As the saying goesa healthy body is a body in motion”. And regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy body for people of all ages. For seniors, it is especially important that they get an adequate amount of regular exercise in order to maintain good circulation and cardiovascular health. Moreover, there are a number of other proven health benefits of regular exercise.
It can also prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. It’s also been proven to have a positive effect on depression and dementia, and can greatly improve the quality of life of older adults.
While we don’t suggest that you and grandpa go bust out the heavyweights, there are a number of exercises that are perfectly safe for senior citizens. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best exercises for seniors and older adults.
Single Limb Stands
It’s best to for seniors to start off with a simple balance exercise. To do single limb stands, one should stand behind a steady, solid chair and hold on to the seatback. Next lift up one foot and balance on the other. Hold that position for as long as possible and then switch feet. The goal is to be able to stand on each foot for at least one minute. If a whole minute seems like a lot, start with 15 seconds, and try to stand on one foot for just a little longer each time set benchmarks to break at 30 seconds, then 45 seconds etc.
While standing in front of a chair, imagine that you are standing in the center of a clock.. Hold the chair with your left hand…
To do calf stretches while standing, find an empty wall that you can lean against. Stand with your front facing the wall, and your hands at eye level. Place your left leg behind your right leg.. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Adding resistance with small weights or elastic exercise bands can help build and maintain muscle mass and upper body strength.
Other beneficial exercises for upper body strength include side arm raises, which involves holding the weights at your sides, palms inward, and raising your arms out to the sides, as well as front arm raises, which involves holding the weights at your sides, palms down, and raising your arms to shoulder height.
Arm Curls with Hand Weights
Arm curls will help strengthen the muscles involved lifting objects such as suitcases or heavy milk jugs. Either seated or standing, hold your hand weights down at your sides with palms facing up and elbows tucked in, then bend your elbows and lift the weights toward your chest.
These are just a few exercises that seniors can do at home, but there are many other low impact workout options that are great for older adults. Even a simple walk around the block can be beneficial. However, it can become increasingly difficult for seniors to get enough exercise as they age into their golden years, especially if they live alone, or do not have a visiting nurse or home health aide to assist them in exercising.
If you or a loved one are considering a move to an assisted living community, there are many facilities that offer plenty of opportunity for senior citizens to get adequate exercise. If you wish to find a senior living community that offers fitness programs, search online to find a senior placement agency who will help you find a facility to match your needs.
If you have any suggestions for exercises for seniors, leave them in the comments below, and let us know if you found this article helpful and informative.