Consider these exercises and products as you build your plan to stay in motion, and be sure to consult your doctor to ensure the exercise plan is safe for you.
Pilates is a low impact form of exercise. “Pilates teaches three things: mobility, stability, and strength,” says Holly Holland, owner of Holly’s Pilates Village. As early as age 30, we begin to lose balance. Pilates has a focus on core stability. A strong core will help you maintain balance while performing day-to-day activities. There are Pilates classes available online and at several gyms and studios. “When selecting a studio, ask questions about the people who will be working with you, and the specific issues you are having. One size does not fit all. You want to work with someone who has a high degree of training to be able to assist you with your particular issues,” Holland advises.
Hop on a Bike
Cycling or peddling has numerous benefits including being easy on your joints, increasing bone density, and positively impacting balance and stability. “Peddling is really good for the brain as well, because you are using the brain and body at the same time,” says Katherine Autin, CEO and founder of Parkinson Partners and Visionary Caregivers. If you are not comfortable jumping on a bike or hitting a spin class, consider investing in a peddler. A peddler is a compact and inexpensive exercise machine with stabilized bike pedals. “Peddlers are a great way to exercise from home. You can peddle on the floor from a seated position, or you can place it on the table for an arm workout,” Gould says.
Put Your Hands to Good Use
Exercising your whole body is important, even your hands. “We take our hands for granted,” Autin says. Exercises such as beading increase hand-eye coordination and dexterity. TheraPutty, a putty-like substance that comes in different strengths, can also be used to manipulate and provide several different hand exercises aimed at improving dexterity. For an extra challenge, mix beads into the putty and work to remove all of them.
Stretching is an important component of a mobility exercise plan. “Cardio exercise is good, but stretching and flexibility exercises keep you moving,” says Barb Millhollan, community outreach and LIVESTRONG director at the YMCA of Greater Louisville. Stretching is particularly important in the morning. “You have to prepare your body for movement,” Holland says, and Millhollan suggests,“Your bed is a really safe place to stretch.” She says to keep resistance bands or a long towel next to your bed so you can do stretches before you get up.
BY TAMI PYLES