If you’re aiming to make 2023 the year you take charge of your physical health, here’s a super manageable way to start. Dr. Jill Zimmerman, a physical therapist based in Charleston, South Carolina, is the creator of the “Treat Yo’ Self” DIY at-home exercise program, which provides basic tools to help you move better.
In a recent Instagram video, Dr. Zimmerman showed an 84-year-old woman named June getting on and off the floor from the kneeling position. She can get off the ground better now than she was able to 20 years ago, Dr. Zimmerman wrote.
If you have time for only one exercise, this is it.
“Get on and off the floor several times a day, every single day,” she wrote. “I don’t care how much help you use to start. But as time goes on I want you to use less and less support. It’s one of the biggest bang for your buck movements you can do.”
This single movement addresses balance, stability, mobility, strength, coordination, and function.
Balance is crucial when it comes to prolonging your life, and movements like this one are perfect for improving yours. As the doctor points out, “If longevity is your goal, this is how.”
The movement of getting on and off the floor from the kneeling position sounds deceptively easy, but it requires some technique and awareness. Always place padding under your knees, and start off by using support if necessary. For example, place your hands on your knees, or lean on a table or chair.
If the movement is too much for you even with support, Dr. Zimmerman suggests starting small by getting in and out of a chair without using your hands. Whatever method you try, over time try to decrease how much support you use.
And do it every day. It only takes a minute or two, and this simple movement could add valuable months and years to your life. Then when you do make it to the age of 84, you won’t actually feel like you’re 84.