11 Safe Exercises for Seniors to Stay Trim, Healthy and Fit!

11 Safe Exercises for Seniors to Stay Trim, Healthy and Fit!

Seniors – Stay Fit, Trim, and Healthy with Safe Exercises

Older adults have a lot to gain by regular exercise. Staying active can improve your physical and mental health and extend your ability to live independently. Below are some tips for developing a beneficial exercise program and sticking to it.

DESIGNING A SAFE AND BALANCED EXERCISE PROGRAM

👉👉👉Learn About the Prime Motions Tai-Chi-based Exercise Program

1.      Work on Increasing your endurance. Aerobic exercise like walking or biking is great for your heart and circulation. Swimming is especially good for seniors because you get a total body workout with low impact and little risk of injuries. Aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity daily.

2.      Build your strength. Your muscle mass declines with age, but resistance training two to three times weekly can help offset that loss. To be safe, start off with easy exercises and progress by increasing weights and repetitions gradually. You may want to visit a local gym or take a class at a senior center.

·         If you prefer working out at home, you can buy weights or use household items like cans of soup, half a gallon of water, bags of rice, etc. You can get creative with what you can lift. I have patients who have used a hammer, crowbar, and other tools!

3.      Staying flexible. Stretching will keep you limber and help protect you from injury. Do it as often as possible – daily is great! Warm up with some light aerobics and then ease into a stretch gently. Hold your stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each movement a few times, gradually extending your range

·         It’s good to feel some slight tension, but if you experience any pain, stop and withdraw back to a more comfortable position.

4.      Work to Improve your Balance. Balance is a must for older adults. Protect yourself from falls and broken bones or fractures by working on your balance. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in older adults over 65 years old. Tai Chi is another low-impact activity ideal for seniors. It promotes balance and strength. Even just practicing standing on one foot can enhance your stability.

(Above Video: Facts about Balance and Falls in the Elderly)
 

(Above Video: A Sample of a Specialized Tai Chi Based Exercise Program)

You can incorporate simple balance exercises in your everyday chores. Here are some tips:

By the sink or kitchen counter when doing dishes or cooking:

1. SINGLE LEG STANDING: Stand straight, stand on one leg lifting one leg high up off the floor. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat on the other leg for another 5 – 10 secs, Repeat as many as you are able. Holding this exercise longer facilitates more muscle recruitment that helps with increasing strength and stability.

2. HEEL AND TOE RAISES. Standing and holding on to the kitchen counter or sink, go up on tiptoes and hold this for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, rock back and stand on your heels, toes up off the floor and hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as able.

3. MINI SQUATS. Still holding on to the kitchen counter, bend both knees to squat just halfway down and whatever you can tolerate. Hold this for 5 seconds, then get back up with knees straight. Repeat for up to 10 times, or whatever you can tolerate. This helps strengthen the muscles of the legs especially the quadriceps muscles that can help improve the strength necessary for going up and downstairs, steps, or curbs.

👉👉👉(For more info on balance exercises, Email me at primemotionz@gmail.com)

STICKING TO YOUR EXERCISE PROGRAM

1.      Set realistic goals. A regular workout routine is safer and more beneficial than scattered efforts. Keep yourself motivated by establishing realistic goals. Find activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule such as cutting back on TV viewing to go for a daily swim. When your favorite program is on, you can even exercise during commercials.

 

2.      Have fun. Think about the pastimes you love and expand upon them. When your grandkids visit, go for a long walk through the park. If you get tired of using the treadmill alone every day, sign up for a yoga class with a buddy whose company you enjoy.

3.      Make contingency plans. Life events will sometimes interrupt your normal schedule. While traveling, look for hotels with fitness centers. If it’s too cold to ride your bike outdoors, browse the public library for exercise videos for seniors.

MORE SAFETY TIPS TO CONSIDER

1.      Talk with your doctor. If you’ve been sedentary for a while, your doctor can advise you on how to get moving safely. No matter what health issues you may experience, there is usually some form of exercise that you can engage in even if you need to modify the standard positions.


2.      Learn the Art of Breathing Properly. Breath in through your nose and exhale out of your mouth. 

A good visualization to remember: “Smell the roses and blow out the candles “.

👉👉👉The Power of Breathing: What You Should Know

Proper breathing will help you maintain good form. Generally, you exhale when you exert effort and inhale when you relax. So breathe out when you lift a dumbbell and breathe in when you lower it.

3.      Drink plenty of water. We all know about the benefits of hydration to the body. Your body needs water regardless of whether you’re sweating. By the time you’re thirsty, you’ve gone too long without drinking.

4.      Wear the right footwear. Shoes can make a difference in your walking pattern and stability. You can exercise without spending a fortune on expensive equipment, but good shoes are worth the cost. Get protective footwear that’s designed for your chosen sport, whether it’s golf or tennis. If tying laces is a struggle, Velcro closures will give you a secure fit.

Exercise is a great way for older adults to stay healthy and fit. Follow simple safety precautions so you can remain active and enjoy the pastimes you love.

👉👉👉Do this to relieve Joint Stiffness

Falls in the Elderly: A Rising Epidemic

Falls in the Elderly: A Rising Epidemic

 
 
FALLS IN THE ELDERLY CONTINUE TO RISE. IT IS DEVASTATING. The implications of falls have long been brought to light by researchers and statisticians alike. The economic impact upon the government is staggering.
 
The estimated cost to treat injuries sustained from these falls is estimated to exceed $50 billion dollars from the year 2015 and may reach $67.7 billion in the year 2020. Furthermore, Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
 

ALARMING FACTS ACCORDING TO THE CDC(Center for Disease Prevention) as reported by the NCOA (National Council On Aging)

Couple, Handicap, Wheelchair
 
  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
  •  
    The enormity of the problem has prompted diverse programs involving over 70 national organizations involved in Fall prevention, The Falls Free National Action Plan by the NCOA.
 
The plan includes action steps of reducing the impact of medications as a risk factor, promoting physical mobility, and improving home safety. Fall risk assessment and screenings, promoting evidence-based programs also is a major component of this national initiative.
 
More Fall Prevention Programs have surfaced and a majority of these promote exercise programs designed to reduce falls in the elderly. Tai Chi has been widely recognized as an effective exercise program for fall prevention.
 
As released by the CDC in a PDF Form on its principles and why:(Source: CDC.gov)
 
 
Tai Chi Principles for Falls Prevention in Older People
 
The following notes are suggestions for incorporation into a Tai Chi program specifically targeting fall prevention in older people.
 
BALANCE 
The key element in preventing a fall. Balance has been shown to decrease with age; however, some aspects of balance can be enhanced through training.
 
Key elements to incorporate into a Tai Chi program:
Tai Chi, Taiji, Martial, Qi Gong, Qigong
 
Relaxation
> relaxes muscles > lowers the center of gravity Lowered center of gravity > increases load on lower limbs > over time increases sensation and awareness of lower limb movement.
 
• Transfer of Weight:
Shifting body weight from leg to leg through incremental movements. Start with a small range of movement and gradually build up to a wide, square base stance.
 
 Muscle strength
Muscle bulk and therefore strength decrease with age. A bent-knee stance and movement work to strengthen lower limb muscle (particularly the quadriceps muscles) (however, always work to an individual’s limitations. If a bent knee stance is too difficult, then do the movement without bent knees).
 
• Instability
This involves issues such as increased body sway, low mobility, and postural instability. Increasing age is also associated with reduced sensation in lower limbs and is consequently associated with a loss of righting reflexes and an increase in body sway, which can lead to falls.
 
o Gait:
Decreased stepping height and decreased stride length. Women tend to have a narrow walking and standing base, closer foot placement, erect posture > difficulty stepping down from stools/benches. Men tend to have a small-stepped gait, wider walking and standing base, and stooped posture.
 
Tai Chi addresses gait problems by teaching the “correct” movement of lower limbs. This is done by lifting lower limbs from the knee rather than the foot; lifting lower limbs without misaligning the pelvis, and teaching to place heel down first when moving forward (toes first when moving back). Also, teaching movement with appropriate weight transfer, posture, and slightly bent knees improves stride length
 
 Posture:
Tai Chi also teaches participants to maintain a relaxed posture with an elongated spine.
 
• Coordination/Mobility:

Tai Chi consists of moving from one stance to another in a slow, coordinated, and smooth way. This trains students in improved mobility and increased body awareness. 

 


It is based upon these principles that I developed the Prime Motionz Exercise for Balance and Health.

 

The Prime Motionz Book is Upcoming.
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