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Staying well at home

Staying well at home

Being active is good for our physical and mental well-being. We should all try to move regularly and include exercises to help us stay strong and steady. Due to COVID-19 we are spending more time within our home, so it is important that we find ways to build activity into our day, every day.

We should all aim to do aerobic activity which makes us slightly out of breath to keep fit and well, and strength and balance exercises 2 or 3 times a week to keep strong and steady.

Are you at risk of falling?

Many people who have fallen once are more likely to fall again.

Balance problems and leg muscle weakness can increase the risk of falling. It is important to stay active to maintain strength and balance in our legs and arms.

If you have a fear of falling, then this might make you want to stop taking part in activities or tasks. It is important to remember that restricting activities due to a fear of falling has implications on both physical and mental health.

Moving less can lead to loss of strength, and not doing activities, particularly social ones, could diminish quality of life.

If you are worried about falling, you can contact the ’Stay Steady’ virtual clinic team to get some advice on reducing your risks. A falls specialist physiotherapist can do a consultation by phone or video link and give you some recommended actions to take.

You can contact the Stay Steady team by calling 029 2183 2552 or email

Strength and balance exercises

It is important to do activities that will improve strength and balance, both for general well-being and mobility, but also because it can reduce the risk of having a fall.

Strength and balance exercises can be done easily at home with little or no equipment. Don’t worry if you haven’t done much for a while, these exercises are gentle and easy to follow.

Standing exercises

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have published some simple standing exercises that can improve your strength and balance. Guidance when carrying out these exercises include:

  • Work up to doing these at least once a day.
  • Repeat exercises 1,2,3 and 4 ten times.
  • Exercise 6: hold the position for 10 seconds on each leg.
  • Use a solid surface such as a kitchen worktop when undertaking the standing exercises and hold on to it as much as you need to.
  • Use a sturdy chair such as a dining chair when undertaking the sit to stand exercise.
  • Please ensure that you are wearing suitable, well-fitted footwear that has good grip on the bottom when carrying out these exercises.

Sitting exercises

If you find it difficult to stand, there are seven gentle sitting exercises recommended by the NHS that will improve your strength and mobility. Guidance when carrying out these exercises include:

  • Exercise 1: Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
  • Exercise 2: Do 5 times on each side
  • Exercise 3: Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.
  • Exercise 4: Do 5 lifts with each leg.
  • Exercise 5: Keep your shoulders down and arms straight throughout. Breathe out as you raise your arms and breathe in as you lower them. Repeat 5 times.
  • Exercise 6: Do 3 rotations on each side. Hold for 5 seconds each time.
  • Exercise 7: Try 2 sets of 5 stretches with each foot.

Online Exercise Resources

If you have access to the internet, there are some useful resources available, which include exercise routines to benefit strength as well as balance and general mobility.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Health Board physiotherapists have developed some self-management advice and resources that you can use at home including some Tai Chi exercises.


Elderfit offer strength and balance exercise workouts online and a community forum where members can chat to each other for support and encouragement. Sign up for Elderfit online exercise classes.

Move It or Lose It

The ‘Move It or Lose It’ website has simple exercises including ‘The Cuppa Routine’. They also have a wide range of classes which you can follow on YouTube. Watch the ‘Move It or Lose It’ video classes.

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