Keeping your body moving is essential for healthy living as you age. Exercising can help you prevent certain diseases—like type two diabetes and heart disease— and even avoid injury. You don’t have to hit the gym to keep your body active. In fact, following an at-home exercise routine for seniors can ensure that you’re investing in your health even when you’re not able to make it to a formal gym. By coming up with your own routine, you can address the areas of your body that need strengthening.
For example, if you’re concerned about falling, doing balance exercises for seniors and chair exercises for seniors could be exactly what you need to help prevent such a situation. If you’re still looking for physical guidance, consider hiring an in-home care Seattle specialist to help lead you through your exercises and provide support while practicing endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Here are four easy and safe exercises that you can do at home.
An essential part of any at-home exercise routine for seniors is chair exercises. Chair exercises for seniors can help you tone your body and maintain your functional strength while reducing stress on your joints and eliminating the issue of balancing. These exercises can also improve your mobility. As a warm up, start by marching your feet for 30 seconds to a minute. Do this three times or until your muscles are feeling warm. If you’re going to be working out your arms, incorporate arms circles forward and backwards.
Did you know you can get a full body workout just using your chair? You can use your chair for stability in exercises, like squats. Make sure your chair is sturdy and hold onto the back for balance as you do ten squats three times. Rest in between sets, especially if you’re feeling winded. Sit back in your chair and—using a weight that’s not too heavy—raise your arms above your head and bring them back down for an overhead dumbbell press. Then, work your calves by holding on to the back of the chair and doing heel raises. Sit back down, grab your weight, and do bicep curls to round out your at home exercise routine for seniors. As you become more comfortable, you can add more chair exercises to your workout.
Seattle’s in-home care experts recommend actively maintaining your ability to balance in order to maintain your independence and health. According to the CDC, one in four senior citizens falls each year, and “falling once doubles your chances of falling again.” There are balance exercises for seniors that can help you practice your balance and avoid a fall. Stand close to a wall, table or chair for these exercises in case you lose your balance. Doing these exercises barefoot will make them more challenging. Wear your gym shoes if you’re not feeling confident. Practice standing on one leg, like a flamingo. If this is too difficult just hover your foot above the ground. You can also pretend to walk a tightrope putting your heel directly in front of your toe and try to walk in a straight line.
If you have access to a pool at your home, get your body moving with water aerobics. You can do jumping jacks in the shallow end, practice balancing, and tread water to stay fit all while taking stress off of your joints. It’s important not to go swimming alone, so invite a friend to accompany you. You may also opt to hire an in-home care expert to supervise your swim time and keep you company, that way you’ll stay safe and be able to take care of your health in a fun way. Many community pools offer adult swimming programs and welcome seniors. In fact, you’ll often find that community pools offer accessibility support for those that need it.
Never underestimate the power of a brisk walk outdoors. Walking elevates your heart rate, improves muscle strength, keeps joints flexible, strengthens bones and is great for your mental health. You should be shooting for at least two and a half hours of aerobic exercise each week. Walking every day is an easy way to get in those hours. Check the weather and change your outdoor plans if the weather isn’t going to be conducive for safe exercise, like icy sidewalks or high temperatures.
There are easy and safe ways to stay active for seniors. If you need help getting motivated or just want a walking companion while other loved ones are at work, an in-home care Seattle caregiver could be just what you need to gain the confidence to exercise.