In addition to cardio and flexibility exercises, resistance training is essential in your older years. It keeps your muscles strong, increases your bone density, and reduces the symptoms of age-related health conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis. (See References 1) Resistance bands or cords are ideal to use for your workout; they're lightweight, affordable, portable, and promote your coordination. (See References 2) You can do the exercise while sitting down on a chair to avoid compromising your balance and stability.
Include Arm-Strengthening Exercises
Strong arms make it easier to carry items, and to push yourself up from a seated position. To work the front and back of your upper arms, perform biceps curls and triceps extensions. During biceps curls, you sit in a chair, and secure one end of the resistance cord under your foot, while you hold the other end in one hand. You then bend your elbow and bring your hand toward your shoulder, working against the resistance. Then slowly return to the starting point. During triceps extensions, you hold one end of the cord against your chest with your right hand. Your left hand holds the cord about 8 inches from your right hand. Extend your elbow, and pull forward on the cord, to engage your triceps. Perform up to 10 reps of each exercise with both arms. (See References 3, p. 102 and References 4, p. 77)
Perform Chest and Back Exercises
Seated chest presses and rows mainly work your chest and back, which can help improve your posture, and make it easier to get up from chairs or the toilet. For chest presses, wrap the middle of the band or cord around the back of a chair and grasp an end in each hand. The band should be at chest height. Then extend your elbows and press your hands forward to engage your chest, before slowly returning to the starting point. During seated rows, your feet rest on the middle part of the band, while you hold an end in each hand. Your then bend your elbows out and pull up on the band, before slowly returning to the starting point. Complete eight to 10 reps of both exercises. (See References 3, p. 102 and References 4, p. 77)
Incorporate Exercises for Strong Legs
Strong legs keep you mobile; they help you walk, stand up, and get up from a seated position. Targeting your quadriceps and hamstrings with knee extensions and hamstring curls can strengthen the front and back of your upper legs. During knee extensions, the ends of the cord are tied together around your legs. While...