Have you ever struggled to get up from a chair after enjoying lunch with friends? Or felt unsure about navigating curbs or stairs in our community? As we get older, these everyday tasks can become more challenging and lead to avoiding doing things we love.

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But fear not, below you will learn a few tips for making chairs and steps or stairs a little easier.

For getting out of a chair more easily, pay attention to your knee position. Researchers have identified that it takes near twice as much power to stand up out of a chair if your knees aren’t bent as much as they could be. Consider moving your feet further under your seat prior to standing.

For curbs around town, consider working on your flexibility in your calves. As you’re stepping down, your shin moves over your foot. If you have tightness in your calf, you will be unable to complete this motion easily, and as a result will step down more quickly with less control.

To do a calf stretch, stand facing a wall and have one foot close to the wall and the other behind you as far as you comfortably can, with you heel on the ground on the back foot. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf and hold for 60 to 90 seconds and then switch to the other leg.

I hope these tips help and take care of yourself.

Jason Adour is a member of Age Friendly South Portland and a physical therapist with the Maine Strong Balance Centers.

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