The following 5 exercises should be done every other day, or 3 days a week:
- 1. Place an armchair against a stable surface such as a wall or your cabinets. Sit far enough forward that the calves of your legs do not touch the front of the chair. Cross your arms and come to standing 10 times. If you can not stand with your arms crossed, use your arms on the armrests to stand, but make your legs do as much of the work of standing as possible. Try to build the strength of your legs so that you can eventually stand with your arms crossed 10 times. (If you have arthritis in your knees or hips, and this exercise increases your pain significantly, do not do this exercise.)
- 2. Hold to the kitchen sink with both hands. Place your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat to a point where you are certain you can still rise. Use your legs to rise rather than pulling yourself up with your arms. Repeat 10 times.
- 3. Hold to the sink with both hands. kick one leg diagnonally backwards 10 times. Then repeat 10 times with the opposite leg.
- 4. Hold to the sink with both hands. Lift the toes and balls of both your feet off the floor so that you are standing on your heels, 10 times. Try to limit the motion to your ankle joints and avoid rocking back at your hips.
- 5. Hold to the sink with both hands. Raise up on your tip toes of both feet as high as you can, lifting your heels off the floor, 10 times.
These 5 simple exercises are generally appropriate for individuals who are still able to walk independently or with a cane or walker, and who have good heart and lung function. If you have any doubts about whether these exercises would be appropriate for you, you may print them and consult your physical therapist or physician.
If you develop any chest pain or more than mild shortness of breath, stop the exercises and consult your physician.
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