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

Avoid Overuse Injuries: Top Tips

Avoid Overuse Injuries: Top Tips

Say Goodbye to Overuse Injuries 

Overuse injuries from exercise, running or intense physical activity can cause overuse injuries.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind, but it can cause two kinds of injuries. You’ll notice major trauma like a sprained ankle or dislocated shoulder immediately, but other damage builds up over time.

⇒ ⇒ ⇒ How Biofreeze Can Help with Pain Relief

Stiff legs or sore elbows could be overuse injuries that usually come from working out too often or too intensely. You may not see any visible signs, but your muscles and skeleton still need healing.

⇒ ⇒ ⇒  How To Say Goodbye to Heel & Foot Pain: Top Tips

 Try these tips that will help you stay active and speed up your recovery when you do suffer an injury.

 Preventing Overuse Injuries:

  1. Schedule rest time. Your body grows stronger when you give it adequate time to heal in between workouts. Overuse injuries are a strong message that you need to take a break.

  1. Vary your workouts. Repetitive movements put more stress on your body because you keep using the same parts in the same ways. Try alternating exercises. If you’re a parent, keep in mind that children can be especially high risk if they over-specialize in one sport while their bodies are still developing.

  1. Change your equipment. Do your running shoes fit? Properly sized gear appropriate for your sport can help keep you safe.

  1. Consult a trainer. Precise alignment is another consideration. Study videos or work with a specialist who can teach you how to squat or pitch a softball correctly.

  1. Build up gradually. Avoid trying to do too much too soon. Adding 10% a week to your strength exercises, distance, or speed works for most adults.

  1. Warm up. Gentle movements prepare your body and mind for what’s ahead. Roll your shoulders and walk around for a few minutes before doing more challenging activities.

  1. Stretch your muscles. Complete your workouts by training for flexibility. Target your stiff spots and hold each stretch for a few minutes.

  1. Listen to your body. Structural issues or medical conditions can make overuse injuries more likely. Take extra care if you have flat feet or you tore your rotator cuff last winter when you were shoveling snow. Stop doing any activity that causes pain.

Treating Overuse Injuries:

  1. Take a break. Proper rest is essential for both prevention and treatment of injuries. It’s the first step in the standard RICE formula that you may have heard of. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  1. Apply ice. Ice packs are most helpful when used early and often. During the first couple of days after an injury, they can dramatically reduce swelling and discomfort. To protect your skin, use a covered ice pack or wrap a bag of frozen peas in a towel.

⇒ ⇒ ⇒ How To Manage Foot & Ankle Pain

  1. Wrap it up. Elastic bandages also cut down on swelling. Limit their use to no more than 2 days in order to restore the normal blood flow necessary for healing.

  1. Elevate the area. Try to keep your hurt arm or leg at or above the level of your heart. Prop them up on a pillow while you’re watching TV or working.

  1. Relieve pain. Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help. They’re available over-the-counter or in stronger prescription form. Follow the directions on the label and talk with your doctor if your symptoms last for more than 10 days.

  1. See your physician. Your doctor can recommend prevention and treatment strategies appropriate for your individual body. Talk with your health care professionals if home remedies aren’t working or you have any concerns.

Most overuse injuries can be prevented if you know the signs and take action promptly. Stay fit and active by giving your body the rest it needs and using proper form when you work out.

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