The Most Important Exercise You Can Do


Julie Robinson of Move It Or Lose It has an important message for us all: it’s time to add the simple “Sit to Stand” exercise to our daily routine.

From the age of 50, people naturally lose about 1% of muscle mass every year. This means our strength declines, too.

If we’re not regularly active, we can lose strength at an even faster rate. This will significantly really affect our health and our independence.

To illustrate, did you know that a 10 day stay in hospital can lead to a 15% loss in strength?

The good news is that we can combat this through activities designed to strengthen our muscles, otherwise known as resistance exercises.

The “Sit to Stand” exercise is one of these.

Getting up and down from your chair is a form of resistance training which we can all do, every day, in the comfort of our own homes.

In fact, for 65-80 year olds, the “Sit to Stand” exercise has been shown to be just as effective as going to the gym to improve leg strength.

It’s also particularly helpful for those who can’t get out to take a brisk walk each day, or for those who live in homes without stairs to climb.

How to do the “Sit to Stand” exercise

  • Put a strong upright chair with its back to the wall so the chair will not move
  • Sit up tall, towards the front of the chair with your feet hip width apart
  • Pull your feet back a little closer to the chair so they are lined up under your knees
  • Push into your heels, swing your arms forward and lift up out of the chair. Then sit down again safely and with control
  • Try to keep going for 30 seconds. Make a note of how many you can do so you can track your scores and improvement

Finding this a little difficult, try putting a cushion under your bottom to lift yourself up a little higher.

If you’re not used to exercising, just do a few and build up to do 30 seconds.

If you find this easy, try crossing your arms over your chest and repeating for one minute.

Move it or Lose It’s free support pack has lots of other exercises and tips to help you stay healthy and active at home. Click here to take a look.

We also have more ideas to stay fit any time, any place in the May 30 issue of “The People’s Friend”.

Browse our Health pages here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.