Otago Exercise Program

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1 Otago Exercise Program Edited Version Exercise Booklet Created by: Genesee County Coalition Supported by a grant from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York

2 Otago Exercise Program to Prevent Falls Exercise Booklet Monitor your progress using a calendar or diary When you have completed your exercises write an E for that day on your calendar. When you have gone for a walk write a W for that day on your calendar. This exercise program was designed by Melinda Gardner, Research Physiotherapist New Zealand Falls Prevention Research Group February 2001

3 Otago Exercise Program to Prevent Falls Exercise Booklet Your Otago provider organization is the one next to the checked box below 2

4 Welcome Welcome to the program! The exercise program that you will undertake has been designed specifically for you. The benefits of exercise are plentiful. By keeping with your program, you can improve: Balance Muscle Strength General Fitness General Well-Being You need to do the prescribed exercises three times each week. You can divide the exercises up. They do not all have to be done at the same time. You may feel a bit stiff after you first start to exercise. This is quite normal. It is because you are using muscles which may not be accustomed to the exercise. It is important that you keep on exercising. The stiffness will leave as your body becomes more familiar with the exercise. 3

5 Safety Never exercise holding on to an object which may move, for example a chair. Always use the side of something stable like a counter top or solid table unless otherwise instructed. If illness stops you from maintaining the exercise program contact your instructor before starting again. Contact your doctor or physical therapist if while exercising you experience Dizziness Chest Pain Shortness of breath (you are unable to speak because you are short of breath) If you have any question about the exercise program please do not hesitate to telephone me: 4

6 Walking Walking is an excellent way to enhance your general fitness. Try going for a walk on the days between your exercises. Try to increase the distance you walk and the time you spend walking. Take advantage of fine weather to go walking. TIPS FOR WALKING Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Start with a warm-up like marching in place for 2 minutes. WHEN YOU WALK The shoulders are relaxed and the arms gently swing. Look ahead, not down. With each step the heel lands first, then you push off on the toes. Walk on even ground. Increase your walking distance and pace gradually. Enjoy yourself! 5

7 Head Movements Stand up tall and look ahead, have the kitchen table or counter right behind you in case these exercises make you light headed. Consider using a diagonal stance. Slowly turn your head as far as you can to the right. Slowly turn your head as far as you can to the left. Repeat 5 times to each side. 6

8 Neck Movements Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter behind you. Place one hand on your chin. Guide your head straight back; avoid looking up as you do this. Repeat 5 times. 7

9 Back Extension Stand up tall with feet shoulderwidth apart. Make sure the counter or table is close behind you. Place your hands on the small of your back. Gently arch back. Repeat 5 times. 8

10 Trunk Movements Stand up tall and place your hands on your hips, keep the table or counter close behind you. Do not move your hips. Turn as far as you can to the right, comfortably. Turn as far as you can to the left, comfortably. Repeat 5 times to each side. 9

11 Ankle Movements Either sit or stand. Point the foot down then pull the foot back towards you. Repeat 10 times for each foot. 10

12 Getting Stronger by Exercising Against Resistance Strengthening your muscles is essential for maintaining healthy bones and muscles necessary for walking and being independent in your daily activities. Stronger muscles help to retain bone density, limiting osteoporosis. You should aim to do the strengthening exercises three times a week with a rest day between. Lift against the elastic resistance slowly through the entire range of movement. Never hold your breath while lifting. Inhale before lifting, exhale while lifting and inhale again while lowering your limb. You may feel a bit stiff after you first start to exercise. This is quite normal. It is because you are using muscles which may not be used to the exercise. It is important that you keep exercising. The stiffness will leave as your body becomes more familiar with the exercise. 11

13 Front Knee Strengthening Exercises You could do this exercise while you are watching TV. Place one end of the thera-tubing loop around a chair leg, wrap the other end around your ankle. Sit on a chair with your back well supported. Straighten the leg out. Lower the leg. Repeat times. Strap thera-tubing on to the other ankle. Repeat this exercise times. 12

14 Side Hip Strengthening Exercise Wrap the thera-tubing around your ankle. Place your other foot on the other end of the tubing or place it around a table leg. Stand up tall beside the counter or table, holding on. Keep the exercising leg straight and the foot straight forward. Lift the leg out to the side and return. Repeat times. Wrap the tubing around the other ankle. Turn around. Repeat this exercise times. 13

15 Sit to Stand - Two Hands You could do this exercise while you watch TV. Sit on a chair which is not too low. Place the feet behind the knees. Lean forwards over your knees. Push off with both hands to stand up. Repeat times. 14

16 Sit to Stand - One Hand You could do this exercise while you watch TV. Sit on a chair which is not too low. Place the feet behind the knees. Lean forwards over your knees. Use on hand to help you stand up. Repeat times. 15

17 Sit to Stand - No Hands You could do this exercise while you watch TV. Sit on a chair which is not too low. Place the feet behind the knees. Lean forwards over your knees. Stand up without using your hands. Repeat times. 16

18 Stair Walking Hold on to the hand-rail for this exercise. Go up and down the stairs for steps. 17

19 Balance Balance is important for everyday activities. The following quick balance exercises could be done every day. 18

20 Calf Raises - Hold Support Stand up tall facing the counter or table. Hold on and look ahead. The feet are shoulder-width apart. Come up onto your toes. Lower the heels to the ground. Repeat this exercise 20 times. 19

21 Calf Raises -No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the counter or table close in front of you. Come up onto your toes. Lower the heels to the ground. Repeat 20 times. 20

22 Toe Raises - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on and look ahead. The feet are shoulder-width apart. Come back onto your heels, raising the front foot off the floor. Lower the feet to the ground. Repeat this exercise 20 times. 21

23 Toe Raises - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, have the table or counter close behind you. The feet are shoulder-width apart. Come back onto your heels, raising the front foot off the floor. Lower the feet to the ground. Repeat this exercise 20 times. 22

24 Knee Bends - Hold Support Stand up tall facing the table with both hands on the table. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down half way, bending your knees. The knees go over the toes. When you feel your heels start to lift, straighten up. Repeat times. 23

25 Knee Bends - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, have the table or counter right in front of you. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down half way, bending your knees. The knees go over the toes. When you feel your heels start to lift, straighten up. Repeat times. 24

26 Backwards Walking - Hold Support Stand up tall and hold on to the counter. Walk backwards 10 steps. Turn around and hold on with the other hand. Walk backwards 10 steps to the beginning. Repeat this exercise times. 25

27 Backwards Walking - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Walk backwards 10 steps. Turn around. Walk backwards 10 steps to the beginning. Repeat this exercise times. 26

28 Walking and Turning Around Walk at your regular pace. Turn in a clockwise direction. Walk back to your starting position. Turn in an counterclockwise position. The exercise is a figure eight movement. Repeat this movement times. 27

29 Sideways Walking Stand up tall and place your hands on your hips, keep the table or counter right behind you. Take 10 side steps to the right. Take 10 side steps to the left. Repeat this times. 28

30 Heel Toe Standing - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on to the table or counter and look ahead. Place one foot directly in front of the other foot so the feet form a straight line. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Change position and place the foot behind directly in front. Hold this position for 10 seconds. 29

31 Heel Toe Standing - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Place one foot directly in front of the other foot so the feet form a straight line. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Change position and place the foot behind directly in front. Hold this position for 10 seconds. 30

32 Heel Toe Walking - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on and look ahead. Place one foot directly in front of the other so they form a straight line. Place the foot behind directly in front. Repeat for 10 more steps. Turn around. Repeat the exercise. 31

33 Heel Toe Walking - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Place one foot directly in front of the other so they form a straight line. Place the foot behind directly in front. Repeat for 10 more steps. Turn around. Repeat the exercise. 32

34 Sideways Weight Shifts Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Have the counter close in front of you, but don t hold on unless you lose your balance. Shift your weight onto one leg, but don t side bend with your trunk. Your hip on that side should end up protruding out further than your foot. Hold this position for 10 seconds. If this is going well, try to move your other foot a little. You can even lift it up in the air a few times. Shift your weight over to the other side and repeat the exercise. Repeat times to each side. 33

35 One Leg Stand - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on and look ahead. Stand on one leg. Try to hold this position for 10 seconds. Stand on the other leg. Try to hold this position for 10 seconds. 34

36 One Leg Stand - No Support Stand on one leg, but have a table or counter right in front of you. Try to hold this position for 10 seconds. Stand on the other leg. Try to hold this position for 10 seconds. 35

37 Heel Walking - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on and look ahead. Come back onto the heels, raising the front foot off the floor. Walk 10 steps on your heels. Lower your feet to the ground and turn around. Walk 10 steps on your heels. Repeat times. 36

38 Heel Walking - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Come back onto the heels, raising the front foot off the floor. Walk 10 steps on your heels. Lower your feet to the ground and turn around. Walk 10 steps on your heels. Repeat times. 37

39 Toe Walking - Hold Support Stand up tall beside the table or counter. Hold on and look ahead. Come up onto your toes. Walk 10 steps on your toes. Lower your heels to the ground and turn around. Walk 10 steps on your toes. Repeat times. 38

40 Toe Walking - No Support Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Come up onto your toes. Walk 10 steps on your toes. Lower your heels to the ground and turn around. Walk 10 steps on your toes. Repeat times. 39

41 Heel Toe Walking Backwards Stand up tall and look ahead, keep the table or counter close by you. Place one foot directly behind the other foot. Place the foot in front directly behind. Repeat for 10 more steps. Turn around. Repeat times. 40

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