People above 65 years old tend to have slower metabolism – chemical mechanisms of life in an individual’s body. When this happens, the individual would often feel tired and weary, thus leading to a more sedentary lifestyle. This eventually will lead to gaining weight and extra inches around the waist, which causes numerous health problems in seniors, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular ailments.
Moreover, older people tend to complain about pain, decreasing the range of motion in the long run. They often worry about injuries and falling too. But this should not be the issue. George Burns, an American comedian who lived to be 100, once said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!”
So how do you go about it? Here are four workout routines seniors can actually do at home.
Older people are susceptible to trips and falls, but this can be prevented with simple routine exercises that focus on the core – the centre of the body including the abdomen and back, to maintain balance and strength. Wherever you are, whether at home or currently in an aged care residence, core strengthening exercises should not be neglected.
To increase abdominal strength, you can do abdominal contractions by simply taking a deep breath and tightening your abdominal muscles. On the other hand, wall push-ups are easier than the regular push-ups. Just stand three feet from a sturdy wall, and lean forward with your hands placed flat on the surface. With your back straight, lower your body towards the wall and push back. Do 10 reps and your saggy arms will soon be gone.
If you frequently feel pain in your lower back, do pelvic tilts. On an exercise mat, tilt your hips forwards while tightening your gluteus muscles. Hold this position for three seconds, and tilts your hips back. Additionally, squeezing your shoulder blades can also relieve you from muscle tension and back pain.
As a reminder though, before attempting to perform any workout routine, it is ideal that you wear the appropriate apparel for exercise help reduce the risk of injury.
Even when you are on the computer or watching television, you can still perform easy-to-do exercises that strengthen your legs. These exercises will help you gain stability on your lower extremities.
Toe tapping helps blood circulation throughout your legs and feet. Just raise your toes high until you feel your shin contracting. Do this for about 20 reps, or more if you desire. Furthermore, you can also raise your heels as supplementary workout after doing toe tapping. Ultimately, train with knee raises. Get a sturdy chair with no cushion, and without pressing your hand against the armrests, slowly lift one leg until you feel your quadriceps contracting. Do this repeatedly with alternating legs for 20 reps.
Posture is also important in maintaining balance and strengthening the core. If you think that you have a weak back, you can strengthen it by doing shoulder and back stretches. On a standing position, bend your arm and raise your elbow until it is level with your chest. Form a fist and gently move it toward the opposite shoulder. Repeat this exercise on the opposite arm.
If you think that your ankles are easily twisted, you can perform ankle rotations to stretch the musculoskeletal structure of that area of your body. Just rotate your ankles clockwise five times and another five counter-clockwise.
To gain flexibility, a person should include stretching exercises into his or her daily routine. This will improve range of motion, assuring better functionality.
Now, if you think that you have a lot of tension in your upper back and neck, then neck stretches is what you need to do. Stand with your feet flat on the floor. Then, slowly turn your head left and right. If you feel any pain, you have to stop. Repeat this three to five times. Additionally, relieve tension from your shoulders and upper back by raising your arms forwards with your palms facing outward and the back of the hand pressed tightly. Next, stretch your fingers out until you feel a tight pull. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat this routine for 5 times until you feel relief.
Apart from doing these exercises at home, you can also join health clubs and groups in your community. For at least once a week, you can go cycling, do Zumba, or go swimming. The choice of a better quality of life is in your hands, and having regular exercise can be of great help to being a healthier, better version of yourself.