You may have noticed that, as your parents or other loved ones age, not only are they less interested in physical activity, but they may also be having trouble with it. That could, in fact, be part of the reason they seem to have lost interest in an activity. It’s difficult. Nonetheless, being physically active is crucial to not only the body but the mind, as well. Perhaps if there were a way for your loved ones to get some exercise easily and more comfortably, they would.
Participating in physical activity on a regular basis encourages heart health, circulation, brain health, and even good vision. There is a vast array of doable exercises for seniors. To give you and your loved one a starting point, let’s take a look at some easy exercises and why they are important.
Importance of Exercising for Seniors
Staying active as you age, and participating in even moderate exercise, can provide the following benefits:
- Help to prevent falls
- Decrease depression and pain
- Over chronic disease symptoms, establish better control
- Improvement of flexibility, posture, and balance
- Bone density increase
- Muscle mass – regain or maintain it
Where emergency room visits are concerned, the leading cause is falls. Every year, for people 65 years of age and older, 30% will experience a fall. To help you stay on your feet, consider the following balance exercises:
- One foot stand – Hold onto the back of an immobile, steady chair while standing. Pick up your right foot. For as long as it’s comfortable, balance on the left one (try for one minute). Now repeat the same thing with your other foot. Eventually, doing the exercise without holding onto the chair is a good goal.
- Toe lifts – Improve your balance and strength in your legs while pretending to be a ballerina. While standing next to a counter, chair, etc., for support, place your hands on it. As high as is comfortable, push yourself up onto your toes. Return to flat-footed. Repeat several times.
Just because you’re not a bodybuilder, that doesn’t mean strength training is out of the question. Now, more than ever, you need as much strength as possible to do all the things you want to do during your day – safely. That could mean getting up out of your chair, walking up and down stairs, and more.
What can you accomplish, really, through strength training? Just this: By 41%, you can reduce your risk of heart disease. By 1% to 3%, you can increase bone density. Here are two suggestions:
- Wall push-ups – This is pretty self-explanatory. Rather than doing traditional push-ups on the floor, simply stand in front of a wall and use it like you would the floor.
- Chair squats – With your feet slightly apart, stand in front of a chair. While keeping your chest and shoulders upright, bend your knees. So that you sit down, lower your bottom. To return to a standing position, push your body back up.
The International Journal of Physical Therapy published a study that found the following: Older adults who participated in stretching two to three times a week, for 10 weeks, developed a steadier gait and had better hip flexibility. Do note that flexibility stretching should be controlled and slow. Start moving around and walking to warm up. While you breathe deeply in and out, hold your stretches for approximately 30 seconds.
- Wall snow angels – Well, we did push-ups on the wall, so… Place your head and lower back flat against the wall while standing approximately 3 inches away from it. With palms out, put your hands at your side, the backs of your hands against the wall. Raise your arms up above your head, keeping your arms touching the wall or as high as you possibly can. Make your imaginary angel wings several times.
Stay Physically and Socially Active at Discovery Village At The West End
At Discovery Village At The West End, we make our residents’ spiritual, medical, emotional, physical, and intellectual wellness our number one priority. Our Richmond, Virginia senior living program includes an extensive selection of wellness programs. What are programs such as this all about? Some of the activities offered in our Dimensions Health and Fitness program includes aerobics, yoga, educational classes, spiritual gatherings, and more! Contact us for more information or schedule a tour to visit our beautiful grounds today.