Every year approximately 1 in 3 Canadians over the age of 65 falls, and these numbers can go up significantly over the winter months. One of the key ways you can avoid slips and falls during the winter months (or any month!), is ensuring you exercise regularly and keep your legs strong. Strength and balance help you to recover more easily should you slip on the ice, and in turn you reduce your risk of injury. Here are 3 helpful exercises that you can do at home to maintain strong legs:
Standing with your back against the wall, place your feet in front of you so that your shoelaces are in front of your knees. Squat down bending your knees to a comfortable position or until they are at a 90 degree angle (do not exceed).if you are new to this exercise or are worried about being unsteady, ensure you have a chair to hang onto nearby or underneath you. Hold this squat position for 30-60 seconds, stand up and rest for 60 seconds and repeat 2 more times. Try to work up your endurance each day by challenging longer holds or more sets.
Hold onto something solid for support and balance, such as a counter, chair, or wall. Push up onto the your tiptoes as high as possible and hold for 10 seconds, lower your heels to the floor very slowly. Repeat 10-15 times. When you are ready to make this more challenging try balancing on one leg while doing the raise, or increasing the amount of time you hold the position.
Clamshell for glutes
Lay on your side with your knees bent and ankles and toes together. Slowly raise the top knee and rotate the hip out while keeping your toes together, and hold for 10 seconds. Keep your pelvis still and in line. Lower your knee back down slowly. Repeat 10 times, and switch to repeat on the other side. To make this more challenging, extend the leg our straight instead of bending it, or increase the reps.