Over the last 4 weeks, we have looked at areas to work on to help make your time with your grandchildren more enjoyable. These things include improving muscle strength, balance, getting on and off the floor, and safe ways to lift and bend.
1. Remaining strong (or becoming stronger) is important to help your body cope with the physical demands of being around grandchildren. Focusing on shoulder, back and leg strength will help. Start with a few daily strengthening exercises targeting those areas specifically. Here are some more exercises that might help:
– Wall push-ups:
Stand up straight facing a wall. Take a step back and place the palms of your hands on the wall at shoulder height and slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend your elbows, taking your chest towards the wall. Keep your body in a straight line and tighten your buttocks and abdominals. Return to the starting position by straightening your elbows, lifting your chest away from the wall. Repeat this x10.
– Sit to stand:
Start seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your buttocks to the edge of the chair with your feet underneath you. Bend forward at the hips and stand up until you are completely upright. Lift your chest and tighten your buttocks. Sit down slowly, bending at the hips and knees, and controlling the movement. Try to do this exercise without using your hands or with as little use of your hands as you can do comfortably.
2. If you haven’t been on the floor for a while, practice getting up and down. Make sure there is someone around and a chair close by to help with getting up again which is the most challenging part.
3. Keeping good balance is also important when dealing with growing young children. Try doing some balance exercises. To get you started here are a few examples along with those from last week:
– Stand upright and straight with your feet very close together.
– Then, try closing your eyes.
– Try walking on undulating ground.
4. Lifting children can be problematic for the back, shoulders and neck. Keep your back straight and try to bend from the hips and knees. Each time you go to pick up a heavy object, brace around your abdomen to help protect the back.
I hope you have found this series helpful.
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