It’s natural for one’s health to deteriorate as they get older. Medical conditions like heart disease, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis can reduce one’s ability to move freely and stay balanced. Older people are also prone to falls when their eyesight is impaired, and eyesight deterioration is a natural part of getting old. Many individuals, when they get older, become less active and therefore take longer to heal. But with regular exercise, one can reduce depression, improve self-esteem, and relieve stress. Keeping up with a moderate physical activity program can provide numerous benefits for elderly adults who have limited mobility. Here are a few exercises, suggested by our in-home physical therapy experts, to help improve balance, flexibility, and strength. Try these exercises while being supervised by a professional physical therapist.
Single-Limb Stances and Tiptoe Lifts for Balance:
For seniors, it’s best to start with a simple stance. Stand behind an immovable object and hold on to it. Next lift your right foot and balance on your left leg; now reverse. Hold the position as long as you can before switching feet. The main aim of this exercise is to balance on one leg without the support of the chair. Toe-stand exercises can help make walking easier because they strengthen your ankles and calves. Again, stand behind an immovable object and hold it for balance. Now, while breathing in and out slowly, stand on your tiptoes, as high as you can and for as long as you can. Finally, gently lower yourself. Repeat these motions ten to fifteen times to improve balance.
Stretching Exercises for Flexibility:
As you age, your muscles lose their elasticity. If your body is sick, storing fat, and robbed of energy, try these common stretching exercises: upper-back stretches, chest stretches, sit-and-reach stretches, inner-thigh stretches, shoulder circles, neck stretches, and triceps stretches. All these stretches are great for your body because they help loosen up tight muscles, improve posture, relieve joint pain and aches, and allow you to feel limber. These exercises can also help you gain mobility, independence, and control over your body as you age. Make these stretches a part of your daily routine.
Squats, Pushups, and Crunches for Strength:
As you age, you may lose strength in your legs, which may make it difficult to move around. Strength training for older adults can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce symptoms related to osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and heart disease. Strength training can not only make you feel younger but also turn off the aging process in your chromosomes. Start with bodyweight exercises to reduce the risk of injury. Simple squats, pushups, dips, step-ups, bicycle crunches, and shoulder presses are excellent for regaining lost muscle and strength. Incorporate these strength-training exercises into your routine at least twice a week.
These are only a few of the exercises seniors can do regularly. If you would like to follow a more extensive exercise routine, hire an in-home physical therapist.