Simple Exercise For Seniors: Senior Exercises
Whether you do running, walking, water aerobics, sports, or any other form of exercise, having a great form of physical activity and exercise routine in place is a great way to take care of your body and your health, especially as you age. Older adults and seniors can benefit so much from exercise that can strengthen, improve balance, and keep a body flexible and mobile. It is good to have exercises for seniors that strengthen the back, leg muscles, arm muscles, neck, and shoulders and helps to counter the negative effects of aging on the body. Here are a few exercises for seniors that we highly recommend, as well as a few tips on how to maintain the best possible health with age for seniors.
Why Exercise for Seniors Matters
Stretching and strengthening exercise is one of the best ways to combat the negative effects of aging on the body by consistency as you maintain good balance, improve flexibility, and build strength through physical activity. In addition to helping older adults and seniors improve their general health, stretch routines and mild physical exercises can have a number of other specific benefits as you grow older.
Good Balance Helps Prevent Falls
As you improve your balance through strength training and exercises, you decrease the risk and danger of falls as well. While falling can be a common danger to older adults and seniors, and it can be a difficult danger to prevent, exercise provides one of the most effective ways to both lessen the likelihood of a fall as well as decrease the risk of serious injury in the event that a fall does occur.
Improve Flexibility and Posture
A lot of chronic pain and stiffness of muscles that older adults experience can come from a lack of flexibility (which can lead to injury very easily) and many years of poor posture. With strengthening exercises and stretch routines like these, you can improve your flexibility and put better posture into practice, keeping stiffness out of your muscles and decreasing the likelihood of chronic pain or pulling and injuring a muscle during normal activities.
Preserving Great Mobility
Another negative effect of aging can be decreased mobility, sometimes moving more slowly and sometimes even unable to perform some physical actions entirely. Thanks to the better balance, flexibility, and strength that exercise allows, you can maintain mobility with age and decrease the risk of becoming injured while moving around.
Better Strength for Older Adults
As seniors get older, it can become difficult to maintain and increase strength with the same steady persistence as younger adults. Having the right exercises and routines in place that are appropriate for the type of strengthening seniors need and can benefit most from can be a significant help for maintaining strength and health consistently even while aging.
Five Strength Training Exercises for Seniors
There are several exercise methods out there that are great for seniors and can be good for strength, flexibility, and balance. Some of these different forms of exercise include water aerobics, cycling, swimming, walking, physical activity through mild or moderate sports, as well as exercise routines. We have provided some easy strength and balance exercises here so you can start building your own routine for exercise and health. Before you begin exercising, find a water bottle and remember to continue drinking water throughout the course of your routine as well as before you start and after you finish.
Exercise 1: Single Limb Stance
This is one of the best balance exercises out there for older adults. It is simple to do, requiring at most a chair to balance against momentarily. You may reach out your hand or arms to help you balance if needed.
Begin from a stand, and lift up your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet and repeat the position on the other side. The goal of the exercise must be to balance on one foot freely, releasing the chair and holding the position for up to a minute (30 seconds per side will suffice).
Exercise 2: Strolling Heel to Toe
You might read this and question, “How is walking an exercise to enhance balance?” This exercise actually makes your legs stronger, and it is a simple way to allow you to stroll without falling.
To begin, put your right foot in front of your left foot so that the heel of your right foot touches the top of the toes of your left foot. Move your left foot in front of your right to repeat the motion on the other side across the floor, putting your weight on your heel. Repeat the movement across or around a room.
Exercise 3: Rock the Boat
This exercise can improve balance similarly to the first exercise. You may have a chair or wall in front of you in case you need to catch yourself. You may also put your arms out to help you balance as well.
To begin, stand with your feet apart, so that the area in between them is the same width as your hips. Make sure both feet are resting solidly on the ground. Stand with your chest and face pointed directly forward with your head level. Move your weight to your right foot and slowly raise your left leg off the ground. Hold that position for as long as possible (but no greater than 30 seconds).
Slowly put your foot back onto the ground, then transfer your weight to repeat the position on the opposite side. Gradually lift your opposite leg. Start by doing this exercise for five times per side, then work your method as much as more repetitions.
Exercise 4: Clock Reach
You’ll need a chair to complete this exercise, and you will hold onto it as you complete the exercise. This exercise is great for both balance and strength.
To begin, imagine that you are standing in the center of a clock. The number 12 is straight in front of you and the number 6 is straight behind you. Hold the chair with your left hand and stand beside it. Lift your right leg and extend your right arm so it’s pointing to the number 12. Bring your arm back to the 3 position, and then to the number 12. After doing this twice, hold onto the chair with your opposite hand to switch places. Lift your left leg and extend your left arm to the 12, reaching towards the 9 position, and then bring your arm back to the 12 position. Complete this exercise twice on this side as well. Repeat this workout two times per arm and leg as many times as you would like.
Exercise 5: Back Leg Raises
This strength training exercise for seniors and older adults makes your bottom and your lower back more powerful. It is very simple to do, and it only requires a chair or wall to hold onto.
To begin, support yourself using a chair or wall to stand and holding on with your arms. Slowly lift your right leg directly back, but do not flex your knees or point your toes. Hold that position for one or two seconds, then carefully bring your leg pull back. Switch to the other leg without letting go of the chair and repeat the exercise in the same way on the opposite side for another one or two seconds. Repeat this ten to 15 times per side.
Exercise 6: Chair Sit Squat
This exercise strengthens the legs and lower back muscle area, and it does require a chair or bench. You can begin seated squarely on the chair toward the edge of the seat. It make help to hold each hand in front of you for balance, or to clasp your hands in front of your chest if you need to. Keeping your toes pointed forward and without bending inward, gradually stand up from being seated until fully standing. In the same manner, slowly sit back down again until seated again. Repeat the exercise ten times.
Exercise 7: Seated Calf Raise
This exercise strengthens the calf muscle area and requires a chair. You will begin seated straight forward on the chair with your feet pointed forward and flat on the floor. It may help to hold onto the seat with your hands to stabilize yourself. Slowly extend the heels of your feet upward, keeping your toes pushed to the floor. Lower your heels again until your feet are flat on the floor again. Repeat this exercise fifteen times.
Get Started Maintaining your Health
These exercises are just one of the great ways older adults can gain strength and maintain great health while aging. It’s important to find ways to keep active and get your body moving in ways that strengthen and stretch your muscles at any age. This is the best way to maintain great health later into life and lower the probability of injury or loss of mobility.
Keep Active Whenever You Can
Don’t stop exercising, and keep yourself on a routine that you can maintain for the long-run as best you can. With exercises for seniors and older adults, it is important to maintain as much consistency in exercises as possible, remembering to stretch and drink lots of water and get good sleep at night in addition to doing exercises. Keeping your body consistently strong and flexible for the long run has less to do with how much weight you can lift or how many push-ups you can reach in one sitting, and more to do with more moderated, steady physical work.
Give Yourself Variety
There are many ways to stay active and find exercise for seniors, and it’s actually a good idea to make a habit of more than one. Whether you love walking, running, swimming, at-home workouts, hiking, yoga, or any other activity, it’s smart to incorporate different kinds of exercise into your routine to give yourself variety, keep you motivated, and get your body moving.
What To Do When There’s Pain
If you start to experience pain (especially chronic pain, which lasts for 12 or more weeks), you should stop and check the problem out. It is possible you could simply need physical therapy or traction to remedy sore muscles, but there is a chance you could also be suffering from a hidden injury. You don’t want to let injury worsen by letting it go unaddressed or taking medication. Staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water can also prevent many types of problems and pain.
Take Caution: Don’t Injure Yourself
Be careful while exercising not to fall and hurt yourself or strain your body and muscles too hard. Some places that can be a risk are shoulders, the neck, the back, and even arms legs or hands if you are not careful. When in doubt about the condition of your body, check with a health professional and be ready to provide any necessary information relevant to your physical health.
References and Sources:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. List Outlines Gamers’ 15 Most Common Injuries and Ailments https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2020/aug/commentary/commentary02/
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sex-related differences in Sports Medicine: Bone Health and Stress Fractures https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2019/sep/clinical/clinical01/
Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms
Posture Pump. https://posturepump.com/
Copyright 2021, all rights reserved .