Staying physically fit is important to maintain a healthy body. But if you are a senior under home health care services, you might wonder how you will do that. Luckily, there are still plenty of exercises for seniors you can perform. Here are some suggestions for you to try out and some safety tips to remember. Bear in mind that, while these exercises are easy for seniors to do, you should still consult with your doctor to see how suitable they are for your specific condition.
The Benefits Of Exercises For Seniors
As is with any age group, doing regular exercises offers a variety of benefits. And in the case of the elderly, this becomes more vital. After all, their decreasing health means they are more susceptible to illnesses.
When people become inactive for too long, they also become less energetic. By exercising regularly, you promote the release of endorphins. These make you feel more lively and combat stress.
Maintaining balance is a major issue for seniors. It can lead to falls and other serious injuries. With regular exercise, you can lessen the likelihood of these falls by around 23%. It will also help you increase your mobility.
Boosts Brain Function
Surprisingly, regular exercise can also help you improve your memory and general mental health. It does this by helping you focus more on the tasks at hand. Additionally, regular exercise can help you reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50%.
A major worry for seniors as they age is their growing dependence on others. Regular exercise will strengthen their body, allowing them to perform the things they used to do on their own. This greater independence will build their self-confidence more and promote a happier attitude.
An Effective Senior Exercise Plan
Ideally, seniors should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. You would also want to be physically active throughout the day and reduce the time spent lying down.
The three main areas to focus on when choosing exercises for seniors are strength, balance, and flexibility. Note that these exercises can be easily performed even by those who are under home health services.
These simple exercises will target the major muscles of your body, boosting strength. You can perform them as part of a 10-15 minute routine that you do twice a day. When doing these exercises, seek the assistance of a trained therapist to ensure your safety.
- You can do this in any position that you feel comfortable in.
- Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles
- Hold the position for three seconds and release the contraction,
- Repeat 10 times.
- Stand at arm’s length from a wall. Face the wall with your feet wide apart.
- Lean forward and stretch your arms so that your hands rest on the wall. Your arms should be at shoulder level.
- Lower your body towards the wall and then push back up.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Start in a standing position.
- Take a deep breath and tighten your butt.
- Tilt your hips slightly forward and hold for three counts.
- Tilt your hips back and hold for three seconds.
- Repeat the moves 8-12 times.
- Stand with your back towards a chair.
- Bend your knees while keeping your shoulders and chest straight.
- Lower your body to sit down on the chair.
- Push your body back up to a standing position.
- Repeat for 10 times.
As is with other kinds of exercises for seniors, you can do balance exercises anywhere. But you should have some form of support in case you lose your balance. It would also help to have someone assist you when doing these exercises.
Single Foot Stand
- Stand behind a stable, unmovable chair and hold onto the backrest.
- Grab your right foot and balance on your left for as long as you are comfortable.
- Place your right foot down and repeat the balancing exercise with your left foot up.
- The goal is for you to be able to keep your balance on each foot for at least a minute.
Tippy Toe Lifts
- Stand behind a sturdy chair and place your hand on the back for support.
- Push your body up on your toes as high as you can.
- Gradually lower your feet down flat on the floor.
- Repeat for as many times as you can.
- Lift and extend your arms to the sides of your body.
- Focus your gaze on a fixed object in the distance and walk in a straight line.
- As you raise your foot, hold the position for 2-3 seconds.
- Do this for 20-30 steps.
Most of the flexibility exercises that seniors can do focus on stretching parts of the body. As such, they are some of the easiest ones. You can do these stretches 2-3 times a week to get the best results.
For all of these stretching exercises, you need to hold each pose for 20-30 seconds to allow the muscles to relax. Also, note that you should only stretch until you feel the tension in the muscle. Don’t forget to do some warm-ups like a 5-10 minute walk before proceeding to the exercises.
- Gradually lower your head until your chin touches your chest.
- From this position, slowly turn your head from side to side.
- Hold each position as indicated above.
Shoulder And Upper Arm Stretch
- Hold a towel in one hand above your head.
- Let the free end of the towel drape down your back.
- Grab the free end with your other hand and gently pull down until you feel the stretch.
- Extend your arms to the sides with palms facing forward.
- Reach back using your hands until you feel the stretch across your chest and arms.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Sit in a comfortable chair.
- Slowly move your foot up and down and side to side.
- Hold each position for 30 seconds.
Things To Keep In Mind
These exercises are specifically geared towards seniors. But not everyone might be able to do them at the same level. It would still be best for you to listen to your body and decide how much it can take. A trainer and a therapist can help you further tailor these exercises to fit your specific health conditions.
And while there are a large variety of exercises that seniors can do, there are also some they should avoid. For instance, you need to stay away from ones that use weights. These can be harder for you to do and may lead to injuries.
You would also want to avoid high-intensity workouts, as they can be very taxing to your body. Note that some older people who have trained for a long time might still be able to do these kinds of exercises to a certain degree. But it would still be best for you to consult with doctors to find out which ones will best suit your current health status.
Keep Up In Shape Even When Under Home Health Care Services
As luck would have it, you don’t need to search a lot for good exercise programs. Home Health care service providers like Amavi already take these into account when developing your care plan. We coordinate with your doctors and fitness specialists to build one tailor-made for your condition. Sign up today and get ready to be healthy and fit with these exercises for seniors.