As you age, the ligaments around your joints become less flexible, leading to increased discomfort and rigidity. Your metabolism also slows down, causing weight gain, and your arteries and heart muscles become tenser, making it hard to pump blood. Physical activities and active lifestyle helps you live a better, healthy and long life. Hence, working out is essential, and it’s important to find exercises seniors can do at home.
Although there are dozens of exercises seniors can do at home, having someone that ensures your stable care is also necessary. While working with Tandem Care Planning, you can have an extra set of hands to assist you with your daily household activities. You’ll not only have assistance for the exercises but you’ll also get emotional support from them. They’ll try to understand your condition and give you the appropriate care you need.
However, in this article you’ll get to know some simple exercises for the elderly, which can easily be done at home. So, let’s get started!
Abdominal strength is vital to support your middle and lower back. Abdominal muscles enhance the ability of your back muscles and reduce fatigue and exposure to injury or strain. Aside from that, it maintains a great stance, develops sport and competition performance, delivers a stable balance, and helps prevent high blood pressure. So, it’s important to keep the abdominal muscles in good shape.
To perform the abdominal contractions exercise; follow the below mentioned steps
- Take a deep breath and stiffen your abdominal muscles.
- Hold for three breaths and free the contraction.
- Repeat ten times.
Push-ups are particularly advantageous for seniors as it bolsters the shoulder joints and shoulder girdle and enhances the strength of the chest, arms. It builds and tones the entire upper body giving strong shoulders and a better posture.
Wall push-ups are the most accessible variation to do because it only requires you to use the upper portion of your body weight while standing up and are one of the beat exercises seniors can do. The sturdy wall can support the body weight while doing the workout, so there’s nothing to worry about being stuck.
Follow the below mentioned instructions to do the wall push-ups:
- Stand approximately 3 feet away from a sturdy wall, facing the wall, with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend forward and put your hands against the wall, perpendicular to your shoulders. Your body should be in plank posture, with your spine even.
- Bend your elbows to lower the body near the wall. Stop when your face is close to the wall, and align your arms to propel your body far from the wall.
- Repeat ten times.
Stretching your neck is one of the easy exercises to do to alleviate pressure from your neck and upper back and enhance your flexibility. Also, stress causes a tensed neck leading to headaches. Before doing this exercise, make sure to take a warm bath or use a heating pad to ease strained muscles and make stretching painless and convenient.
To do the neck stretch, follow these steps:
- Sit with your feet even on the floor, loosen up your hands on your sides and relax your shoulders.
- Turn your head gently to the right and stop when you feel a minor stretch.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds, turn to the left, and do the same thing.
- Repeat three to five times.
Single Limb Balance
The single limb balance is one of the exercises seniors can do and aims for them to be able to stand on one foot, improving their balance. Single leg balance develops concentration and strength in the hips, ankles, knees, and feet. It also enhances sports performance and helps prevent falls that can lead to severe injury. It is a bit similar to flamingo exercise, but this is less risky.
To do a single limb balance, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Stand upright behind a kitchen counter or a sturdy, solid chair. Your goal is to stand on one foot without holding on a stable object for a minute, so you can only grab the chair if you’re unsteady.
- Lift your left foot and balance on your right foot, hold the position as long as you can, and watch the clock record how long you can stand.
- Put your left foot down, raise your right foot, and balance on your left foot.
Squats are the most significant exercises seniors can do. The older you get, the harder it is to do movements that require a proper squat. Bending using the back to pick up the things on the ground is not good. With an ordinary chair for support, you can complete an exercise that will simultaneously train your lower and upper body. It can also strengthen your core muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
To perform chair squats:
- Stand upright in front of a chair with your feet as distant as your hips.
- Bend over your knees while maintaining your chest and shoulders upright.
- Slowly drop your bottom so you can slowly sit down, but don’t let your bottom touch the chair’s surface because it is only your support.
- Push your body up to come back to a standing position.
The elderly also needs to have good mental health aside from having good physical health and well-being. Hence, brain exercises can aid in satisfying the social and psychological, and even physical needs of seniors. But how can brain exercises help seniors attain good overall health?
Caregivers can help the elderly exercise their minds by introducing brain games for seniors. Some examples include memory games, puzzles, word games, and others. These games challenge the mind to remember short-term memories, which indirectly affects seniors’ overall cognitive and memorization abilities.
Below are some of the advantages of letting the elderly play brain games or mind exercises:
- Improve Social Interaction: In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, caregivers and nurses initiate board games and other brain exercises. These mind games can help seniors express themselves in a fun and productive way without exerting too much effort or causing excessive tiredness.
- Help Slow Down the Progress of Degenerative Disorders: Seniors, at their age and physical condition, are prone to dementia. Many seniors tend to develop signs and symptoms of degenerative medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Maintain Overall Psychological Well-being: Mind exercises help retain information and sharpen cognition like how physical activities enhance muscle size and endurance. Playing brain games for seniors helps reduce isolation and loneliness brought by homesickness or being away from family and friends.
You’re not too old to get started with exercising and improving your health at home. Daily physical activities help you feel more youthful and lower the risk of severe diseases like Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, dementia, heart diseases, and obesity. And lastly, you can benefit not just physically but also mentally because working out advances sleep and boosts self-assurance and mood.