As seniors age, they tend to be inactive in their daily routines. It is always a good thing for the elderly to be active, depending on their physical conditions and abilities. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are 31 million adults aged 50 years and above are who are inactive. That means that they are unable to meet the average time of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity in a week. Physical exercise is significant to the overall health of the elderly as well as their quality of life.
According to a report by the Americas Health Rankings (AHR), nearly 3.2 million deaths annually are a result of physical inactivity. It is a sign that exercise for the elderly is essential. If you are looking for safe exercises for the elderly then you have come to the right place. They are as follows:
1. Wall Push-ups
Wall push-ups are the most convenient type of exercise for the elderly. Why? Every house has a wall; hence everybody can access it since it’s next to them. Varying forms of push-up exercises are highly embraced due to their effectiveness in body improvement. According to a study by Harvard Medical School, push-ups have proven to beat aging.
How should seniors do the wall push-ups? Go to a wall and take about your hands-shoulder width and height. Belly up and in and lower yourself to the wall. Remember to keep the legs very straight and ensure you breathe while going towards the wall and breathe out while going back to position. You can do an average of 15 to 30 reps in a day.
Any older adult doing this exercise will enjoy having a stronger back, shoulders, and chest.
Not all seniors will find the time to undertake a structured workout. Besides, some of the elderly might not enjoy such kind of exercise. Walking is one of the best exercises for the elderly and can help them improve their health.
However, if you have health conditions likely to deter you from walking, then you should first consult with your doctor. Below are tips for effective walking by the seniors:
· Always dress appropriately, depending on the weather. Also, wear the right shoes for exercise. Wear comfortable sneakers, and in case you have a foot problem, get orthopedic shoes. It will help you enjoy the exercise.
· Walk with a buddy. Walking together with a friend or joining a walking program motivates most seniors to undertake the exercise. It can even make them walk for longer distances than they thought of since there is no boredom.
· Keep your body hydrated. Always have a bottle of water with you while walking to hydrate your body as a result of sweating.
· Walk on all terrains. The elderly ought to aim walking on flat roads, climb up and downstairs, and also raised grounds. It’s a good way to involve the entire body.
Walking is the best exercise for seniors because of its many benefits. They include:
This exercise involves standing up and sitting on a chair while hands are straightly stretched out and raised at the level of your shoulders. Then bend your knees to a normal sitting posture. Finally, stand up while you maintain the same posture.
To achieve effective results on your body, do the exercise in sets whereby each set should be 10 reps. Continuous exercise will make your body adapt to the practice; therefore, you need to use different shorter chairs after every month. It will be more effective.
When you incorporate this exercise into your daily routine, it aims to make your body healthier. Besides, it builds your endurance to help you maintain an independent life.
People have different justifications as to why they do yoga. Yoga is linked to the improvement of mental health, physical health, and flexibility of the body. Don’t the elderly in our community deserve it? The only answer to this should be a big YES!
The elderly should join yoga classes as it would highly benefit them. There are various exercises they can undertake while doing yoga in consideration to their age. It involves gentle stretching on the muscles and joints while you still support your body for particular postures as guided by your instructor. Besides, the relaxation part of yoga exercises can highly help the elderly to deal with day-to-day stress and anxiety effectively.
5. Toe Raises
The elderly’s lower leg muscles need to be strong enough. These are the muscles that offer balance while walking. Toe raises enhances how they walk even when they are not using the stick.
While doing toe raises, get a sturdy place to hold to gain balance. Stand straight as you raise your toes. 10 to 15 reps of this exercise will be beneficial.
Also, this exercise can be done several times a day around the homestead.
6. Heel Raises
Heel raises will complement the toe raises exercise. Its primary purpose is to strengthen the calf muscles. When the elderly get involved in this exercise, they gain more power to walk on uneven grounds with ease and a balanced body. Besides, it helps in blood circulation from the lower body to the upper body.
This exercise involves a straightforward process. Get a stable place such as a chair and hold on for balance. Ensure you stand straight and raise on your toes. Finally, return to the starting position and do about 10 reps of this exercise.
It is always good to maintain still posture as you do it. Besides, breathe in while you go up and breathe out while on the downward movement.
7. Leg Raises
This exercise aims to strengthen thigh muscles. It also works your abdominal muscles. You can always add ankle weights for better performance and effective results. However, if you find it hard to use weight, it’s still okay.
To do this exercise, you need to sit up straight on a chair. Also, ensure your knees are bent to a 90-degree angle. The next step is to straighten your knee as far as it can go and slowly take back your leg to the original position. Repeat the same for the left leg. Do about 10 reps of this exercise.
Always inhale and exhale while doing the exercise.
8. Hip Abduction
This particular exercise is meant to strengthen your outer hip muscles. You can always use a Theraband to enhance the exercise by increasing resistance around your thighs. However, you can do the exercise without the Theraband.
Sit straight on your chair while your knees are bent. Also, hold firmly on your chair. Then slide your right leg to the outside and back in. Do 10 reps on each leg.
As usual, ensure your body is still and that only your legs are in exercises and not any other part of the body.
9. Arm Stretch
The arms stretch exercise will work on the upper body. A senior will engage the shoulders and upper back, thus increasing the stability to reach for anything placed higher than their height.
To do this exercise, you need to comfortably sit on a chair and spread your arms out from your hips. Inhale through your nose while you raise the arms over the head and exhale through your mouth as you bring down your arms. The elderly should do an average of 10 reps for this particular exercise.
10. Core Crunches
The elderly need strong abdominal muscle and back muscle. Why are core crunches so essential? They enhance your balance and mobility, thus preventing you from falling. Falling can cause fatal injuries on your body, whereby some can be permanent. Besides, core exercises will help you undertake your daily tasks in a better way. Such tasks include walking, walking down a sloppy ground or staircase, and getting up of a chair.
How to do it: sit straight on your chair and place your arms on thighs and touch the knees. Then slowly bend your upper body toward your knees as you exhale. Breathe in while you get back to the previous posture. Seniors can always do 10 reps of this exercise.
The above 10 exercises are very safe for the elderly and can hardly hurt them if done appropriately. Except for yoga exercise, all other exercises can be done from the comfort of your home. However, most old adults should consult their doctors before selecting a particular exercise more so if they have some chronic illness or any health conditions that might inflict excess pain on their muscles. Also, doing your exercises with the help of a physical therapist will be better. Always get a certified professional who is accredited by bodies such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine or the American Council on Exercise. When the elderly engage in exercises, they are promoting their health. Good health is among the best investments at old age.