Exercises to do before you get out of bed!
This is the best excuse ever for staying in bed; you can actually do a workout before you get up! If your joints feel a bit stiff in the mornings (and that goes for most people over 50) you need to stimulate production of synovial fluid. Follow these morning moves, recommended by our head physiotherapist, Rosaria Toohey, to help your joints and muscles feel looser and more comfortable. If you enjoy the benefits and want to do more, try our Living Room Workouts for over 65s to build your fitness and stamina. After turning 50, daily exercise is an investment in your health. Start with this routine daily and you’ll be banking ‘health credits’ for your future!
There’s nothing to stop you listening to the radio or even watching TV while you do this work out, just go gently and take your time. Start by taking two or three slow breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. And begin! Start by repeating each exercise 5 -9 times and gradually build it up to 10-20 if you can. Feel free to repeat the whole list a second time if you feel you want to do so.
Lying down, bend your knees keeping your feet flat on the bed. Gently rock your knees from side to side. Repeat 10 – 15 times.
Still lying down with your knees bent, ‘march’ your feet on the bed for a count of 10 – 20.
Stretch your legs out straight and rotate one foot clockwise in a circle five times, then the other. Repeat anti-clockwise.
Still with your legs stretched straight out, flex your foot up and then down, pointing your toes. Repeat with the other foot.
Lie flat and move one leg out to the side and back to the centre. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat five times. This loosens up your hips.
With straight legs, push your whole leg into the mattress, which will tighten the muscles in your bottom and thighs. Repeat five times with each leg.
Lying flat, bend your knees keeping your feet flat on the bed. Push with your feet and lift your bottom off the mattress and gently lower it back down. Repeat five times.
This is a great move if you’ve got sore shoulders. Lie with your arms crossed across your body. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides and open your arms out with your palms facing upwards. Repeat 10 times.
Remove your pillow. Tuck your chin in and elongate your neck. Hold your neck in this lengthened position and count to five. Repeat 5 times. This is a wonderful first aid neck exercise. Very good to do this if you have slept in a wrong position and wake up with a stiff neck.
Reach for the stars (or at least the ceiling)! Start with your hands touching your shoulders. Slowly lift one arm up and reach for the ceiling. Extend your arm as far as it will comfortably go and lower it back down, returning your hand to your shoulder. Repeat with the other arm. Repeat 10 times.
Roll on to your side, facing the edge of the bed. Ease your legs over the side of the bed and slowly sit up. It’s much better for your back to get up this way. Once you’re sitting on the edge of the bed, cross your arms over your body and lean back gently to tighten your tummy muscles. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
Finally, still seated with your feet firmly on the ground march on the spot for a few seconds. Kick out with one foot so it is level with your knee, then repeat with the other leg. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
By now you should be feeling loose, limber and ready for the day! Take a couple of slow breaths and go and make yourself a well-deserved cup of tea.