With spring in full swing and National Senior Health & Fitness Day coming up on May 27, now is the perfect time to focus on physical fitness. Exercise is especially important for seniors because it can help improve balance, prevent chronic disease and strengthen the body. Best of all, it can also be fun.
Whether you're itching to get outdoors or would rather stay inside your assisted living apartment, our Arlington, Texas, community offers plenty of opportunities to improve your fitness level. Keep reading to find out what you can do to stay fit and active.
But remember that every person's body is unique, and it's important to understand what yours needs and can do. Before you tackle any of the exercise tips below, get the go ahead from your medical provider.
Workout DVDs offer convenient access to world-class instructors and carefully planned exercise routines, all at a fraction of the cost of hiring a personal trainer or purchasing a gym membership. Videos for seniors typically feature low-impact exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility and balance, making it easy to customize a routine that's appropriate for your current fitness level.
Chair exercises are ideal for many seniors, as they're low-impact and don't require much space to move around. All you need is a sturdy chair, and you'll be well on your way to getting stronger. Try these chair exercises as part of your new fitness routine.
Calf raises strengthen the lower legs, making them a good exercise for seniors who want to improve their balance. To perform a calf raise, follow these steps:
- Sit in the chair and place your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your left heel up as high as you can while keeping your toes on the floor. Lower your heel slowly until it touches the floor. Repeat this movement nine more times.
- Do 10 repetitions with the right leg.
- Repeat this sequence two more times for a total of 30 calf raises per leg.
Improve your range of motion and make it easier to lift groceries, cleaning supplies and other objects by performing seated shoulder presses. By following these steps, you might be able to improve your flexibility and increase your overall fitness level.
- Sit in the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet about 20 inches apart.
- Hold a light object in one hand. If you don't have a set of weights, use a small jug of water or a bag of rice. Bend your elbow and position your hand so that your palm faces away from you.
- Slowly extend your elbow until your arm is straight up over your head.
- Lower your arm to its original position.
- Perform three sets of repetitions with 10 repetitions in each set (30 total).
- Repeat with the other arm.
Incorporating a chair into your routine makes it easier to do exercises that might be difficult to perform without modification. Leg lifts are a good example. To do a traditional leg lift, you'd have to lie on the floor and try to keep your back from arching, which can be difficult for even the most physically fit person. A chair keeps you off the floor while also making it possible to strengthen your core. To enjoy all the benefits of modified leg lifts, follow these steps:
- Sit in the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Maintain good posture by sitting with your shoulders back.
- Grasp the seat of the chair or the armrests, if the chair has them, and lift both of your legs as high off the floor as you can. Keep your knees bent and your feet and knees together as you perform the lift. Hold for five seconds.
- Lower your feet to the floor.
- Complete three sets of 10 repetitions (30 total).
Performing wrist rolls can help you maintain your flexibility and avoid some of the detrimental effects of spending a lot of time typing or holding an e-reader in your hand. Follow these steps to perform your wrist rolls safely and correctly.
- Sit in the chair with your back straight. Do not lean against the back of the chair.
- Make a fist with your left hand. Roll your fist to the left and then to the right. Repeat this sequence nine more times.
- Make a fist with your right hand. Roll your fist to the left and then to the right. Repeat this sequence nine more times.
- Perform three sets of 10 wrist rolls for each hand.
To reap the many benefits of exercise, you don't need to run marathons or hit the gym every day. Doing something as simple as taking a walk can help you burn calories, strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and flexibility. Bethesda Gardens assisted living community in Arlington has beautifully landscaped grounds, making it a great place to take a walk with friends or enjoy some quiet time before you visit the activity center.
Regular exercise has many benefits for seniors, including increased flexibility, better balance and stronger muscles. Exercising also releases endorphins, a group of hormones that relieve pain and improve your overall sense of well-being. If it's too cold or rainy to leave your assisted living apartment, all you need is a sturdy chair and a few lightweight objects to stay active, even when you're stuck indoors.
Posted on Thu, May 21, 2020
by Shawn Deane