Elderly Friendly Exercises
Physical activity and exercise are beneficial for just about anyone. Is exercise safe for the elderly? Of Course! There are numerous elderly friendly exercises. Exercise can help prevent chronic illness, reduce the risk of falls and injury, control mood swings, and keep joints and muscles youthful. There are four main types of exercises, they include:
- Cardio & Aerobic – Increases breathing and heart rate.
- Strength – Strengthens the muscles and reduces tears and pulls
- Balancing – Reduces the risk for falls.
- Stretching – Keeps muscles and joints limber.
Keep in mind, as we age our bodies take a little bit longer to repair after exercise. You should consult with your Physician before starting a new exercise regimen and determine what intensity levels are best for you. Overall the benefits of elderly exercise out way the risks. Numerous medical conditions found in the elderly can be improved from exercise, including Heart Disease, Dementia and Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Colon Cancer, High Blood Pressure, and Obesity.
Elderly Friendly Exercises For Each Category
Cardio & Aerobic
Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cardiorespiratory exercise a day for individuals of all ages. For a fairly healthy senior individual, getting 30 minutes of these type of exercises is pretty easy! Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes is enough to get the heart pumping and blood flowing. A few laps around the pool is another great way to get some cardio exercise in. If you enjoy fr-meds, you could listen to your favorite songs and boogie for a great aerobic workout. If you make cardio & aerobics fun you can easily achieve 30 minutes of exercise a day while improving your heart and circulatory system.
You do not need a pricey gym membership or expensive equipment to perform strength exercises. For the elderly, inexpensive light weights or resistance bands are all you need for an effective strength exercise regimen. If weights and bands are out of the question, you don’t even have to use them to strength train. Your own body weight can be used to do sit ups, squats, push ups, leg raises, and many more exercises that build muscle. Another good thing about these exercises is that you can do them in your own home. You can easily make strength exercises part of your daily routine by lunging while you vacuum or squat while watching your favorite afternoon talk show. Just remember, you should only perform strength exercises 3 times a week so that you give your muscles time to repair. When you gain strength it will help prevent loss of bone and muscle mass. Both of the things will help the elderly avoid falls, strained muscles, and broken bones.
Loss of balance is one the biggest contributing factor to elderly falls along with weakness and muscle deterioration. Falls can contribute to serious health conditions for seniors like, broken hips, concussions, and internal bleeding. Due to the seriousness of falls, you can do simple balance maintaining exercises like standing on one foot and getting up from a chair without holding on the chair. Another effective balance exercise is walking heel to toe at a slow safe pace.
You should stretch before doing any type of strenuous activity or exercises. Stretching helps muscles cool down and warm up, while reducing soreness and stiffness. Most stretching regimens like Pilates and Yoga are low impact and require low intensity. Stretching is great in group setting or can be done in the simplicity of your own home.