It gets more and more difficult as we get older to keep up with a healthy exercise routine. Not only is it harder to find the time, but for some older adults it is physically impossible. Their bodies do not move the way they used to, and things that used to feel good are now painful. The trouble is that keeping an active body is crucial to maintaining a high quality of life. As Life Goes On has compiled this list of easy exercise routines for seniors to help keep your loved ones active and healthy. Of course, we always recommend checking with their physician or medical practitioner before undertaking any exercise. Once they get the all clear, try helping them to implement these into their routine!
Wall Push-Ups: Encourage the senior you’re assisting to stand a few feet from the wall and place their arms in front of them. Their body should be completely straight. Then they can gently push their body from the wall with their arms. This is a great exercise for seniors looking to remain active because it doesn’t contort the body at all, while greatly strengthening the arm and shoulder muscles.
Toe Taps: Help your loved one to sit in a regular chair with a straight back. With their foot flat on the ground, lift up their foot with the heel still in place. This allows the senior’s calf muscles to stretch and strain, strengthening their lower leg and improving blood flow. This exercise can help elders maintain their lower leg strength, allowing them to walk more comfortably for longer periods of time.
Heel Raises: Heel raises are the opposite of toe taps. With their toes firmly on the floor, encourage your senior to lift their heels. The combination of these two easy exercises for seniors will keep their legs active and strong.
Knee Lifts: While sitting on a chair, keep your senior’s feet flat on the ground. Help them to raise their left knee two or three inches off the chair and hold. Place it back down and do the same with the right knee. This is great low-impact exercise for strengthening their knees and thighs.
Balance and Mobility
Shift Weight: This easy exercise for seniors is exactly like it sounds. Have your senior stand straight with their feet firmly on the ground. With their hands by their side, slowly shift to one side, resting all of their weight on that side. The opposite leg should be an inch or so off the ground. Hold there before shifting to the other side. If the senior needs a chair for balance, make sure to provide one. If uncertain, provide a chair for balance anyway to avoid injury to the elder in your care.
Single Leg Balance: With both feet still firmly on the ground, encourage the senior to lift their right leg by bending their knee and putting all of their weight on the left side. Do this several times before switching legs.
Sit to Stand: This is an extremely easy exercise for seniors that could make a huge difference in their life as it will allow for more independence if they are able to perform it well. Start by sitting in a chair. Then, without using their hands, have them completely stand up. In the same way, sit down again and continue this exercise several times until they feel more stable on their own.
Walk: Last, but certainly not least, is to walk! Walking around the house or neighborhood is a fantastic easy exercise for seniors that can be done however is most comfortable. Even if they walk for just a few minutes a day you’ll be helping the senior in your care maintain their strength, balance, and mobility. This is also a great activity to do together!
Have a question about elder care or assisted living? Contact As Life Goes On today!