More and more people are embracing a sedentary lifestyle. Busy schedules leave no time for exercise, resulting in poor muscle health. Stiff muscle restricts mobility and causes pain and chronic medical conditions.
You can gain muscle strength with strength training. Though a good diet is crucial to keeping healthy, you cannot make your muscle work harder without strength exercises. Muscle-strengthening activities help increase your muscle size and endurance.
You will need muscle strength to move large objects from A to B. The following are the activities known to make muscles stronger and more flexible:
- Weight lifting
- Climbing stairs
- Hill walking
- Push-ups, squats and sit-ups
- Or any other activities that involve using your body weight
Easy-to-do strength exercises
There are so many strength exercises; thankfully, you do not need to go to the gym to strengthen your muscles. You can do most of the exercises in the comfort of your home.
This is the best exercise to strengthen the muscle of your back and improve your posture. Here is how to do it:
- Sit on the edge of the chair with feet hip-width apart and then lean slightly forwards.
- Stand up slowly without using your hands. Make sure you do not look down but look forward.
- Stand upright with your shoulder straight. Keep your hands close to your body.
- Repeat these steps at least 5 times. Repetitions should not be too fast.
2. Calf raises
The calf raises will help strengthen your calves. When you grow old, you often suffer from restless legs syndrome. These symptoms will ease off with calf raises:
- Keep your hands on the back of a chair.
- Lift both heels off the floor. Remember not to go beyond your comfort level.
- The movement should be as slow as possible.
- You can also do it without the support of a chair. It will put more pressure on the calf muscle.
- Repeat this five times.
3. Sideways leg lift
If you are afflicted with lower back pain, or you feel a nerve pinch, you should do this exercise. This will strengthen your back muscle and nerves.
- Place your hands on the back of a chair with legs hip-width apart.
- Raise your left leg to the side to your comfort level. Make sure you keep your back and legs straight.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds, and then return to your previous position.
- Do the same thing with your right leg.
- Repeat it five times with each leg.
This is another good exercise that will help you to build muscle mass.
- Stand behind a chair and place your hands on the back of it.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and then slowly bend your knees. Do not go beyond your comfort level.
- Keep your face forward and back straight all the time.
- Back to your previous position gently.
- Repeat five times.
5. Legs extension
Legs extension is also a good exercise to improve your mobility. It is an alternative to a sideways leg lift. Here are the steps to follow:
- Stand upright and rest your hands on the back of a chair.
- Raise your right leg backwards as far as is comfortable. Make sure you keep it straight and do not arch your back.
- The position is correct when you feel strain in the bottom and the back of your thigh.
- Repeat this with the left leg.
- Repeat it five times with each leg.
6. Wall press-up
This strengthening activity will help improve the muscle of your whole body.
- Place your hands on the wall touching your palms. Make sure your arms are absolutely straight.
- Keep your back straight, and then slowly bend your arms with your elbows by your side.
- Close the gap between you and the wall as much as you can.
- Slowly get back to the previous position.
7. The benefits of strength training
Older people can do the aforementioned activities. These exercises will benefit you a lot. However, these are not the only exercises that make your muscle flexible. Stretching and yoga are also good ways to do so. Muscle stiffness can cause chronic pain, and it can get you on painkillers.
Most of the people get expensive physiotherapy treatments to improve symptoms by taking out loans like Provident in Ireland. You should do muscle-strengthening activities as they will help improve your musculoskeletal conditions.
- Muscle-strengthening activities will help you perform your daily activities with ease.
- The rate of bone loss and muscle loss will slow down as you age.
- Such exercises will improve your posture and keep pain from posture problems at bay.
- According to some experts, posture-improving exercises can lower the risk of falling.
- Strengthening activities will remove the stiffness from your muscle and joints.
8. Should you do these exercises regularly?
You don’t need to do these exercises every day. However, try to do them two or more days a week. You should do these exercises at least 15 to 20 minutes a day. Most such exercises come under the category of stretching, so you do not need to spend too much time. However, it is essential to note that repeats should be done until you find it harder to do without help.
Try to do at least 5 repetitions. Do not put too much effort in the beginning. Adapt your body to endure the pain. You can choose any of the strengthening exercises, and it is up to you how long you want to do and how often. However, make sure that you do not do it beyond your capacity. Overdoing will deteriorate your muscle health.
9. How to know if you are benefitting from it
You should do strengthening activities to the point where you feel you need to take a short break before continuing. For instance, the number of lifts should continue as long as you do not feel like you need some rest.
After a number of repetitions, you will undoubtedly find that you cannot continue now. This is when you should stop. If you persist, you will injure your muscle, which will do more harm than good.
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The bottom line
Muscle stiffness is a common condition. You can improve your muscle health with the help of strengthening activities. The aforementioned exercises can help improve your posture. If you do not see any improvement results, you should consult your GP. Some people will get full benefits while others may not, and some people will not benefit from these exercises.