Children, adults, and seniors alike need to engage in active physical activity for at least half an hour every day. However, there must be a different degree of intensity to the kind of exercise among them. It is expected that seniors should have the least intensity of physical exercise. After all, they’re already hampered with physical limitations such as frailness, fragility, and an overall weaker physique.
Because of the innate physical challenges of senior citizens, they’re all the more highly encouraged to have some form of daily exercise. That way, they can loosen up whatever joints that’ve been tightened, and stretch muscles that are getting weaker.
Physical exercise also helps seniors avoid some of the common accidents faced by the aging population, such as slips and falls. Because they’re moving their body around, they’re allowing less probability of physical injury. It gives themselves that overall physical well-being.
But the inability to move around as much poses a problem. As of late, a pandemic broke out, and minors and the senior population are encouraged to stay at home. Even without a pandemic, some seniors can no longer make their way to the gym or any sports and physical facility to exercise.
Thankfully, there are many effective kinds of exercises for the aging population that can be done at home. Some of these include:
1. Strength Training
Strength training isn’t just for youngsters. It’s also highly encouraged to be a part of exercise routines for seniors. This can help them build and strengthen their bone density without putting any unnecessary stress. It’s an undisputed fact that the human being’s bone mass and strength deteriorates with age. When this is felt, proper exercise is encouraged to slow down its effects.
If weight training is to be included in strength training, seniors are limited to lift weights at 2 lb. maximum. If weights aren’t available at home, they can opt for water bottles or cans of food instead.
Here are other good reasons why strength training at home is beneficial for senior citizens:
- It helps prevent the onset of bone fractures.
- It reduces the onset of osteoporosis, back pain, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.
- It increases muscle mass.
- It helps effective weight management.
- It improves functional movement.
2. Chair Exercises
If you’ve got seniors who use wheelchairs at home, you don’t have to worry about them being left alone without engaging in any form of physical activity. There are also simple chair exercises that they can do, even when they could no longer walk and are bound to their wheelchairs.
Still, providing them with that chance to exercise can help them have better mood and blood circulation, which is highly needed by those bound to their chair 24/7.
While possible at home this type of exercise, however, requires the assistance of a professional. It can either be a fitness instructor, or someone to provide personal care services from https://onesourcehh.com/personal-care-services. Hiring one assures safety, especially for high-risk senior citizens.
3. Chair Yoga
Yoga is always a good way to give those muscles a good stretch. But, for the aging population, yoga per se might no longer be possible. There is, however, a yoga variation suitable for seniors. It’s called chair yoga.
As its name suggests, the person doing yoga remains seated. This is a great way to enjoy all of the positive benefits that yoga can bring without pushing one’s flexibility too much.
There are many benefits that chair yoga can bring for aging adults, some of which are:
- It improves blood circulation throughout the body.
- It helps loosen and stretch muscles in pain.
- It builds balance and strength.
- It reduces stress and anxiety.
- It helps lower blood pressure.
One doesn’t need a gym membership to have a successful daily aerobics routine. Seniors only have to follow an aerobics routine from video on a TV. There are many of these found online, or even in CDs sold on fitness stores.
The key to performing a successful and effective aerobics exercise is to move along on five-minute intervals. Simple moves can include light jumping jacks, dance moves, and knee lifts.
Other simple kinds of aerobic exercises for senior citizens include:
- Brisk walking around the compound or property
- Swimming, if they’ve got the luxury of having a swimming pool at home
This kind of home exercise is highly recommended for those who need to have a good cardio exercise for heart health improvement. Other benefits would include enhanced sleep quality, lowered asthma occurrence, and lowered blood pressure as well.
5. Playing With Young Children
If you’ve got young kids and elderly parents at home, it’s a good thing to let the elderly play with the kids say once or twice a week. Doing this actually benefits you too. Now you’ve got extra time on your hands for yourself twice a week, and you won’t have to worry about looking and paying for a sitter anymore.
To your elderly family members, this playtime with toddlers or young children also serves as their happy exercise. Surely, they can’t go around running too much in the backyard. But, when there’s a toddler at home, this allows seniors to move around and follow along with kids more often.
That’s already physical movement that they won’t even have to exert much effort on. Before they know it, they’ve already completed quite a good exercise simply by playing around with a toddler.
Moreover, doing this has many happy benefits for their heart. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t tire them out. Rather, it brings back their youth. It makes them feel young, carefree, and happy again, not to mention the emotional joy that comes with seeing their grandchildren.
Squats are fondly called as one of the most important exercise types for senior citizens. This is one of the best ways to strengthen their legs, as squats work muscles in the entire lower body.
Squats help seniors have a better ability to go through daily basic activities such as getting out of bed more effortlessly and even sitting on a toilet chair. So, it’s safe to say that doing squats every day is highly encouraged, among all other exercise forms.
To perform squats safely, seniors should stand up straight, with their toes pointed forward. Bend their knees until they reach a near-seated position. If they need extra assistance, it’s totally fine to let them hold on to a chair. By doing so, any untoward accident while performing this home exercise is avoided.
Apart from increasing the ability to perform essential daily functions in life, doing squats can have other benefits for the seniors such as:
- Stretching the hip flexors, which can start to tighten after staying seated most of the time every day
- Strengthens the back muscles, to lower the risks of slouching
- Stretching the calves
7. Wall Push-Ups
You can never expect a senior citizen to still have that full ability to do push-ups. This would be too much for their frail body. However, there’s another way for them to enjoy the benefits that push-ups give to the body. This alternative is doing wall push-ups.
For seniors, here’s how to perform a wall push-up correctly:
- Stand in front of a wall, trying to go as far as two feet away or closer.
- Put your hands up against the wall, right on shoulder level.
- Keep your body straight, but bend your elbows so that you can lean closer towards the wall.
- Stop with your face close to the wall and keep your arms straight to push your body along the wall.
You may have to start with small repetitions when doing it the first time, but as you get comfortable doing it, you can do as much as your body enables you to perform.
Walking is probably the simplest and easiest, but also one of the healthiest ways that anyone can perform, whether old or young. This can bring about a host of benefits especially for seniors.
If you’ve got a big lawn, let the elderly walk around it with a pedometer every morning. If your space is limited, let them have the exercise on a treadmill. To keep it more fun, they can put some music on or play their favorite movie while on the treadmill.
With this list of exercises, you can encourage the elderly at home or anyone you know who needs to have a little bit more of movement. But to avoid accidents, consult with a medical professional to ensure that a particular form of exercise still suits their body’s capability.
Even if old age limits their physical movement, they can still benefit from the daily half-hour physical activity requirement by performing these exercises. More than just improving their overall health, it also gives them a sense of accomplishment.
For others, it’s also a good way to spend time, or to have an avenue to think, or take a breather when they’re alone. More importantly, physical exercises also improve the mental well-being of older adults and seniors.