Sticking to a regular exercise routine isn’t always possible for older adults. Health issues and injuries can cause setbacks and often lead to older adults feeling out of step with their physical health. Getting moving again might mean starting slow and gentle at home. Here are four at-home exercises for seniors that will improve motivation, mobility, balance, and more.
Why Is Exercise Important for Older Adults?
Physical activity is crucial for older adults. Not only does exercise improve cardiovascular health and muscle tone, but it also positively impacts mental health, leading to better overall well-being.
Doctors encourage older adults to exercise to help prevent disease and extend longevity. When older adults exercise, they have better balance, mobility, and flexibility, ultimately enhancing their ability to live independently.
What Are At-Home Exercises?
At-home exercises are exactly what they sound like: exercises that people can perform at home. People can do these movements with or without equipment at an intensity that is appropriate for their level of fitness. At-home exercises are gentle and perfect for older adults who are getting back to physical activity after an injury or an extended break.
Four Gentle Exercises To Do at Home
There is an incredible amount of diversity when it comes to home exercises. Some movements focus on getting the blood flowing, while others center on flexibility and balance. These four gentle exercises work as one-off or combined activities as an at-home fitness routine.
1. Balancing on One Foot
Older adults need good balance to avoid falls and other injuries. Balancing on one foot is a simple, at-home, quick, and effective exercise with just 10 seconds spent on each side. Older adults should hold onto a stable surface for support while performing this exercise until they feel strong enough to complete it freestanding.
2. Chair Sits
Sitting down in a chair may seem like a form of rest, but it can also be a form of exercise. When done intentionally, chair sits work nearly all body muscles, including the abdominals and legs. Older adults should perform five to seven chair sits at first, working up to 10 to 12 repetitions three times a day.
3. Dancing or Marching
Cardiovascular health is central to physical fitness, but getting in enough steps and movement at home is not always easy. Fifteen minutes of gentle dancing or marching in place is a great way to get the heart pumping when going outside isn’t possible.
4. Yoga for Flexibility
Improving flexibility can help with joint pain and muscle stiffness, and few movements are as effective as yoga, which is easy to do at home using only a mat or a blanket on the floor. The best yoga poses for seniors are:
- Child’s pose
- Downward dog
- Butterfly pose
- Warrior pose
- Seated spinal twist
Older adults should always exercise within their abilities. Stretching can cause mild discomfort but should not be painful.
Where To Meet Other Active Adults
Being around a community of like-minded people can help older adults meet their fitness goals. Discover what holistic elder care looks like by visiting one of our vibrant independent and assisted living communities today.