Bill: There’s probably three key things which are really simple. Every straight back chair in the world is 45cm high or 18 inches if you don’t do metric. So during a two-legged squat, to touch your bottom on the seat, you should be able to lift your body weight up and down off the seat twenty times – really simple. Next would be doing push-ups off your kitchen bench.
Steve: Where are your hands when you’re getting off the chair, mate? When should your hands be?
Bill: In front of you, not holding onto anything.
Steve: No armrest? You should be able to lift your whole body twenty times with your hands on your lap?
Bill: Definitely. Good qualification, that’s the mental image I had in my head. Push-ups off the kitchen bench, which seem really easy when you do one or two, but we should all be able to do between ten and twenty of those which is great flexibility for the shoulders.
Steve: Again, just to clarify, my whole body’s on the kitchen bench doing push-ups, is that what you mean?
Bill: Just your hands and your sternum – the middle of your chest, when touching between – your hands, I would actually have your body nice and straight as you go down and come back up.
Steve: So it’s much better on the floor. Just want to clarify because I have some visions of some elderly people getting up on their bench doing push-ups with their feet on the kitchen sink.
Bill: That would be ridiculous.
Steve: People listen to you, Bill.
Bill: Your kitchen’s pretty special. Push-ups off the kitchen bench with your feet on the floor and hands on the bench. And then walking – we don’t often talk about how quickly we walk. It’s not acceptable to walk a kilometer in under 12 minutes. You should be able to walk 5 km in 60 minutes, but just to go for a short walk for 10-12 minutes, that’s a really good thing to do. The motion that happens and the things that we don’t ever consider, like shaking your bowel up so your bowel motions are more regular. Just using your legs, really important stuff. So squats, bench push-ups, walking. What would you add in there, Steve?
Steve: They’re probably my top 3 as well. If you can’t get out of the house to walk, then I’d probably sub in – get in that standing balance on one leg, have a chair or a kitchen bench near you. There’s nothing like working on your stability from the ground up. Balancing doesn’t just work your ankles or your knee or your glutes, it works the brain and all your motor pathways as well, so it’s a really good exercise to do.
Bill: If you can’t or are unable to get yourself up and out of a chair or push your body weight up off the bench, your next step really is not living at home, it’s moving into assisted care – which scares the living day out of most people. So get on it – get moving.