1. Seated Twists
Can you feel your body becoming stiff or rigid? If so, you may benefit from core strengthening exercises for senior health. When you strengthen your core, you help stabilize your spine making it easier to twist, reach, and bend. A stronger core also makes you less susceptible to balance-related falls.
One simple exercise to help strengthen your core is seated twists. While sitting on an exercise ball with feet flat on the ground, bend your torso to a 45-degree angle from the floor. With your arms folded across your chest, lean back as far as you can. Finally, move forward, slowly twist to the left, lean back again, and return to your starting position. Repeat on the right side.
2. Wrist and Ankle Rolls
Many seniors struggle with poor circulation in their extremities. This cannot only result in discomfort, but it can make it difficult to maintain a healthy level of mobility and balance. Through rigorous lower-intensity moves of the hands and feet, seniors can regain better circulation and ward off painful symptoms. These types of exercises for senior health can be performed while sitting in a chair relaxing or watching TV.
While in a chair with your back straight, hold out your arms in front of you. Start by flexing your fingers, then open and close your fists several times. Next, roll your wrists ten times in each direction. Repeat with your ankles. Roll each ankle clockwise ten times, and then roll each ankle counterclockwise ten times. Seniors can also work out their feet by pointing and flexing their feet, and curling and straightening their toes.
3. Lower Back Stretches
As we age, it is normal to experience a reduced range of motion in the trunk and spine. Poor posture can exacerbate the problem, causing chronic back pain and stiffness. Lower back stretches can help you improve your range of motion, while also increasing your ability to bend and reach high and low.
To perform safe lower back stretches, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. With your hands placed flat on your hips, slowly inhale through your nose. Next, exhale as you gently arch your spine backward and hold for ten seconds. Repeat this exercise three times.
While cardio is important for weight management and heart health, strength training is just as crucial. Strength training consists of building muscle over time, which can be beneficial in warding off disease and enhancing physical strength. It is important to engage in strength training exercises for both the upper and bottom portions of the body. However, you do not want to overdo it. Start out slow and increase over time.
Squats are effective strength training exercises for senior health that can help work out many major muscle systems in the body. While standing behind a sturdy chair for balance, keep your arms out in front of you as you slowly bend to an almost sitting position. Hold the position for 15 seconds before raising yourself to a standing position. Take a breath and repeat for two sets of ten repetitions.
5. Arm Raises
Strengthening your arms through regular activity can be highly beneficial for seniors who wish to maintain independence. With stronger arms, seniors are able to perform simple tasks on their own, such as reaching for items on a high self or pulling a light cord on a ceiling. As the arms tend to lose elasticity and range of motion as we age, it is important to work out these extremities several times a week.
For stronger, healthier arms, try overhead arm limbering exercises for senior health like arm raises. To perform this workout, stand straight up with your arms comfortably resting at your sides. Relax your shoulders and gently lift your ribs. As you slowly inhale, lift both arms over your head. Hold for a moment and lower your arms as you exhale to return to your starting position. Repeat this exercise ten times.
6. Shoulder Circles
There are two main types of stretches that can benefit seniors: dynamic stretching and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is designed to gradually increase the range of motion of one or multiple joints, while static stretching moves the area being stretched to its maximum range and holds it there. Shoulder circles are a type of dynamic stretching that can improve flexibility and range of motion in the shoulders and back.
Shoulder circles can be performed while sitting comfortably in a chair. While sitting in an upwards position with proper posture, place your fingertips at your shoulders. Gently move your shoulders in a circular position 15 times forwards, and then 15 times backwards. While performing these exercises, try to keep your elbows high and your ribs lifted. Once you have mastered this exercise, make it more difficult by performing the workout while standing up.
Contact an In-Home Care Agency
While most seniors are able to perform these basic workouts, those with significant mobility problems may need to seek other types of exercise. For seniors who are bedridden or are wheelchair bound, stick with basic exercises for senior health like simple arm or leg raises. When performing exercises for senior health at home, it can be highly beneficial to have the assistance and guidance of a nursing assistant. An in-home care agency can provide you with the personalized services you need for a happier, healthier life. Learn more about in-home care by contacting Comfort Home Care today.