At no point would we suggest that a senior citizen do any heavy weightlifting. We would, however, strongly encourage older adults to exercise on a regular basis. Keeping active is a key way to maintain optimum health, no matter your age. For seniors, a little light exercise each day is an excellent way to maximize strength, better balance and maintain healthy weights. There are many exercises that can help with this.
Let’s take a look at which exercises are best.
Swimming relieves joint stress.
A dip in the pool can do a lot more for an older adult than provide some relaxation and fun. Swimming helps seniors to strengthen their core muscles. Not only does this work to improve balance, it also helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Swimming is actually known to better bone mineral density (BMD) which helps to fight osteoporosis. This is very important especially for women.
“Swimming relieves stress on your bones and joints, and conditions your whole body as you move through the water,” reports Comfort Keepers, “It has a lower risk of injury than many other exercises, and can even help post-menopausal women avoid bone loss. Water aerobics combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training for a low-impact, full-body workout. The water’s resistance strengthens your muscles as you move.”
Walking heel to toe betters balance.
This one sounds easier than it actually is. You don’t have to be an older adult to have a little difficult with the heel-to-toe walking exercise. It’s a good one to try in order to improve your balance. Let it be known that keeping upright is a key component to living injury-free in your later years. Falls are known to cause the majority of hospitalizations among seniors. Needless to say, slipping and falling can cause significant injuries to older folks.
Lifeline.ca explains how to practice walking heel to toe in order to improve balance. “Put your right foot in front of your left foot so that the heel of your right foot touches the top of the toes of your left foot,” instructs the site, “Move your left foot in front of your right, putting your weight on your heel. Then, shift your weight to your toes. Repeat the step with your left foot. Walk this way for 20 steps.”
Tai chi improves flexibility.
According to research, practicing tai chi can improve balance, stability and flexibility in older people. This is particularly beneficial for older individuals who have Parkinson’s disease. When practiced on a regular basis, this meditative exercise can also help to reduce pain caused by knee osteoarthritis, back problems and fibromyalgia.
“You can find classes at gyms, community centers, or dedicated tai chi studios,” informs Comfort Keepers, “The focus on breathing helps to improve concentration and reduce stress, and the slow, flowing movements tone and stretch muscles — but the biggest benefit for seniors is probably improved balance. Balance begins to decline as we age, and good balance helps to prevent falls, a major cause of injury and death among seniors.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we do all we can to help older adults who can’t be as active as they would like. If you live with an elderly loved one who struggles with mobility issues, we would love to talk to you about our high-quality mobility solutions. They include stair lifts and wheelchair lifts among many others. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!