Improving Your Independent Mobility in 2019

by Medical Xpress

It’s a New Year, and at this time, many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves and their overall quality of life. If you struggle with independent mobility, improving your ability to get around without assistance is a great goal to strive towards this year. For those who want to become more physically independent in 2019, here are a few tips to help improve your mobility.

Talk to Your Doctor

First, talk to your doctor to get his or her approval before you move forward with any of the tips below. Your ability to carry out many of the exercises and other advice mentioned in this article will be based on your individual health and capabilities. Ask your doctor if becoming more independently mobile is a realistic goal for you, and ask if he or she has any recommendations on how to make that happen in a safe and gradual manner.

Try Out a Mobility Device

If you rely heavily on others to move around your everyday environment, one of the first things you should consider is trying out a mobility device. Many senior citizens may put this decision off or avoid it altogether, because they feel that a walker or cane will make them feel even older. But relying on a mobility device to get around on a daily basis is much simpler than relying on other people. You can go places and do things without needing to ask for assistance, which is a great first step to reclaiming some of your independent mobility.

We carry a variety of mobility aids at Medical Xpress, so feel free to stop by our store to try a few out. Depending on your individual needs, we can help you find a cane, walker, wheelchair, or scooter that will allow you to move about more independently.

Attend Exercises Classes

Many gyms and community centers offer exercise classes designed exclusively for senior citizens, and you don’t have to be independently mobile to attend. The movements and routines are often easily modified to perform them while seated, or while standing with the support of a chair. If you’re still worried about your ability to do the exercise routines, you can ask a friend or family member to come with you and assist you for the first few classes.

These types of classes will help to strengthen your muscles and loosen stiff joints, while also building up stamina. These are all vital in helping you to reclaim some independent mobility this year.

Do Exercises at Home

If you can’t find a senior exercise class nearby, or you just aren’t comfortable attending them, try doing daily exercises at home to improve your mobility. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Seated Abdominal Press – Sit in a chair with a straight back and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees, locking out your elbows. Press your palms into your knees and engage your core. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then repeat. This strengthens the core, which is vital in maintaining balance and overall mobility.
2. Side Bends – This is another great exercise to strengthen your core. As with the previous exercise, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand behind your hand, with the other arm straight down by your side. Lean to one side, as if reaching for something on the floor, while contracting your obliques. Return to the start position and repeat several times. Repeat on the other side.
3. Spinal Stretch – A tight spine can really hinder your mobility. So use this exercise to loosen the low back and improve your range of motion. Sit upright in a chair with feet flat on the floor. Twist your upper body, allowing the shoulders to rotate to one side while keeping your lower body in position. Press against the chair back or your leg if you want a deeper stretch. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

There are many exercises that you can do while seated. Start with these kinds of exercises to build up your strength and range of motion. Over time, you should be able to try standing exercises, and you’ll soon notice a significant improvement in your mobility.

Walk a Little Farther

Walking is a fantastic form of exercise. Whether you need to lean on a friend or a walker, try walking a little bit more every day. If you can only walk to the end of your driveway today, try to make it to your neighbor’s house tomorrow. Build up your strength and stamina over time, and you’ll reclaim more and more of your independent mobility every day.

If you’re looking for a mobility device to help you become more mobile in 2019, feel free to stop by one of our many Texas locations today.