Looking best and in-shape is the requirement of every age, whether you are young or elder. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and looking better becomes difficult with old age, specifically in seniors over 65. Workout and basic exercises at home can prevent many diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. Exercise increases endurance, flexibility, strength, and balance, which helps in getting healthy in old age. For a senior person, it is recommended to follow a workout routine that is provided by an expert. Following are some points that you should consider in order to do exercise at home:
- Start your routine with cardio or warm-up exercises like walking.
- Lightweight training is best and progressive.
- For better results, increase the number of sets or time of the workout.
- Give proper rest to your body and a 2-day break when it gets sore.
Always be sure and talk with your senior’s physician before starting any type of exercise regimen.
Here is the list of some best and easy home workouts for seniors:
For a senior, it is difficult to maintain a healthy body. Developing muscle mass is a time-taking and challenging process, but it is beneficial in old age. Muscle training is one best way to keep your body active. Squats is a basic and low impact exercise. Muscle strength in elderly age can be improved through squats. These are the basic steps to do squats the right way:
- Keep the arms in front
- Do not bend the knees, so they get past your toes
- Bend in the sitting position
- Hold yourself in the current position
- Then get up after a while in a standing position
- Take a deep breath and repeat this for three sets of 10-12 reps each
- Get hold to some support like a chair or wall if the exercise gets tough
For the upper body strength, raising arms is one of the best exercises that you can easily do at home. For better results, you can lift weights. Here are the steps to perform this exercise:
- Place your feet flat on the floor while sitting or standing
- Face your palms forward and hold weights at shoulder height
- Lift the weights above your head and repeat this with three sets of 10-12 reps each
Side raises are also effective in building upper body strength. The steps are as follows
- Hold the weights on your sides
- Face the palms toward inside
- Raise your arms to the outside
- Repeat this for three sets (10-12 reps)
Lifting general things at home, such as a bale of clothes, become difficult as you age. This is because lifting all about the movement of arm muscles. Therefore, doing bicep curls is really beneficial in providing strength to your bicep muscles. The basic way to do it is as follows:
- Tuck your elbows and grab weights (you can lift light weights, no need to go heavy) in your hands with palms facing upward
- While standing or sitting, bend your elbows and lift the weights upward to the chest
- Hold it for 1-2 second and then repeat
- Do this exercise thrice (10-12 reps)
Push-ups are somehow tricky to do, as they involve coordination and positioning of the body. They mainly build muscle strength of shoulders, chest, biceps, and forearm. They are beneficial and can be done in different ways:
- Face a wall and stand at a distance of one arm
- Lean-to the front
- Press your palms flat on the wall
- Bring your body toward the wall by bending your arm
- Hold this position for a while and then bring your body back to the starting position
- Repeat this for at least three times (10-12 reps)
For the balance of body and strengthening the muscles of thighs, hips and lower back muscles, leg raises are the best option. Also, they are great for lower body strength. Following are the steps of performing side leg raises:
- Take the support of a chair or a wall
- Lift a leg outward by keeping it in position with hip and heel
- Keep your back straight and slightly bend the supportive leg
- Lower the lifted leg slowly and repeat this thrice (10-12 reps)
For back leg raises
- Keeping the support, slowly lift your one leg behind your hips
- Hold the position for few seconds and then lower the leg to the starting position
- Try avoiding toe raises while doing this exercise and repeat it thrice (10-12 reps)
Bone weakness and falls are major outcomes of old age. However, these things can be prevented through building muscle mass properly without lifting any heavyweights. One of the best balancing exercises for seniors at home is toe stand. Following are the steps to do it:
- Take the support of a chair or a wall
- Stand and put all your body weight on your toe tips slowly
- Hold this position for a few seconds and slowly lean your toes to the floor
- Repeat this exercise three times (10-12 reps)
It might look like nothing, but it can help build strong leg muscles in seniors.
Stretching (Upper Body)
Though balance and muscle mass are important for better performance of the body in the elderly age, flexibility is also a significant part. Stretching is the best way to develop more flexibility. To stretch your upper body, including chest and arms, follow these steps:
- Make your shoulder-width apart
- Keep arms at a side
- Try to bring both arms behind your back
- Hold your hands
- Keep this position for half a minute with shoulders pulled backwards
- Relax your arms and repeat
Upper body stretch gives strength to the muscles of arms, neck, and shoulders.
Stretching (Lower Body)
Lower body stretch provides flexibility and endurance in lower muscles. It mainly includes stretching of calves, thighs, and hamstrings. Here are some basic steps you should follow to perform lower body stretch:
- Stand against a wall or chair for balance
- Bend your right leg and hold your foot with the right hand
- Make sure that your thighs make a 90-degree angle (perpendicular) with the floor
- Hold this position for half a minute until your supporting thigh feels the stretch in the muscle
- Get back to the starting position and then repeat these steps on the other side as well
Low Impact Exercise
Pain and less mobility can be treated with the help of low impact exercises. Such exercises give the body less stress and provide more physical strength. Also, low impact exercises are easy to follow for elders. One best example of doing basic low impact exercise is swimming. Either you can go swimming or do water aerobics. Other examples include tai chi, Pilates, yoga, stretching, and lightweight training. Several different activities of daily life at home can be turned into low impact exercises, depending on your strength.
Along with balancing the muscle mass, low impact exercise, flexibility, and endurance, maintaining a better emotional state of mind can also help in keeping your body active and healthy. Development of good mental state results in a sound and healthy body. If there is brain and muscle involvement and connection in all the exercises, the person becomes more consistent. Here are some creative ways to develop good mental state:
- Socialize with people by joining walk groups or societies
- While walking or moving, listen to your favorite playlist
- Stay in touch with your family, relatives and friends through social media or local communication
- Stay involved and active in as many things as you can
Getting older can affect the body in several different ways like pain, injury, diseases, and weakness – A few simple and basic exercises daily that are mentioned above can help prevent such cases. Exercises like stretching, wall push-ups, and squats can help in building muscle mass, gaining flexibility, and endurance. Also, they help in the development of a good mental state for a healthy and sound body.
If you are a caregiver trying to make sure the senior you are caring for stays fit and healthy through home exercises, you should also know some tips to effectively communicate with him/her so he/she can follow you without any problem. Stay involved and stay active!