March is here and soon you’ll want to be spending more time outside with residents enjoying the spring sunshine and flowers. Let’s get ready! Encouraging residents to move more now can help improve balance, maintain or increase lower body strength, and improve flexibility, which will make it easier for everybody to go outside.
· Encourage residents to self-propel using their legs if they are in a wheelchair.
· Practice sit-to-stand exercises with them by having residents hold onto a handrail with both hands while sitting, then standing up and stay standing for as long as they are able, and then sitting again. Repeat.
· Dance! For residents who are unable to stand, have them march and lift their legs as high as they can. Put your hands up over their knees and encourage them to march and hit your hands with their knees. This helps give them a target and you might be surprised at how high they can lift their legs!
Here’s a fun way to motivate staff to get residents moving too: the Squat Challenge! Gather your staff for a few minutes and play the YouTube video using the link below (all you really need is the sound and a brave leader!) and have them do squats to the song “Bring Sally Up, and Bring Sally Down”. We guarantee you’ll have staff laughing and feeling the burn in their legs as they squat and stand to the music. Just a few minutes of this exercise can help reinforce to caregivers the impact that moving can have on lower body strength.
Have a great week and send us your pictures!