When you think of strength exercises, you may picture a young person, but strength exercises are for everyone. Even if you have to stay in bed, there are a wide range of exercises for bed rest that you can start doing right now to improve your strength and mobility. These exercises can help make your life easier, along with aging-in-place home modifications like a food tray for the elderly.
For the Legs
Did you know that when you exercise your legs, you’re also exercising other muscles too? Working your legs also works your lower back, as well as your abdominal and oblique muscles.
Try straight leg lifts by keeping arms to the sides and palms down, keeping legs straight. Lift one leg, aiming for a 45-degree angle. You should feel flexing in your front thigh muscles. Hold this position for one second before lowering your leg and repeating the exercise on the other leg. Starting small, work your way up to 15 to 20 repetitions for each leg, with a 30-second break between sets.
For the Hips
Hip tightness is common in older adults, especially those who spend a lot of time in bed. Hip exercises loosen the hips and also strengthen the gluteal (butt) muscles, which support your back.
Lying hip bridges are an exercise you can do by lying flat on your back, with feet flat and knees bent. Keeping your lower back flat, squeeze your glutes, and push your hips upward. Hold this position for a second or two before lowering your hips slowly to the bed. Do as many of these as is comfortable.
For Shoulder Strength
Shoulder joints can become painful with time in bed, and neck, back, and shoulder muscles can stiffen. These simple exercises help to loosen and strengthen muscles as they increase blood flow.
Sitting up in bed, shrug your shoulders as many times as you can, lowering your shoulders slowly. Take a 10-second break, and then slowly roll each shoulder backward 10 times, and then forward 10 times.
For the Arms
Push-ups and shoulder raises are two very effective strength-building exercises that can be done from your bed.
Lying on your back, bend your arms until you can touch your shoulders with the backs of your hands. Then, push your arms up to the ceiling. Lower slowly, and repeat 10 times or however many times feels comfortable.
To do the shoulder raise, stay on your back and place arms at your sides. Keeping arms straight with palms up, lift arms as far up above your head as you can before lowering them slowly. Repeat 10 times or however many times feels comfortable.
Along with exercising, resting between sessions is equally important. The right furniture can ensure comfortable bed rest without straining muscles. The AtHand® Overbed Table System is a stylish and incredibly practical lap desk for seniors. With built-in power plugs, USB ports, task lighting, storage, and adjustable height, our table systems keep everything you need within reach. Call (440) 628-9550 to discover more benefits.