British Heart Foundation have exercise videos specifically for cardiac rehabilitation patients as well as 7 sets of exercises that can keep you mobile, depending on your own ability level.
- The Royal Marsden have a few video workouts for those diagnosed with cancer
- British Blind Sport have some free audio workouts accessible from their C-9 page
- Cerebral Palsy Sport feature some stay at home exercises and other advice to help you stay in shape
- The Royal Osteoporosis Society has free video exercises and sheets
- Disability Horizons have suggestions for other exercise providers, from gentle stretches to high energy / HIIT workouts and inclusive dance for children
Finally, you may want to check out this page on our Activity Finder to learn about some of the new apps that have been launched to help those with health conditions move more, thanks to personalised programmes.
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