It’s common for seniors to fall into a more sedentary routine when dealing with such challenges as prolonged pain, stiffness of joints and muscles, and overall lethargy. However, inactivity has a tendency to worsen the very problems older adults are attempting to relieve by keeping away from physical exercise. The senior care team at Compassionate Nursing Services knows that the remedy often lies in identifying which activities will boost energy levels and safely relieve problematic aches and pains.
While the initial step to improving senior fitness levels should always be a visit with the senior’s doctor to obtain his or her recommendations and approval, the following varieties of activities are a great way to get started on a much healthier way of living:
- Strength training. As indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults should participate in strength training exercises at least twice each week. This can be something as straightforward as lifting 1- or 2-pound weights to develop arm strength, and lunges and squats for leg and core strengthening. Alternative push-ups are also suggested, from a standing position and pushing back against a wall surface. Strength training programs can be located at a variety of community clubs and senior centers.
- Balance strengthening. Particularly essential to lessen the danger of a fall, older adults can improve balance through formalized classes such as yoga or Pilates, or through simple everyday techniques such as holding onto the back of a chair from a standing position, raising one leg with a slightly bent knee, and maintaining for a count of ten. Ten repetitions with each leg a few times each week is beneficial.
- Flexibility enhancement. Starting with a warm-up of marching in place or a short walk, stretching exercises can aid in relieving stiff muscles and make activities of daily living, such as dressing, bending down to retrieve items from lower shelves, and changing positions easier and safer. One effective neck stretch consists of simply turning the head to one side until a slight sensation of stretching is felt, holding for between 10 and 30 seconds, and then carefully turning back to the starting position, repeating on each side three times.
For more senior fitness recommendations, call on the St. Louis area home healthcare experts at Compassionate Nursing Services. Our expert home care team can offer encouragement and motivation for seniors to stay active and to engage in exercise, provide escorted transportation to senior fitness classes, and serve as a friendly in-home companion to make staying active fun! Call us any time at 314-432-4312 to learn more.