Exercising is one of the things the young and the seniors need to do in order to stay healthy. The seniors need it to reverse the effects of aging, to boost energy, and to manage illness. Workouts for seniors are not only important for the body but also for the emotional and psychological well being. While starting and maintaining a senior fitness program can be challenging, it becomes easy if the right approach is followed. This guide provides an insightful procedure to achieve fitness for seniors.
According to the National Health Institutes, you can realize health benefits by doing 60-minute workouts every week. You can distribute this time over three days of 10 or 15 minutes and take rest on the other days. However, you should aim at increasing the time to at least 150 minutes of moderate activity if you are to get better results. This can easily be achieved by allocating 30 minutes for five days and taking rest for the remaining two days. The ideal workout program for seniors should include both aerobic and strength building sessions.
Here is a good senior fitness program to start with.
Fitness For Seniors
Here are examples of the strength, flexibility, and balancing exercises you should incorporate to the daily routine.
Strength training is aimed at building muscles so you can carry out exercises with more ease. The exercises involve lifting weights or stretching resistance bands at home or at the gym. A weight is considered too heavy for you if you cannot lift it up eight times in a row.
1. Arm Curls
This exercise targets to strengthen the upper muscles of the arm. Stand with the feet parted a shoulder length apart. With the arms relaxed, hold weights with the palms facing forwards. Breathe inwards, and slowly breathe outwards as you lift the weights towards the chest. Maintain this position for one second, breathe in, and lower arms slowly until they reach the initial position. Repeat these procedures for 10-15 times, take a break, and repeat once more for 10-15 times.
2. Chair Dips
These are exercises aimed at strengthening the upper body especially the arm muscles. Sit on a stable chair with the feet flat on the ground, parted about a shoulder width. Lean slightly forward to keep the shoulders and back straight. Hold on to the arms of the chair, breathe in slowly, and slightly push yourself upwards as you breathe out. Hold onto the position for 1 second, and breathe in as you sit back. Repeat the dips 10-15 times, take a break, then repeat 10-15 times.
3. Knee Lifts
The objective of this exercise is to strengthen the thighs. Sit on a chair with armrests but do not press on them. Contract the left quadriceps muscles, and lift the leg such that the back of the thigh is about three inches above the seat. Maintain this position for three seconds before lowering the leg. Repeat exercise 10 times then change to the other leg.
Flexibility exercises for the elderly increase stability and reduces the risk of accidental falls. Some of the good exercises to try include neck and shoulder stretches, chest and backstretch, thigh and hip stretch, and the lower backstretch.
1. Neck Stretching
For the neck stretch, stand on flat feet or sit on a sturdy chair. Turn your head slightly to the left, making sure you do not tilt forward. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds. Turn your head to the other direction and hold position for 15-20 seconds. Repeat this procedure three times. This helps to relieve the neck and the upper part of the back from tension.
2. Chest Stretching
From the comfort of an arm-less chair, stretch your arms sideways at shoulder height with both palms facing outwards. Slowly move the arms backwards while pressing the shoulder blades inwards until you feel a slight discomfort. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds, then relax, and repeat thrice.
3. Thigh Stretching
Lie on one side with the head resting on your arm, keep the legs straight and ensure the knees make contact with each other. Bend the top leg at the knee, reach out for the foot, and pull gently until the thigh begins to strain. Hold this position for 5-20 seconds. Now repeat the procedure with the other leg, and repeat exercise thrice.
Balance exercises improve stability and help to minimize accidental falls among the elderly. Fall-related injuries such as bone fractures are prevented in the event. These are the easiest exercises to try and you only require a stable object to hold onto just so you don’t lose stability.
1. Balancing On One Foot
Getting accustomed to standing on one foot greatly boosts your ability to control your movement. Support yourself on one foot behind a stable chair or adjacent to a wall, and hold on to your balance. Maintain this position for 10-15 seconds. Rest the foot for 3 seconds, and repeat procedure 10 times. Do likewise with the other leg. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
2. Raising The Leg Sideways
This exercise strengthens the thighs, hips, and the buttocks. Stand behind a chair with your feet slightly apart. Breathe inwards and hold the chair for balance. Slightly lift one leg sideways while breathing out slowly. Ensure your toes remain to face forward and the back of your leg is straight. Hold onto this position for 1 second, and breathe inwards before slowly returning the leg to its original position. Repeat the procedure 10 times, and switch to the other leg. Perform the exercise 10 times with each leg.
3. Weight Shifting
Stand uprightly with the feet about a shoulder-width apart behind a stable chair. With your hands rested on the sides, shift your weight to the left side. Lift your right foot about three inches above the floor and maintain position for 10 seconds. Repeat procedure with the other foot, working up the time you hold your foot high. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
There are numerous exercise programs for fitness for seniors that can be done at individual level or with the help of an instructor. These exercises have numerous benefits.
Significance of Exercise for Elderly
- Reduces the risk of heart disease by burning bad cholesterol
- Increases muscular strength
- Develops muscular endurance
- Combats problems of the lower back, including the lumbar and sacral area
- Exercise controls blood sugar, thus reducing risk of diabetes type II
- Good muscular toning restores balance
- Elderly exercises reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis that interferes with the normal functioning of the synovial membrane
- Workouts for seniors reduce the risk of osteoporosis by strengthening the skeletal material
Now let’s see you and your friends doing these simple exercises. Click Here to see more related articles.
Have a Healthy Lifestyle