Another quadricep exercise if you have arthritis.

The most common search term that lands a person at my blog usually incorporates the words quadricep exercise and arthritis.  I have already covered the topic here  but I thought I would explain another exercise that you can do to strengthen your quadriceps if you have arthritis in your knees.

This is not only for those with arthritis, if you still find wall squats difficult for any reason then this might be a good substitute.  This exercise does need a piece of equipment, a resistance band. Now you can get various different types of resistance bands, if you have any problems with your wrists I recommend you get ones with a handle.

Here are some examples of what you could use (not price checked)  Fitness-MAD studio Pro Safety Resistance Tube  or Perfect Fitess Resistance Band system  or USA Pro Body Bands (no handles).

As this exercise is for a large muscle group I recommend you get one of the heavier resistance bands.

I will be doing some more articles using resistance bands as they really are perfect for throwing in your bag and taking with you for a walk around the park.

Leg Press using resistance band

  1. Sit on a bench/chair, bend your left knee, and lift your foot from the ground. You can lean back slightly during the exercise but be careful that your don’t slump with rounded shoulders.
  2. Wrap the center of the resistance band around your left foot and hold both ends of the band in your hands.  Your hands should be  either side of your body at about waist level. Your toes should be pointed down at a slight angle.
  3.  Pushing out  with your foot straighten your  left leg out in front of your body and stop just before locking your knee.
  4. Bend your knee slowly to return slowly to your starting position.
  5. Do 5 repetitions and change leg.

Remember to do this exercise slowly to get the full benefit, there should always be tension in the band.

Once you are comfortable doing 5 repetitions on each leg then increase the number of repetitions you do.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Muscle Monday – Wrist flexor

I didn’t realise it was the 3rd May last time I posted! Muscle Monday is continuing but there was a bank holiday and then I went on holiday (fab time, thanks!).

Unlike the biceps or the chest muscles, this isn’t seen as a very sexy muscle (not many photos of men flexing their wrists around)  but the wrist flexor (flexor carpui radialis) is very important as it allows the wrist to be flexed and therefore is in charge of all gripping movements and is also involved in any movement involving forward bending of the wrist.  Research has shown that grip strength can collerate with life expectancy!

Better news is this muscle can be exercised whilst sitting in front of the TV.

1. Grab a can of beans, pint of milk i.e. something you can grip easily in your hand but has a weight to it.

2. Whilst seated with your forearm resting on your thigh.  Your hand should be palm up and off the edge of your knee.

3. Bend your wrist towards you as far as possible and hold for 5 seconds.

4. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

Erm sorry about the music, it was either add that or leave the theme to Peppa Pig in the background.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

NHS Self Care Week 2011

The Department of Health described self-care in 2005 as “the actions people take for themselves, their children and their families to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long-term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or discharge from hospital.”

In other words – looking after yourself and your family. It’s important that mental health is mentioned in this definition. Many people when asked to discuss health would mention exercise and good food choices but forget how important our mental wellbeing is to being healthy.

Every day this week I will be posting a short blog with 3 tips for exercise, healthy food choices and mental wellbeing. These will be ideas that are easy to incorporate into your daily life.

Exercise: Instead of taking the lift or escalator take the stairs. Walking up stairs uses multiple muscle groups and increases your heart rate. Don’t forget that the 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise you should aim to do per week can be broken down into 10minute chunks.

Food: Eat less salt. You should not be eating more than 6g of salt a day (if you are over 11, younger children should consume less) and salt is found in most processed foods.  Try to stop cooking with salt, instead add it later if you think it actually needs it. Whilst the body does need some salt an excessive intake of salt is an  important  factor in the development of high blood pressure.

Mental Health: Find time for you each day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, and do something you enjoy. Read a magazine, drink a cup of tea by yourself, go outside and get some fresh air.

For more details of NHS Self Care Week 2011 and information to help make healthy lifestyle choices please visit NHS Choices.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Two exercises to improve posture.

Poor posture can lead to all sorts of problems and increase your risk of falling, however there are exercises that practiced regularly can help you improve your posture and feel more comfortable. 
The Standing Wall Angel has already been documented in Resistance exercises using body weight and is excellent for improving posture,  the second exercise is Brugger’s Relief Exercise.

Standing Wall angel

  1. Stand flat up against a wall with your back to the wall and feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Press the small of your back into the wall and bend your arms to that the backs of your arms and hands are pressed against the wall at a 90-degree angle to your body. If you can’t get your arms against the wall do not arch your back just take elbows back until you feel a stretch.
  3. Move your arms up the wall, keeping your wrists and elbows pressed against the wall (if you can). You are aiming to get the hands together above the head, but again don’t worry if this isn’t possible yet just do the range of movement you are capable of.
  4. Lower hands to the starting position.

Repeat 10 times.

Brugger’s  Relief

      1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands by your sides.
      2. Lift your chest, arch your lower back slightly and point the crown of your head directly up at the ceiling — think tall.
      3. From this position, turn your palms outward and relax your shoulders down. This will pull your shoulders back and open up your chest.
      4. Look straight forward then try to retract your chin toward the back of your head without tilting your head backward
      5. Hold this position for 10 seconds whilst breathing normally and then relax for 10 seconds.

Repeat five times. Try and do this exercise several times a day, especially if you spend a lot of time at a desk or watching TV.

Good posture while sitting, standing and lifting can help you avoid pain, make your life more comfortable and avoid injury.

If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go to Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over-50s This will open a new browser window.

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