Belvedere’s resident Physiotherapist, Jeromy Tse shares his exercise tips for residents and seniors during the COVID-19 period of isolation.
In this deeply challenging time we are facing across Australia and the rest of the world, where we are distant from our family and friends, we understand that life may seem a little mundane. While the current coronavirus situation is here to stay for a while longer, I thought it would be nice to point out a way in which we can use this extra time to better look after ourselves. You guessed it… by doing some light exercises!
Not that you should stop exercising in the best of times, but when you’re feeling down about not being able to live your regular social life, light exercise has been proven to improve your mood by releasing dopamine which is your ‘feel good’ hormone!
Between Belvedere residents, we have a range of differing fitness levels. But, as I always say, you need to work within your limits to a point where you feel you’ve actually exerted, while not being overly exhausted. The instructions below can be seen as a ‘middle ground’ guideline. If you feel you’re a bit fitter, move your body faster and do a few more reps. If you find them somewhat difficult, go halfway and slow down your movements. In essence, test it out and listen to your body!
Upper Back Stretch
- Begin seated with relaxed shoulders.
- Extend arms forward at shoulder height and grab one hand with the other and push outwards while pulling your back and shoulders forward.
- Hold for 10 seconds and release.
- Begin seated with relaxed shoulders.
- Pull extended arms back while grabbing one hand, keeping both hands down near the buttocks.
- Pull your shoulders back and hold for 10 seconds and release.
Sit and Reach Stretch
- Sit at the edge of a chair and extend your legs forward with your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your heels on the floor and toes pointed toward the ceiling.
- Extend both arms in front and reach to touch your toes, while slowly bending at the waist without bouncing.
- Hold for 10 seconds then return to resting position.
- Begin seated and slowly tilt your head to your right shoulder.
- Hold this position and extend your left arm to the side and downward at waist level.
- Release, then repeat on the left side. Repeat twice on each side.
- Begin seated and place fingertips on your shoulders.
- Circle your shoulders 15 times forwards, then 15 times backwards.
- Begin seated with hands reached out in front of you, palms facing down.
- Open both hands to spread your fingers apart, then close your hands. Repeat 10 times.
Chair Exercises for Seniors
Front Arm Raises
- Begin seated, holding a weight of some sort in both hands (a ball, a book etc) with your palms facing each other.
- Extend your arms forward so the weight rests on your legs, with your elbows slightly bent.
- Slowly raise your arms to lift the weight to shoulder level, then lower back down, taking about 3 seconds to raise and lower. Repeat 10-15 times.
Seated Shin Strengthener
- Begin seated on the edge of a chair with legs extended, heels on the floor and knees slightly bent.
- Point your toes downward, then flex upward.
- Do 15 repetitions, relax, then do 15 more repetitions.
- Begin seated, holding a weight with hands close to your stomach and elbows slightly bent.
- Slowly rotate your torso to the right as much as you comfortably can, while keeping the rest of your body stable.
- Return to the center and repeat on the left. Repeat until you complete 8 twists per side.
Jeromy Tse has lead Belvedere’s Balanced To Live physiotherapy program. A weekly program designed to engage residents in movement and exercise activities. He has been actively involved with the care and wellbeing of our residents for over 10 years. Working 5 days per week, Jeromy conducts tailored individual and group physiotherapy programs for our residents of all fitness levels and ability, including those living with dementia.
To find out more about our Physiotherapy program contact our Director of Nursing