Don’t fail to exercise hands and fingers! Fitness for Older Adults

Don’t fail to exercise hands and fingers! Fitness for Older Adults

Don’t fail to exercise hands and fingers! Fitness for Older Adults

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This #WellnessWednesday, here’s a big reminder about some small muscles that are so important to your life. Do not take them for granted because they’re some of the most important, as you grow older, in helping you keep your independence, says ERS Wellness Director Chloe Hough.

Fingers and hands are critical to doing simple things

Fine motor muscles, like those in our hands and fingers, help us to do many daily tasks, such as buttoning shirts, twisting off bottle tops, turning door knobs, holding playing cards, or putting on jewelry, to name just a few. 

"As we age, our fine motor muscles deteriorate," she said. "Losing the ability to do the previously mentioned activities can make us feel less independent, so in our Wellnesclasses, we always try to tie in different exercises to strengthen these muscles used for fine motor movements."

In those classes, Hough said, "we use our small exercise ball to do different strengthening exercises with our fingers like squeezing with the whole hand, and then breaking it down to each using the ball.

"You can also engage the forearms more by rotating your arm or wrist side to side as you squeeze the ball," she said. "You can even do these  at home with a small stress ball or even a pillow -- something that you can squish."

In today's exercise, which involves hand-ball squeezes, Hough shows us one such workout. You'll need a playground ball or a rolled-up towel or pillow. One of those squishy stress balls also will work. 

Give it a try, and see what you think! Click here to see more exercise demonstrations.


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Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport

Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public re... Read More >

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