Physiotherapist presents 4 exercises to help you age gracefully

Science and Health

Physiotherapist Sammy Spiegel, who has been practicing for 13 years, shared a video on TikTok recently showing four relatively simple things you need to be able to do daily in order to “age gracefully.”

Since being posted last week, the video has already racked up around 1 million views.

@samspiegspt 4 things you should always be able to do for your body’s well being and function. #fyp #healthandwellness #agegracefully #howtostayfit #ageisjustanumber #physicaltherapytiktok #physicaltherapytips #staystrong #stayindependent #selfcaretiktok ♬ original sound – Sammy Spiegel

“These are the things that I have consistently seen over the last decade that creep up on people and they don’t realize that they are becoming less able to do something until I ask them,” she said.

“They actually do have a pretty big impact on your day to day function. If you’re a millennial or a Gen Z, I would definitely save this so you can share it with your loved ones.”

1: Be able to stand on one leg for 10 seconds

She begins by saying people of all ages should be able to stand on one leg for 10 seconds. This, she says, will help improve gait.

Standing on one leg (Illustrative). (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Speigel explained that this is often one of the most difficult tasks for her patients, and other researchers have affirmed the importance of standing on one leg for 10 seconds. A 2022 study found that middle aged people who couldn’t do it had a dramatically higher risk of dying within seven years.

2: Get up from a chair without using your hands

The second action is being able to get up from a chair without using one’s hands.

“This is basically doing squats in your function every day,” Spiegel said.

“You don’t have to go to the gym and do squats. You can do squats but every time you get up out of a chair, think ‘I’m not gonna use my hands.'”

3: Be able to get up off the floor

The third task is something the physiotherapist admits may sound easy for people who are young, but it’s actually very important for those nearing middle age.

“If you’re at an age where you can get up and down off the floor, do it every single day for the rest of your life,” Spiegel said. “That way, you’ll have the muscles that enable you to be able to do that for the rest of your life.”

4: Lay flat on your stomach without feeling back pain

To top off the list, Spiegel recommends lying flat on one’s stomach, unless there’s a medical reason why you can’t.

Sounds simple? It isn’t.

Doing this helps one make sure they can keep their back straight and notice any neck stiffness.

“If you can’t lay on your stomach without your back hurting, we’ve got some stretching to do,” she said.

Here she demonstrates the progression of lying on your stomach:

@samspiegspt Its adult tummy time!!! #agegracefully #healthandwellness #howtostayfit #selfcaretiktok #stayindependent #ageisjustanumber #physicaltherapytiktok #physicaltherapytips #staystrong #lyingonyourstomach #lowbackpain #backpain #backpainrelief ♬ original sound – Sammy Spiegel

And this is how you will improve your posture and balance:

@samspiegspt How to get better at single leg balance #physicaltherapy #agegracefully #healthandwellness #howtostayfit #selfcaretiktok #stayindependent #ageisjustanumber #physicaltherapytiktok #physicaltherapytips #staystrong #singlelegbalance #marching ♬ original sound – Sammy Spiegel

Her videos inspired many adults on TikTok (yes, they exist) who agreed to adopt these steps – or those who have already been following them.

“Stay active! Best advice I ever received. I still walk 13 miles every day and I’ll be 80 this month. Please, don’t use age as an excuse,” one commenter said.

“Thanks! These are good ideas. I’m 87 and practice the first three steps every day,” another said.