Older bodies are prone to loss of strength and muscle (sarcopenia). Fast-twitch muscle fibers are especially prone to atrophy which is why many older adults lose their ability to push the body up to a standing position. Also, proprioception, the ability to balance while standing and moving, declines. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! If you start exercising on a regular basis, you are not doomed to lose your functional fitness. One of my favorite functional exercises is getting up and down from the floor. Don’t wait until you fall down to try and work out how to get up. If you practice getting up and down from the floor once a week, you might be surprised at how easily you can get up. Here’s how to get up from the floor safely. Make sure you have someone with you the first time you try this.
1. Try to move to a sitting position on the floor, or roll over onto your side. Relax for a few seconds before doing the next steps.
2. Locate the nearest sturdy and stable chair, or some other solid piece of furniture. The safest and easiest way to get up is to hold onto something strong.
3. Get yourself onto all fours (hands and knees) and crawl to the chair. Place both of your hands on the chair.
4. Put your strongest leg under you so that your foot is on the floor. You should now be stepping on one foot with the other knee on the floor.
5. Stand up using your arms on the chair for support.
6. Sit on the chair until you feel comfortable to walk.
Much of the physical side of growing older is within our control. Just because we’re aging does not mean that we’ll automatically become weak or start shuffling our feet when we walk. It’s important to exercise on a regular basis now to maintain (or regain) normal physical function.Comments