The average American aged 65-and-over wants to continue aging in place at home for as long as possible. To make that happen many seniors follow a daily routine that includes eating healthier, getting plenty of sleep and participating in a regular exercise program. Unfortunately, many seniors haven’t been able to get out and exercise like they should during the past few months. If you’re currently looking after an elderly loved one who’s spending more time at home right now here are several low-impact exercises that will help them stay fit.
How Regular Exercise Benefits Seniors
WebMD points out that regular exercise benefits seniors in these ways:
- Encourages social interaction and boosts self-confidence
- Stimulates a healthier appetite
- Improves balance, flexibility and coordination
- Promotes a better night’s sleep
- Builds muscle and bone strength
- Strengthens their immune system
- Lowers stress and anxiety levels
- Sharpens concentration and mental acuity, which helps prevent dementia
In general, older adults that exercise regularly tend to be happier, healthier and live longer than those who don’t.
What Are “Low-Impact” Exercises?
As they age most older adults experience chronic back pain, joint discomfort and weaker bones, which rules out high-impact forms of exercise like running, jumping and power-lifting. As a safer alternative for seniors, low-impact exercises involve movements when one foot is always planted firmly on the floor, reducing the stress that’s placed on sensitive bone and joint tissues in the hips, knees and ankles.
Low-Impact Workouts for Older Participants
These low-impact workouts for aging adults can easily be done at home:
Dating back to ancient China, practicing Yoga helps build stronger core muscles and improves balance, coordination, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. Some studies also link the gentle movements of Yoga with stronger bones, which helps prevent or alleviate the effects of osteoporosis. The meditative and controlled breathing aspects of Yoga are also good for a senior’s mental and emotional health.
All you need is a stationary bicycle to get your senior rolling with some indoor exercise. The many benefits of indoor cycling include improved cardiovascular health, lower stress and anxiety levels, and normalized blood pressure and blood sugar. Although regular cycling sessions will strengthen your loved one’s hip and leg muscles, it won’t stress out their arthritic joints in the process.
Walking on a treadmill
Walking on a treadmill will also place little stress on your senior’s tender joints while delivering a healthy workout to their muscles and connective tissues. Walking for 20 minutes 3 to 5X a week will build cardiovascular endurance, reduce stress, burn fat and promote a heightened sense of wellbeing. In general, walking on a regular basis has even been found to help keep one’s bowels “regular” too!
Known as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chi is a low-impact exercise for older adults that improves balance, range of motion, concentration and muscle strength. Some more recent studies have found that Tai Chi may even help prevent or treat health problems like high blood pressure or depression.
Regular aerobics can put a lot of stress on sensitive joint and back tissues. On the other hand, seated or standing chair aerobic exercises are a less impactful way to elevate one’s heart rate, strengthen core and ab muscles, and improve balance and stability. If there’s a pool at your loved one’s home doing water aerobics will provide them with many of the same benefits while putting even less stress on sensitive joints and muscles.
We Love Helping Seniors Stay Active & Independent
Encouraging an aging loved one to exercise at home can be challenging if you have your own household to manage or live far away. When you need a hand contact Adultcare Assistance Homecare. As a locally owned, award-winning agency with 20+ years of experience the goal of our professionally trained caregivers is helping seniors stay active and independent right in the comfort of their own home. At Adultcare Assistance Homecare, every manager is a caregiver first, and manager second.
AAH offers the families we serve flexible schedules and services that don’t require long-term contracts. For your added convenience we provide on-call, 24/7 care supervisors and personalized care plans that accommodate any budget. To learn more about why Adultcare Assistance Homecare is now recognized as a top-tier provider in Sun City, Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, or to complete our FREE online home care assessment today, please visit us at: www.adultcareassistance.com!