Physical activity should be a part of everyday life for every elderly. It helps to improve strength and balance, reduce the risk of coronary diseases, increases mobility, controls joint swelling, maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints and above all, it helps you live independently for longer.
But, exercise for the elderly is not an easy feat. All our staff and residents in our cares homes in Leicester love to work out! Workouts should be carefully considered. Most seniors might require help to get to the gym and back home which might keep them from working out. But, you don’t need a gym to exercise.
There are plenty of exercises you can do at home using basic items around the house. You don’t even need to buy any gym equipment. Here are five of them that you can get started on right now!
Walking in place
Walking is an excellent way to keep your lungs and heart-healthy. It builds strength in the legs and lower body. You might not have enough space to walk around the house but you can walk in place. It’s just as effective and you don’t have to worry about getting back home when you get tired.
- Wear a pair of sturdy shoes then find an uncarpeted area of your home. Stand up straight and tighten your abs.
- Step in place, lower each foot to floor toe first, then roll back through to the heel. As you walk, let your arms swing naturally and make sure you breathe in and out through your nose.
- Keep walking for as long as comfortably possible. Even if it’s just a few minutes. When you get tired take a seat and prepare for another stint.
- Over time, and as you build stamina, try lifting your knees higher. You can also pump your arms as you march to increase vigour and make the walk more challenging.
One foot stand
The one-foot stand improves balance and strengthens lower body muscles. It’s a simple and effective home exercise that will also help to strengthen your core.
- Stand behind a sturdy chair (without wheels) hold lightly onto the back of the chair trying to transfer the least possible weight to the chair.
- Lift your right foot and count to ten. Try to avoid leaning to the left and also not to transfer weight to the chair.
- Put your right foot back on the floor and repeat the same process with the left foot.
- Do this every day and increase the time you balance on each foot until you can comfortably hold the pose for 30 seconds on both sides.
You can then try to balance without holding on to the chair, and lifting your knees higher, or raising the opposite arm when you raise one foot.
For elderlies that still have plenty of strength and vigour, chair sits are a variation of squats. They will strengthen your quadriceps, gluteal and core muscles.
All you need for this exercise is a sturdy chair. Sit in an upright position with both feet flat on the floor and at hip-distance apart. Your knees should be pointing straight forward. Place your hands on your thighs and stand up. Repeat several times and keep adding the repetitions as your strength improves.
Wall push-ups are an effective exercise for upper body strength. There are numerous ways to do them depending on your body strength.
The easiest way is to kneel on a cushion a few inches from the wall. Place your palms on the wall and slowly bring your chest towards the wall then back to the standing position. For the more difficult version, you can do the push-ups standing.
Most people don’t consider stretching is not considered an exercise. But it is. It improves cardiovascular health and muscles and helps you function better by increasing flow to the muscle. You should aim to have about 30 minutes of stretching every day to maximise the benefits of your exercise.