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Senior Training, Part 1

Recently, John McElree, Fitness & Wellness Director at Lambeth House/BSI—located here in New Orleans on Broadway —reached out asking of the possibility of devoting a Workout Wednesday segment on exercise recommendations on, “building /maintaining sit-to-stand strength, static and/or dynamic balance training progressions or posture improvement tips.”

October 1-7 is Active Aging Week.

Lambeth House’s independent living residents have an average age of 82— with a sixty-eight percent female population, who participate in wellness center programs designed to improve mobility, functional strength, and balance.

Let’s focus on how to improve stand-to-sit ability—emphasizing the deceleration while sitting, which will provide greater stability, when standing up from a seated position. The rule is train in reverse of the intended movement sequence.

Eccentric Sitting—from a standing position

For this exercise, you’ll need: an exercise partner, a chair with arms, a regular bed pillow, and an exercise rubber band with a thickness appropriate for the sitter’s weight.

Place the back of the chair against the wall to prevent it from sliding during the exercise. Place the pillow on the chair seat to reduce the impact of sitting. Your exercise partner should loop one end of the rubber band around your body, under your armpits, and the other end around their own upper torso to provide stability. Your partner will then bend their knees as you sit to provide a static anchor position and to provide you with help decelerating as you sit, and for assistance with rising as you return to a standing position. Try 5 to 10 repetitions of the assisted sitting.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV