Older Adult Exercise & Wellness Tips

Staying active and well during lockdown is crucial in maintaining good physical and mental health. Our Physiotherapist, Hana, has put together some helpful resources to help you maintain physical movement and wellness during this challenging period.

Exercises to maintain your strength and balance: 

There are 4 exercise options. Choose which option suits your ability best then pick a few exercises from the option to incorporate into your day.

ALL standing exercises should be performed with a sturdy table or bench within hand reach to hold onto with one or two hands for support if required.

Option 1: Seated exercises – The majority of these exercises are performed in sitting. Choose this option if you normally use a walking aid like a stick or frame for support when you walk. 

Please click here to see the guide.


Option 2: Standing exercises –  These exercises are a step up from Option 1. Choose this option if you found Option 1 two simple. If you do not have a resistance band then you can use hand weights or a handheld object e.g. a can of baked beans to make the exercises harder. 

Please click here to see the guide.


Option 3: Click on the image below to view a Youtube video of 6 exercises all performed in a standing position. 

Option 4: You can also listen to Hana talk through a 3 minute exercise and relaxed breathing. You can listen to each exercise on the Radio New Zealand website here.

Disclaimer: Please only perform the exercises you feel comfortable with. Sport Gisborne Tairāwhiti will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website. If you have any concerns or questions about the exercises please email [email protected]

How hard should I work? 

It’s important you manage your breathlessness while you exercise. You should feel a bit ‘puffy’ in order to make the exercises beneficial, but you should still be able to speak in short sentences throughout. Rest when you need to and if you feel very short of breath then stop. 

What if I have pain?

It’s ok to feel some pain when you exercise. Monitor your pain on a scale of 0 – 10. 

0 being no pain and 10 being your worst imaginable pain. Pain between 0-5 is ok but if you experience pain greater than 5/10 then stop. 

It’s ok to feel some pain after you finish exercising but it shouldn’t hang around for more than 2 hours. To avoid this start slowly, see how your body responds initially and then add more as you feel comfortable. 

If you normally take pain relief medications, take these 30 minutes prior to exercising to allow you to move more easily.

How else can I maintain my wellbeing and independence? 

Click here for ways to optimise your wellness

Key points we suggest you work through on the website: 

  • Home safety checklist – to make sure your home is hazard free. 
  • Keep Safe Have a Plan – tips to prepare yourself for if you were to have a fall. 
  • Looking after your body – information on healthy eating, healthy bones, healthy eyesight and more. 

Am I getting enough Vitamin D? 

We get Vitamin D mainly from the sun and it’s vital to us as it optimises our bone health and muscle function.  Sit or walk outside in direct sunlight for 15minutes or talk to your Dr or Pharmacist about a Vitamin D supplement. For more information click here.

Feeling lonely and isolated or unable to get food? 

Contact Age Concern and they can peer you up with a phoning friend. They can also organise food deliveries for you through civil defence. Ph. 06 867 6533. View their website by clicking here

Or Contact St John about getting a Caring Caller. They will try to pair you up with a volunteer whose personality and interests match yours. You can sign up by clicking here

How do I best support a whānau member or friend? 

Click here for information on how best to support them

What do I need to know about my medications and Covid-19?

For all you need to know about Covid-19 and your medications click here

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Nelson

Active Health Nutritionist

(06) 868 9943 ext. 721
Click to Email