Helping Older Adults Stay Fit at Home: a 5-4-3 Approach

Heidi Moon  |  Posted: Thursday, April 9th, 2020

These are uncertain times. Older adults, and so many others, do not currently have access to the activities that kept them moving as we stay at home through this health crisis. Although we are not sure what tomorrow brings, we do know what today brings, the need to keep breathing, keep active, and be strong.

The Marsh training team is providing our older adults with some options on how to accomplish this, one day at a time.

While our minds are full and busy with all kinds of thoughts and projections, and we are not able to be out and about as normal, please follow us on social media where we will periodically post meditations, at-home workouts, and more.

Those who are challenged with remaining active during this time will discover the ease of these movements and the capacity of their breath and bodies to help decrease stress and discomfort.

The goal of 5 – 4 – 3 is to address breathing, mobility, strength, balance, and flexibility each and every day.

So what is 5 – 4 – 3?

Our goal is to provide you with 5 movements to do for 3 days each week. Repetition leads to muscle memory.

It’s as simple as that.

Here is our first 543 program:

Movement 1:
Stand in front of a mirror (or not), with both arms in thumbs-up position, straight arms reaching towards the mirror, take a deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through pursed lips, pull both elbows back opening your chest and squeezing your shoulder blades, repeat 8 times.

Movement 2:
Standing beside a counterbalance or walking through your home, execute a marching step with an opposite knee tap, bringing your knees straight up to right angle or as high as possible, and crossing over with your opposite hand as you rotate your torso, exhaling on each knee lift, repeat twice for 8 taps on each knee.

Movement 3:
Stack two large books on a dining room chair, stand with your back to the chair, make sure your feet are shoulder width apart, holding a broom in both hands in a horizontal position. Then perform a ‘toilet type’ sit, lightly touching the books with your buttocks, then stand back up, inhale to prepare, exhale on your way down and up, repeat 8 times. Do this twice if you feel up to it.

Movement 4:
Stand with your side to a counter, one hand on counter for balance, then place on foot in front of the other, heel to toe, remaining stable, try and let go of the counter and remain balanced, if this is easy, try while closing your eyes. Breathe fully during this activity, repeat 3 times with each foot in front.

Movement 5:
Lie down on the floor or in bed, on your back, bent knees with feet planted, reach underneath one thigh, slowly bring your knee towards your chest and hold for 2-3 breath cycles, repeat 4 times on each leg.

We hope you enjoyed this first 543, and we look forward to virtually connecting with you in the future. For now, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive.

Mary LeSourd and The Marsh Team

Please note all exercise can have risks. Please contact a physician before starting any exercise program, and stop any exercise should you feel discomfort or shortness of breath.