6 simple yet powerful exercises for seniors

Exercising is one of the best ways to stay healthy at any age

Exercising is especially important for seniors. Staying active can help reduce risk of falling, help combat chronic diseases, maintain muscle mass, increase bone density and decrease the frequency of doctor visits.

Ideally, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, according to the Center for Disease Control.  Broken up throughout the week, that amounts to 21 minutes of activity per day. Despite the benefits of moderate exercise, the CDC reports that 28% of adults over the age of 50 are inactive.

Approximately 3.2 million people die every year from things that can be linked to insufficient physical activity, according to the World Health Organization. Getting just ten minutes of exercises in the morning and at night can be enough to reap a myriad of health benefits.

The National Institute on Aging is a great resource for learning more about safe exercises for seniors. It is important to check with a healthcare provider before starting a new physical activity routine.

Exercises for strength

Wall pushups Stand about a foot away from a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the wall parallel to the floor and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, breathing out as you bend. Hold for a second before breathing in and extending your arms back to the starting position.

Overhead arm raises Use water bottles or weights for this activity. Hold your arms out from your body, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Extend your elbows and push the weights up toward the sky, hold the position for a second before returning to the starting position.

Toe stand Use the back of a sturdy chair to support yourself for this exercise. With the support of the chair raise yourself onto your toes and hold the position for ten seconds before returning to the starting potion.

Exercises for balance

Stand on one foot Using the back of a sturdy chair, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your shoulders back. With the chair for support, lift one leg up behind your until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle, hold the position for ten seconds and then return to a standing position. Repeat using the other leg.

Balance walk Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your arms out to your side. Find a focal point to focus on while you walk and take one step at a time, lifting your foot high off the ground until it is knee height. Take 40 steps concentrating on your balance as you walk.

Exercises for stretching

Back stretch Use a chair with armrests for this stretch. Put one hand slightly behind you on the armrest of the chair, with your other arm reach for your opposite thigh, twisting your body slightly as you do so. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat stretch on the opposite side.

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