Move for Life DVD - Walkabout 1
Welcome to Walkabout number 1. There are three activities in the warm-up, two in the cardiovascular section, three activities in strength and five in stretch. Walkabout 1 should take about 30 minutes.
Are we ready for number 1? Well let’s go! Lead the way.
Our first warm-up is a 5 minute walk. Start slowly, go at your own pace, maintain a good posture by keeping those shoulders down and keep breathing. Throughout the Walkabouts, we will show you how to do the exercises with a walker or a cane. Make sure the walker and the cane are adjusted to your height, and keep your walker close to you so your body stays upright.
Our second warm-up is great for maintaining flexibility in your hands and wrists. It’s circling the wrists and opening and closing the fingers. You want to make sure you circle in both directions, and keep those feet going. It’s going to be great to keep the blood flowing. If you’re using a walker or a cane remember - one hand at a time. Do each of these 5 to 10 times; it will help you with simple things like opening a jar.
Let’s keep the blood flowing with our third warm-up: arm swings. If you’re using a walker, swing one arm at a time please. Remember, the movement is a nice steady flow from the shoulder with your elbows bent. If you’re using a cane, you’re going to be more comfortable sitting down. Do this movement 5 to 10 times. Now that we’ve really got the blood flowing, we’re ready to go for our brisk walk.
Now for our cardiovascular walk. Walk with purpose and maintain a good posture. If you’re using a walker, make sure it’s close to you so you stay upright. Your cane and walker should be adjusted to your height. Increase your stride and your speed, and this will increase the intensity. While you’re active, you should be able to still talk to the person next to you, but not sing. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs and helps you perform day-to-day activities with ease. Work up to 15 minutes of walking. The goal is for 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Now for a nice cool-down walk. This will slow your heart rate a little. Decrease your stride and your speed. Cool-down is important; it allows your body the opportunity to slow down. Once you feel your heart rate and your breathing have slowed, you’re ready for our strengthening activities.
Now for the strengthening exercises; this is important to keep you strong, injury free and independent. Let’s start with the tricep press. The movement is from the elbow, not the shoulder, and you’re pressing the hand back. Make sure you keep the shoulders down. This is great for getting in and out of the chair. Good job, Robbie. Do about 5 repetitions on each side, one hand at a time if you’re using a walker or cane.
Let’s move onto squats, which are great for strengthening your legs. Make sure that knee does not go beyond your toes, extend your bottom away from you and then squeeze it as you stand up. This is great for helping you bend over and pick things up. If you need to sit down, extend the leg out without locking the knee. Remember, keep your body upright, your chest open and keep breathing.
Our third and final strengthening exercise is shoulder blade squeeze. With the palms down, gently squeeze the shoulder blades together and down your back. Try not to poke your chin out or arch your back. If you’re using a walker or cane, do one at a time. Gradually increase you repetitions. Start with 5 on each side. As you feel stronger, repeat them. This is great for your posture; it will take you from slouching on the couch to great posture. That’s the shoulder blade squeeze.
Let’s start our stretches by doing two arm raises. Bring the hand up towards the sky; try not to lean over. This helps to maintain the flexibility in the shoulder joint. Doing things like reaching into the cupboard just got a little easier. Now turn your palm towards the sky, shoulder height, and then reach all the way up if you can. Do each stretch 2 or 3 times, and hold them for 10 to 20 seconds each.
The second stretch is for the hamstring, which is the muscle on the back of your leg. Maintain a straight back as you push your hips behind you. If you’re using a cane or a walker, you can do this exercise sitting down. This helps you safely bend down and pick something up, or tie your shoes like Robbie’s doing. Remember to support your upper body by putting your hands together on the leg that’s bent, and don’t lock your knees.
This is the calf stretch; it’s the big muscle in the lower part of your leg. Keep your toes pointing forward. Heels should be touching the ground for a good stretch. This exercise improves the flexibility of your ankles, which helps reduce the risk of falling. The calf stretch requires a lot of balance, so if you need support use the park bench or even the kitchen table. This helps with day-to-day activities, such as walking or going up and down stairs. Try each stretch 2 to 3 times, and hold each one for 10 to 20 seconds.
Great job so far! Let’s move on to the chest stretch. This will stretch your chest and the front of your shoulders, and help improve your posture. Remember to keep your thumbs up as you extend your arms backwards. Keep breathing; don’t hold your breath. Shoulders stay down. Don’t push that belly forward, because that means you’re arching your back, and remember to keep your chin tucked down.
Now for neck rotation and stretch; these two exercises keep your neck flexible and give you greater mobility when you need it, like checking over your shoulder when you’re driving. These movements are slow and controlled. First, move your head from side to side, making sure you pause in the middle. The next movement is drawing your chin down as you lift the back of your head to the sky. Remember to keep your shoulders down, and for a bigger stretch reach your finger tips to the ground.
Let’s recap Walkabout 1. First we had a nice 5 minute warm-up walk. We started slow and paced ourselves. We continued on to warm up our fingers and our wrists. We moved onto arm swings to warm up the shoulders. Then we went for a brisk walk for our cardiovascular health, improving our heart and lungs. Then we cooled down to prepare ourselves for the rest of the walkabout. Our strength activities started with the tricep press. We moved on to the squats to help strengthen our legs. Then we worked on our posture by doing a nice shoulder blade squeeze. Our stretches started with arm raises. We then moved on to stretch that big muscle, the hamstring. Continuing with the leg stretch, we stretched our calves. Then a nice chest stretch. Didn’t that one feel good? And finally, we did two stretches for our neck. A couple of things to remember:
- it’s great to do the walkabouts with a friend or family member;
- take the printout that describes each walkabout;
- when you feel ready, increase the number of times you go for this walkabout every week, or go on to Walkabout number 2,
- and remember – every move is a good move.