Exercising is good for everybody, including seniors. The problem is your physical body. As you get older, your body starts to decline function, slows down metabolism, and reduces your activity. Aging is inevitable, that is why staying physically active could prove taxing especially for the elderly. Even though it is quite difficult to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle for our seniors, it is very rewarding and helps them de-stress. Most of our grandparents would even join senior exercise groups. This helps them socialize, reduce their stress, and maintain the healthy glow of vitality during their younger days. Exercising for our seniors diminishes their mindset that they should be always cooped up in their homes and get bored.
However, even with their determination to exercise, health gets in the way of their physical activity. Thus, it is important to go to the doctor first in order to assess their medical condition and determine how much exercise they can handle. Simple exercises that do not require very long distances are very suitable for our seniors. These are the top exercises for elderly that should help them regain some of their vitality and inner glow.
Aside from the most basic form of transportation, walking gives a lot of health benefits. Even to our beloved elderly, walking is a good form of exercise. Walking can be done solo, or in groups. This strengthens your leg, makes your heart stay active, and regulates your breathing. Secondarily, stronger legs allow you to regain your balance. If you need a cane most of the time, walking will help you regain the usual balance that you have in your younger years.
Marching in place
Marching in place gives the same benefits as walking, the only difference is you can do this indoors. This is a substitute for walking even during bad weather.
This is a modified and more simple form of floor push-ups. You just have to find a flat and steady wall, then perform a push-up as if the wall is a floor. It helps maintain your upper body integrity especially the shoulders and the back without putting too much strain in your body.
Hand exercises are versatile and could be performed even while sitting or doing other exercises like walking. Shake your fingers and hands, then open and close them as if you are holding a roll of coins. Afterward, lift them up slowly as if you are punching the air above your head in slow motion, then slowly pull them back. You can do this repeatedly, and this helps in improving the flexibility of your forearms and hands. You may also use your other hand to slightly pull your fingers one by one. Some elders use this exercise frequently to regain their sense of touch that was lost from nerve aging.
Calf stretches are performed best when standing. To perform this, slowly place your left leg backward while making sure that the heel touches the floor. Bend your right knee as if you are performing a lunge. Try to maintain the stretch for around 30 seconds, then alternate. This helps you work the muscles on your legs and improves their flexibility.
Neck stretches can be performed even while sitting. To prepare for a neck stretch, put your hands on your waist and relax your neck. Face your left and hold it for 30 seconds, then do the same while facing right. Face up for 30 seconds then face down for 30 seconds. This helps improve the flexibility of your neck muscles and reduces the chance for a stiff neck.
This is a very basic exercise and could be performed even while sitting. If you are standing, holding a chair for support would be better. Stand straight, then slowly lift your leg backward. Maintain your back straight then lower the leg slowly. If you are sitting, lift the leg slowly then hold for 30 seconds then lower the leg slowly. Alternate between legs until desired. This helps in leg strength and keeping your sense of balance.
You can do toe lifts while standing up. Same with leg raises, you may need a chair to hold on or a wall for support. Better yet, do not always hold onto the chair to gain as much from this exercise. Stand straight, raise yourself up by count, maintain yourself up on your toes. Try to raise yourself as high as you can, then slowly lower yourself. This helps you improve your balance.
This is a strength training exercise for your arms. You can do this exercise whether you are standing or sitting in a chair. Curl-ups will help you regain your arm strength. Start by using light dumbbells and hold it. Slowly pull the dumbbell close to your shoulder then slowly put it away. Alternate between your left and right hands for maximum efficiency.
Rotate your shoulders
This allows stretching for your chest and helps improve and maintain your posture. This can be performed even while sitting. Place your hands on your lap and squeeze your shoulders. Afterward, try to move and roll your shoulders from the front to back, and eventually completing a circle. You may do this again with a different direction of rotation for a few counts.
These are ten of the top exercises for the elderly. Ideally, these exercises can be incorporated into routines and some are even applied in dance classes like Zumba for seniors. Variations of these exercises are performed even in yoga sessions and many posture exercises. These top exercises for the elderly encompass most basic muscular groups and relate to posture exercises, balance, flexibility, and strength training for our seniors. Exercises such as these are best done in groups and in front of a mirror to ensure that you are performing it correctly and avoid the risk of injury. Exercises are meant to improve your health, not risk it. Make sure that your doctor is allowing you to perform such exercises. And remember, health is wealth!