Strong & Steady Exercises

Improve your strength and balance with simple exercises you can build into your daily routine. A free resistance band and exercise booklet is available for anyone aged over 50.

This is a new initiative promoting physical activity to help people to live well and age well. It focuses on encouraging people to be more active through incorporating simple strength and balance exercises into everyday life.

Regular strength and balance exercise is important and has many benefits, supporting you to stay active and well.

10 Simple Strength & Balance Exercises

The Strong & Steady exercise guide has simple exercises that are suitable for all and can be adjusted to suit different abilities. With full instructions and even some online exercise videos to follow, you also don’t need any previous experience. There are three difficulty levels to support you to progress as your body will get stronger and more used to the exercises over time.

The front cover of the Strong & Steady exercise guide

If you’re aged over 50 and want to take part then you can collect your free exercise guide and resistance band from your local library or leisure centre from Monday 13th May onwards.

On collection you will be asked to give some basic anonymous details (such as age group, gender, ethnic group) so that we know who is taking part and benefiting from the project, i.e. which population groups.

Venue opening hours vary please check first. Leisure centre collection is from opening until 4pm, 7 days a week. Libraries collection is during usual opening hours.

The exercise guide is also available to download.

Before starting any of the exercises please read the important information section of the exercise guide, start with level 1 exercises and build up gradually.

These strength and balance exercises are a great way to keep active and can be done alongside your normal routine and other activities. It’s also important to keep moving with aerobic activities that raise your heart rate and breathing rate, as these will improve your cardiovascular systems. Whether you enjoy walking, cycling, swimming or dance these are all great examples of aerobic activities. Finding something that you really enjoy means it’s more likely to be a long-term activity.

Discover more local opportunities with the Step into Solihull programme, which is aimed at people aged 45+.

Demonstration Videos

To help people follow the exercise guide and learn the right movements for each exercise, we have created a series of demonstration videos.

Top tips:

  • Make sure you choose a difficulty level that is right for you and always start with level 1 to try each exercise first.
  • Build up gradually and do what you can. You do not need to do all the exercises in one go. Why not spread them out throughout the day.
  • For level 2 resistance band exercises, you can make these easier by doing a smaller range of movement, doing upper body exercises one arm at a time (instead of double arm), and holding the band close to the ends.
  • Balance exercises should always be performed with a sturdy support. You can progress gradually by reducing how much you use this support.

What are the benefits of strength and balance exercises?

  • Improve physical function and strengthen muscles, making everyday tasks easier.
  • Improve balance and mobility, reducing the risk of trips and falls.
  • Strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Maintain and increase independence, allowing you to continue doing the things you enjoy.
  • Supports a healthy mind, including positive effect on mood, confidence and wellbeing.

How much should I do?

The NHS recommend you do strength and balance activities at least two times a week. Carrying out the exercises in this Strong & Steady guide will count towards that target. Start small and build up but the more you do the better. These exercises can be done daily and fit around your normal routine.

Also aim to do ‘moderate intensity physical activity’ every week. This means physical activity that raises your heart rate and makes you slightly out of breath, such as brisk walking. 150 minutes a week is the goal but remember, anything you can do will make a difference and you can build up gradually.

Make sure your activity and its intensity are appropriate for your fitness. For more information on exercise guidelines, visit the NHS website.

Speak to a GP first if you have not exercised for some time, or if you have medical conditions or concerns.

When exercising with resistance bands, use them only for the intended purpose, and do not use a resistance band if it is damaged.

Other Top Tips

  • Reduce the amount of time you are sitting down. Breaking up sitting time at regular intervals, and keeping moving has positive impacts on your health and wellbeing.
  • Start small and build up. Try a few minutes of exercise during TV adverts or during a radio programme to get you started then gradually increase the duration.
  • You could also do some of the balance exercises whilst you wait for the kettle to boil or whenever you’re about to walk past a stable surface you could use to hold onto.
  • Set yourself achievable targets, for example walking further than you normally would. Start with short walks during the day around your neighbourhood.
  • Just keep moving! No matter how small… tap your toes, walk on the spot, do some gardening or DIY.