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Fitness for Vibrant Ladies over 50s

  • JWB Post
  •  August 8, 2014


Let the spirit within never grow old. Let’s challenge the fitness issues and health problems. Let’s do it under the instruction of our August Fitness Blogger Anuradha Saxena. Today she is here to give you some really easy ways to keep your body moving and unlock those rusted joints that have been giving you pains for so many years. Read her special blog for Vibrant ladies in 50s-60s.

Hello ladies!

I really loved the concept of Jaipur Women Blog – calling the Senior Citizen Day as the ‘Vibrant Women in 50s-and above’. This growing age comes with a little muscular and joint pain. Apart from medical prescriptions and healthy diet, a little exercise is not bad. Rather, the exercise is only going to help you escape a major chunk of those medicines.

So, if you have pain in knees, neck, lower back, shoulders, hips area, etc; these easy exercises will help you ease it. Remember – aches and pains shouldn’t be an excuse for giving up the exercise.

How to start – Before starting any exercise programme, take care of any disease that you have. It can be asthma, sinus, migraine, or any kind of fracture. It’s better if you get it checked with your Doctor.

If you have never exercised before, it would be good if you start a work out with low impact. This includes walking, cycle riding and swimming. Combine these with a little stretching that will help improve joint function.

Types of exercise you can begin with:

If you find aerobics, etc tough for you, replace them with other exercises. Like a slow jog, plus 3 days of weight training, using lighter weights and slower, more controlled movements combined with slow, sustained stretching. Walk whenever possible, 1000 steps doing household chores are not a tough job. A light jog or walk of 3 kms offers both cardio and bone-strengthening benefits.

I would not advise anyone to lift heavy weights because it can be dangerous for your joints. But stretching and balance are musts. If you don’t stretch now, by the time you’re in your 80s, your joints will have lost their flexibility.

Indoor joint exercise:  Bring home an indoor stationary cycle or some aerobics videos that you can see and learn. Also, you can move your knee joint clockwise and anti-clockwise every now and then.

Stretching that you can try at home: Hold your head tilted from earlobe to shoulder for 60 seconds with your hands on waist. Then you can tilt your body from sides so that you face the opposite side of back.

Another, sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you, feet flexed, and lowering your head toward your knees. Slowly, hold each stretch for 60 seconds and devote fifteen minutes a day to flexibility for optimum results. The grand parents can arm-wrestle the grandkids! But take care and don’t hurt anyone in the process.

Check below other easy exercises:


HamstringsStretches muscles in back of thigh.

  1. Sit sideways on bench or other hard surface (such as two chairs placed side by side.
  2. Keep one leg stretched out on bench, straight, toes pointing up.
  3. Keep other leg off of bench, with foot flat on floor.
  4. Straighten back.
  5. If you feel a stretch at this point, hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  6. If you don’t feel a stretch, lean forward from hips (not waist) until you feel stretching in leg on bench, keeping back and shoulders straight. Omit this step if you have had a hip replacement, unless surgeon/therapist approves.
  7. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  8. Repeat with other leg.
  9. Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side.

Alternative Hamstring Stretch

fitness tips for womenStretches muscles in the back of the thigh.

  1. Stand behind chair, holding the back of it with both hands.
  2. Bend forward from the hips (not waist), keeping back and shoulders straight at all times.
  3. When upper body is parallel to floor, hold position for 10 to 30 seconds. You should feel a stretch in the backs of your thighs.
  4. Repeat 3 to 5 times.


CalvesStretches lower leg muscles in two ways: with knee straight and knee bent.

  1. Stand with hands against wall, arms outstretched and elbows straight.
  2. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, toes of right foot slightly turned inward, step back 1-2 feet with right leg, heel,and foot flat on floor. You should feel a stretch in your calf muscle, but you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. If you don’t feel a stretch, move your foot farther back until you do.
  3. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Bend knee of right leg, keep heel and foot flat on floor.
  5. Hold position for another 10 to 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat with left leg.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times for each leg.


AnklesStretches front ankle muscles.

  1. Remove your shoes. Sit toward the front edge of a chair and lean back, using pillows to support your back.
  2. Stretch legs out in front of you.
  3. With your heels still on the floor, bend ankles to point feet toward you.
  4. Bend ankles to point feet away from you.
  5. If you don’t feel the stretch, repeat with your feet slightly off the floor.
  6. Hold the position for 1 second.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Triceps Stretch

Triceps StretchStretches muscles in back of upper arm.

  1. Hold one end of a towel in right hand.
  2. Raise and bend right arm to drape towel down back. Keep your right arm in this position, and continue holding onto the towel.
  3. Reach behind your lower back and grasp bottom end of towel with left hand.
  4. Climb left hand progressively higher up towel, which also pulls your right arm down. Continue until your hands touch, or as close to that as you can comfortably go.
  5. Reverse positions.
  6. Repeat each position 3 to 5 times.

Wrist Stretch

WristStretches wrist muscles.

  1. Place hands together, in praying position.
  2. Slowly raise elbows so arms are parallel to floor, keeping hands flat against each other.
  3. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 to 5 times.


QuadricepsStretches muscles in front of thighs.

  1. Lie on side on the floor. Your hips should be lined up so that one is directly above the other one.
  2. Rest head on pillow or hand.
  3. Bend knee that is on top.
  4. Reach back and grab heel of that leg. If you can’t reach your heal with your hand, loop a belt over your foot and hold belt ends.
  5. Gently pull that leg until front of thigh stretches.
  6. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  7. Reverse position and repeat.
  8. Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side. If the back of your thigh cramps during this exercise, stretch your leg and try again, more slowly.

Double Hip Rotation

Double Hip RotationStretches outer muscles of hips and thighs. Don’t do this exercise if you have had a hip replacement, unless your surgeon approves.

  1. Lie on floor on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep shoulders on floor at all times.
  3. Keeping knees bent and together, gently lower legs to one side as far as possible without forcing them.
  4. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return legs to upright position.
  6. Repeat toward other side.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side.

Single Hip Rotation

Single Hip RotationStretches muscles of pelvis and inner thigh. Don’t do this exercise if you have had a hip replacement, unless your surgeon approves.

  1. Lie on your back on floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep shoulders on floor throughout exercise.
  3. Lower one knee slowly to side, keeping the other leg and your pelvis in place.
  4. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  5. Bring knee back up slowly.
  6. Repeat with other knee.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side.

Shoulder Rotation

Shoulder RotationStretches shoulder muscles.

  1. Lie flat on floor, pillow under head, legs straight. If your back bothers you, place a rolled towel under your knees.
  2. Stretch arms straight out to side. Your shoulders and upper arms will remain flat on the floor throughout this exercise.
  3. Bend elbows so that your hands are pointing toward the ceiling. Let your arms slowly roll backwards from the elbow. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort, and stop immediately if you feel a pinching sensation or a sharp pain.
  4. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly raise your arms, still bent at the elbow, to point toward the ceiling again. Then let your arms slowly roll forward, remaining bent at the elbow, to point toward your hips. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort.
  6. Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  7. Alternate pointing above head, then toward ceiling, then toward hips. Begin and end with pointing-above-head position.
  8. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Neck Rotation

Neck RotationStretches neck muscles.

  1. Lie on the floor with a phone book or other thick book under your head.
  2. Slowly turn head from side to side, holding position each time for 10 to 30 seconds on each side. Your head should not be tipped forward or backward, but should be in a comfortable position. You can keep your knees bent to keep your back comfortable during this exercise.
  3. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Balancing tips:

Rise up on the toes & hold the position for a minute. You can do this while brushing your teeth or cooking or anywhere while standing.

Duration in the beginning:

At least, 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise is a good start. Slowly, you can increase it till 30- 45 minutes, accordingly.

Where to go:

Jaipur has many big jogging parks in residential areas, so make use of them. An early morning walk is preferred. Walk on the grass with dew drops and feel the instant freshness within you.

What to wear:

Clothes that are super comfortable. For few it can be a saree, salwaar-kameez; while for others, it can be track pants with a loose tee shirt. But, take care of the shoes while walking. The sole must be such that it keeps your toes unharmed from any wound. If you are diabetic, it is advisable to wear sweat absorbent socks and really good quality shoes.


Carry your asthma pump if you are asthmatic, blood pressure machine, etc that are necessary for your current health status. Try to walk in the park close to your home for quick assistance. Stay hydrated.

Check if you are overdoing it:

1. If the pain in the muscles and/or joints increases.
2. Fatigue, Loss in appetite, Headaches, Insomnia is experienced.
3. Inability to do other chores all throughout the day.

So, take it easy. And most importantly – Stay positive!

Anu Saxena,

Aerobics Instructor

Your Fitness Blogger for August

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