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5 Best Exercises For Seniors

5 Best Exercises For Seniors

Exercise is important for people of all ages, but it is especially important for seniors. This is because, as we age, our biology changes. The many health benefits of exercise make it a top priority for senior care. Such health benefits include greater energy levels, improved mobility and flexibility, core stability and strength, maintenance of muscular mass and strength, reduced risks of Alzheimer disease, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes.

All of these benefits enable seniors to live more independently; one key factor for a longer, happy and healthful life.

Here are five exercises seniors can do to keep active and maintain or improve their mobility.

1. Walking

Walking is the most accessible form of exercise. It is also the least stressful on joints, bones and muscles. Whether it’s a short, brisk walk around the neighborhood or a trek through a trail in the woods, walking daily will strengthen the leg muscles. Strong leg muscles reduce the risk of falling in later years. It also improves seniors’ ability to perform daily tasks, such as getting in and out of a vehicle, and walking up and down a staircase.

2. Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga is optimal for older seniors, particularly for those who have limited mobility. It is a low-impact form of exercise and it allows people to stay seated while performing various yoga poses. Chair Yoga helps improve balance, flexibility, muscular strength and tone in the core, back, arms and chest muscles. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and a general sense of well-being.

3. Pilates

Pilates is a popular form of exercise because of its emphasis on core strength, alignment and proper breathing techniques without having to perform high-impact exercises. Core strength eliminates muscular imbalances which commonly occur in the hip flexors and is the cause of chronic lower back pain. Core strength also improves stability, mobility and flexibility in seniors.

4. Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is another low-impact form of exercise that has become quite popular among seniors. Water aerobics is especially beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis and other joint pains. This is because the buoyancy of water puts less pressure on the joints. The water’s natural resistance alone helps improve muscular strength, balance and flexibility.

5. Strength Training

Strength training, or resistance training, is one of the best and most highly recommended forms of exercise for seniors for the following reasons: they mimic everyday living activities and they help maintain muscle mass and strength, all of which are crucial to mobility, general health and well-being.

The level and duration of strength training varies from person to person. While some seniors are able to lift more than 50 pounds while training, lifting weights heavier than about 8 pounds can be detrimental to other seniors. It is important for seniors to consult a physician to assess their health and fitness level before beginning a strength training program.

While non-medical caregivers usually don’t offer physical training as part of senior care services, they can collaborate with physicians to suggest the right exercise program that is fun and low-impact.

Contact Always Best Care Clinton Township at (586) 203-2157 to schedule a care consultation and learn more about how non-medical in-home care can help seniors live a better-quality life.

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