8 Exercises Great for Seniors
Posted by Mike McQuinn on March 24, 2017 | no comments
As the older members of your family age, getting them to remain fit can become difficult. Age tends to weigh heavily on us as a species, and your once spry parents or grandparents will slow down at some point unless they’re very lucky.
When they slow down, they still need to get exercise, even though it will be somewhat more difficult to find exercises that may be right for them. Below, we will discuss a few common exercises that your elderly family members can partake in, keeping them fit and healthy as they age.
They’re not just for the younger bodybuilder types anymore. Strength workouts can help you to get stronger, of course, but they also slim down your aging relatives’ bodies, as well as making sure that they will be healthier overall.
There are a few ways to go about these strength workouts. To begin with, they should be performing the workout twice a week, for between a half hour and 3/4ths of an hour. They should make sure that they limit the intensity, in order to avoid injury. And as with all workouts, they should be exercising with a partner or with supervision of some sort.
The key to strength building, especially in the elderly, is to do more reps with less weight, so to speak. If they’re going to be curling weights, for example, they’re better off doing sets of 20 with a 10 or 15-pound weight than they will be doing sets of 5 with a 40-pound weight. Don’t push them too hard, or they may hurt themselves.
Push-ups are a great exercise, because not only do they work the arms, but they’re something that can be done anywhere, at any time, without requiring special equipment. The older members of your family, however, may not be able to do the classic pushup. They can still find plenty of benefit in doing pushups resting on their knees instead, though.
For older members of your family, walking can be a good cardio workout. It can be a good workout for the younger members, too, especially if you are going up steep inclines.
You often see the elderly walking through malls early in the morning. There are plenty of parks in most cities and even paths that they may enjoy walking. The best way to get the most out of walking is to ensure that you are keeping a steady pace. You will know that the pace is too quick for your elderly loved one if they cannot keep up a conversation while walking.
For the elderly, swimming is a fantastic workout. Many older members of your family likely have issues concerning their joints, which can make other workouts painful. On the other hand, the water allows them to not only work out but to do so with minimal stress on their joints.
Swimming recreationally is a great cardio workout that can build muscle mass in the arms as well. It’s a low-intensity workout that, if done at a steady pace over time, can definitely help keep the older members of your family healthy.
Pilates is another low-intensity workout that can do great things for the body of your older family members, as well as for their health. Our abdominal muscles, along with the muscles in our backs, stabilize our bodies, and Pilates works precisely those muscles. If you’re looking for exercises that will work the core, Pilates are definitely something you should suggest to your aging relatives.
Yoga works a wide variety of muscles, is extremely calming, and even improves flexibility and the strength of joints. Because of this, it can be of great benefit to the older members of your family. Just make sure that they aren’t pushing themselves to try the more difficult positions too quickly, in order to avoid risk of injury.
Crunches work the abdominal muscles, and are great because they’re easy to do anywhere, low-intensity, and don’t require any equipment or anything like that. A great way for your elderly relative to start out their day is to do a few crunches after getting out of bed.
Aerobics will improve flexibility and help work on the core, but it can be a bit too much stress on the joints of some elderly members of your family. However, there is an alternative that reduces the stress. Many pools and community centers offer water aerobics, which are much less intense but work the same muscles.
These are just a few ways that you can keep your senior relatives fitter, longer. There are many other ways that they can keep fit, and it really depends on your family member and what they prefer.
In many senior assisted living facilities, there are exercise programs available to ensure seniors are active and mobile.