It’s easy for older adults to fall into a more sedentary routine when battling such challenges as chronic pain, stiffness of joints and muscles, and overall fatigue. Unfortunately, inactivity tends to exacerbate the very symptoms seniors are trying to alleviate by avoiding exercise. The senior care experts at Hearts at Home In-Home Care solution lies in determining which activities will boost energy levels and safely ease troublesome aches and pains.
While the first step to enhancing senior health and fitness levels should always be a visit with the primary care physician to obtain his or her recommendations and approval, the following types of activities are a great way to get started on a healthier lifestyle:
- Strength training. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults should engage in strength training exercises at least twice weekly. This can be something as simple as lifting 1- or 2-pound weights to build arm strength, lunges and squats for leg and core strengthening. Modified push-ups are also recommended, from a standing position and pushing back against a wall. Strength training programs can be found at a variety of community clubs and senior centers.
- Balance improvement. Particularly crucial to prevent the risk of a fall, seniors can improve balance through formalized classes such as yoga or Pilates, or through simple everyday exercises such as holding onto the back of a chair from a standing position, lifting one leg with a slightly bent knee, and holding for a count of ten. Ten repetitions with each leg several times each week is beneficial.
- Flexibility enhancement. Beginning with a warmup of marching in place or a brief walk, stretching exercises can help relieve stiff muscles and make activities of daily living, such as dressing, reaching items from shelves, and changing positions easier and safer. One helpful neck stretch involves simply turning the head to one side until a slight sensation of stretching is experienced, holding for up to 30 seconds, and then slowly turning back to the starting position, repeating on each side three times.
For more senior fitness tips, call on the Overland Park home care experts at Hearts at Home In-Home Care. Our experienced care team can offer encouragement and motivation for seniors to stay active and engage in exercise, provide escorted transportation to senior fitness programs, and serve as a friendly companion to make staying active fun! Contact us any time at 913-440-4209 to learn more.