Exercise is important, but there are times when standard exercises are impossible. What can you do if walking is not possible? Actually, there are several options depending on the reason why the standard exercises are not possible.

I should also point out that the inability to use standard exercises is not limited to the elderly. When I broke my knee, I couldn’t do much in any activity that involved leg movement for several weeks. I used some of these suggestions to try to stay healthy.

flesh-robics: There are several routines that can be done from a seated position. Make sure the chair is sturdy enough to support the movement and that you are sitting securely before you begin. Some of the activities that may work include moving your feet from side to side, doing jumping jacks (without the jump), raising your arms above your head, and moving your feet.

water exercise: If you can move enough to get into a pool, there are a lot of things that can be done. Simply walking back and forth in the shallow end of the pool can help. You can also do swimming and water aerobics. If you can’t swim (I can’t), you can use noodles or stay in the shallow end. One exercise I did was hold on to the railing and kick my legs to regain strength after the bone had healed.

Senior Centers: Many senior centers offer exercise classes for seniors. These are designed for the various abilities of those who need the service. The good thing about using a specifically designed routine is that you follow the proper techniques.

Tips: Always consult your doctor before beginning a new routine. Your doctor can help you choose which activities are best for your medical condition. Make sure the doctor knows about any medical conditions you may be seeing another doctor for, as well as any medications and supplements you use.

Don’t forget to warm up and cool down. Even low-impact activities require this to prevent injury.

Start slowly, don’t expect to do a half hour routine on your first day. Your doctor or a trainer can tell you how long to exercise and how many days a week.

If you stop for a while, don’t beat yourself up. However, when you start again, don’t try to go back to the level you were at when you stopped. Cut the time by at least half during the first week or two and gradually increase.

If anything changes, see your doctor again to make sure your exercise routine is still right for you.

Keep a journal of what you do and how long you do it. There are two reasons for this. One is that it is encouraging to see the improvements and the other is to your doctor. You can keep track to show him or her what you’re doing, and he or she can help you adjust it to your advantage.