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Exercises for Seniors to Stay Fit

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exercises for seniors

Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by ashley.davis

Introduction

Seniors are prone to many physical conditions. These conditions restrain them from regular movements. This makes exercises for seniors to be exceptionally crucial.  

This article focuses on the list of exercises every senior should do. They are completely safe and very effective. Caregivers can also take ideas from this list.  

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the discussion. But first, we’ll go deep on the importance of exercises for seniors.   

5 Health Benefits of Exercise  

Physical exercises are essential at any age of life. But it is even more significant at an older age. This is because seniors experience drastic changes in their bodies as they grow old. So, regular exercise is essential for a longer, happier and healthier life.  

Here are 5 benefits of exercise for seniors to get into it today.  

More independence for seniors  

Exercises allow seniors to avoid co-dependence. They can do things on their own. As a result, they can live independently. We’re sure that no senior wants to be dependent on their children or caregivers.   

EVERYDAY EXERCISES KEEP SENIORS HEALTHY TO EAT, COOK, WALK, BATHE, DRESS AND USE THE TOILET ON THEIR OWN

according to the Harvard Medical School

Improvement in balance  

Tripping and falling is regular thing for older adults. Seniors with dementia often fall and hurt themselves. And death cases from falling is quite a lot too. Exercises enable older adults to be well-balanced while doing activities of daily living (ADLs). 

According to The National Council of Aging, a senior dies from falling in every 19 minutes. Regular exercises bring down the rate of falling from imbalance by 23%  

Did you know?

More energy for seniors  

Being in an active life means that you have more energy. We know that it is obvious! But seniors often forget that. Physical exercises release endorphins. As a result, you will be able to relax more and sleep better. And thus, you will feel more energetic.   

Disease prevention  

Seniors become prone to different physical and mental diseases due to inactiveness. And some of the diseases can be deadly too. But,  

an active lifestyle reduces the possibility of getting the disease.    

Improve in brain function  

Science has proved that our mind and body are interconnected. So, having a healthy lifestyle allows your brain to function correctly. So, likewise, a healthy body is a key to a healthy mind.  

According to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, everyday routine exercises can reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s and dementia to 50%

did you know?

Exercises for Seniors to Stay Fit: The Aim  

Exercises for older adults are essential for better health. There is no other alternative. As a result, they must set an aim to have some routine of exercise every day. So, here are some tips to aim regularity in active living.  

  • The first aim should be to be physically active every day. Seniors should do any kind of activity at least once each day of their lives.  
  • Their exercise routine should include strength, balance and flexibility improvement at least twice a week.  
  • Keep exercise equipment for seniors at home to motive themselves for exercise. They can also join exercise classes. They can go online and search- exercise classes for seniors near me.   
  • Seniors need to work out for 150 minutes each week. This 150-minute exercise can be moderate. And if they are already active, there should be 75 minutes of intense exercise each week.   

Best Exercises for Seniors: The List  

Here begins our main topic of discussion. What are the exercises best suited for seniors? First, you need a whole list. So, we’ve divided the list of exercises into 5 categories.   

Stretching exercises for seniors  

We’ll begin our exercise with stretching. These are impact exercises that will determine the following few categories of exercises. Under this category, you can do 5 exercises.  

Upper back stretch  

This exercise is helpful for your upper back. To begin, you sit on a chair with relaxed shoulders. After that, extend both arms forward and grab them with each other. Once you do this, push your arms outwards and pull your shoulder and back forward.  

Chest stretch  

Start this exercise on a chair again. But this time, bring your arms on the chair, behind you and near your buttocks. Finally, pull the shoulders back and stay like that for 10 seconds.  

Sit and reach stretch  

Sit on the corner of the chair. After that, extend your legs with the knees bending a little. Keep the heels on the floor and toes pointing at the ceiling. Then try touching your toes by stretching your arms.   

Exercises for Seniors
Stretching Exercises for Seniors

Neck stretch  

Sit straight on a chair. Then, extend your right arm to the side and downwards. After that, tilt your head to the right side. Stay like that for a few seconds and repeat the same process for the left side.  

Inner thighs stretch  

This is one stretch that you need to do standing. Spread your legs and bend your left knee without extending it from the toes. Keep your hands on the left knee. Stay like that for 10 seconds and then repeat the process for the right knee.   

Balance exercises for seniors  

Balance exercises help prevent falls in seniors. Here are 5 balancer exercises every senior should do.  

Flamingo stand  

Begin this exercise while standing straight and keeping your hands on the side. Lift one foot to the back by bending the knee. Try to balance with the other leg. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then repeat for the other leg.  

Toe the line  

This exercise is very simple. You just have to walk forward but with minimal stretches. Walk as if your heel touches the toes of the other foot. Do this for 15 to 20 steps.  

Exercises for Seniors
Balance Exercises for Seniors

Clock reach  

Begin the exercise standing while holding a chair. First, lift your one leg on the back. Then move the arm of the same side forward till 12 o’clock and then backward to 6 o’clock. Then repeat the same process for the other side of the body.   

Single limb stance with arm  

Begin this exercise by standing straight and arms on the side. Next, lift your arm over your head and your leg forward a little. Stay like this for 10 seconds and then repeat the same for the other arm and leg.  

Side leg raises  

Begin this exercise by standing behind the chair. Hold onto it for support and lift your leg to the side. Repeat the same thing for each leg at least 10 times.  

– getting up to make tea or coffee

– walking around at home

– dusting and cleaning

– making the bed

Light Activity Exercises

Chair exercises for seniors  

Chair exercises involve chairs and other equipment. Here are 3 most effective ones for seniors.  

Exercises for Seniors
Chair Exercises for Seniors

Front arm raises  

Sit on a chair and hold a ball in your hands. Then stretch the arm with the ball forward. Next, keep your elbows slightly bent and lift the ball and arm to your shoulder. Follow the process slowly and repeat 10 to 15 times.  

Plies  

Stand behind a chair and hold the chair. Spread your legs and keep your toes outward. Then bend your knees very slowly and start lowering yourself. After that, come back up and keep doing this 8 to 10 times.  

Tummy twists  

Another very simple yet effective exercise. Sit on a chair while holding a ball just over your thighs. Then, start rotating your upper body to the sides. Keep doing this twist for 8 to 10 times total.  

Core exercises for seniors  

Core exercises help your body core to strengthen. There are quite a few exercises on this list. But here are 3 most effective ones.  

Exercises for Seniors
Core Exercises for Seniors

Leg lifts  

Leg lifts are very easy but a little tiring. You have to begin by lying on a straight surface. Then life your leg up slowly 5 inches from the ground. After that, hold it in the air for a few seconds. Then, bring it down and repeat the process for the other leg.  

Seated twist  

Seated twist is exactly the opposite of tummy twists. For this, you will have to sit on a big ball. Then keep your arms closely attached to the chest. After that, move your lower body (below the waist) to both sides. Keep doing this 8 to 10 times.  

Seated knee lift  

Begin the exercise by sitting on a chair. Then slowly lift your knees towards your body. Keep on raising the knees until they touch your chest. Then bring the legs down again. Keep doing this 15 to 20 times.  

– jogging

– swimming

– hiking

– martial arts

– cycling

– sports

Intense Activities for Seniors

Cardio exercises for seniors at home  

Cardio exercises can be challenging for older adults. But they are highly effective. Seniors can have a very healthy life from cardio exercises. The 2 best cardio exercises are as follows: 

 

Exercises for Seniors
Cardio Exercises for Seniors

Water aerobics  

Water aerobic activities are very effective and different from others. They help seniors to build endurance and remove joint pains. These exercises are also helpful for muscle strengthening. But seniors will need community pools or gyms for these exercises.  

Tai chi  

Tai chi is a meditative program for seniors. It helps in movement and keeping focus. Older adults can also experience better balance, flexibility and strength. It is very easy and doesn’t require tools either.   

– brisk walking

– dancing

– bike riding

– water aerobics 

Aerobics for Seniors

Exercises for Seniors to Avoid  

Seniors must be cautious during physical activities. There are specific exercises that they need to avoid. These activities are not ideal for them. They are popular among young adults. But seniors may end up having several problems if they do the following exercises:  

  • Squats with dumbbells  
  • Bench and leg press  
  • Running for a long distance  
  • Crunches for the tummy  
  • Deadlift  
  • Rock climbing  
  • Upright row  

water Aerobics

Chair Yoga

Plies

Walking and Jogging

Balance Exercises

Tai Chi

Stretching

7 best exercises for seniors

Conclusion  

Now you have a complete idea about the list of exercises for seniors. But as an older adult, you must follow one crucial suggestion from us.  

Always consider doing the exercises under the supervision of a professional. This can be your caregiver, gym trainers or yoga trainers from senior-friendly fitness centers.

You can reach out to us for more advice from our advisors. 

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1 comment

Kellie Acosta
December 19, 2021 - 4:11 pm

This was well researched!

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