February 8, 2017 by Dean Bellefeuille

best exercises for seniors

The benefits of exercise don’t diminish even as we age, and it is incredibly important for older adults to keep up as active a lifestyle as possible. Even if someone is bedridden or wheelchair-bound, exercises for seniors can help strengthen and improve resistance and flexibility.

The first step is always to consult with the physician to get a recommendation and approval for an exercise program that’s attainable for the older adult. Initially, exercising even as little as a few minutes a day, repeated several times throughout the day, can significantly enhance the senior’s health.

Following are several kinds of exercise to take into consideration for seniors:

  • Aerobic Exercises: If full body movements aren’t possible, exercises from a seated position can build cardio strength. If possible, other options include:
    • Swimming or water aerobics
    • Dancing
    • Walking
    • Tai Chi
    • Bowling
  • Resistance Workouts: To enhance and strengthen muscles, resistance workouts can be performed with elastic bands, available in a number of tensile strengths. The Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences states that even just one day each week of resistance training assists seniors in maintaining independence and reducing the danger of injuries.
  • Flexibility Exercises: Stretching exercises assist in improving flexibility and freedom of motion. Check for yoga classes at local senior or activity centers.
  • Alzheimer’s Exercises: In the first stages of Alzheimer’s especially, an assortment of exercise options can be tried, and with increasing supervision and some modifications, can be continued as the disease progresses. Since repetition is generally a comfort to those with Alzheimer’s disease, activities such as walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and folding laundry are beneficial to both the person’s physical and mental state.

Encouraging your senior family member to begin and then stick with an exercise program is key to success. Try these ideas to allow it to be something fun that she or he will enjoy:

  • Participate in an exercise regime with the older adult. It’s always more fun to exercise with a companion.
  • Include favorite, upbeat music.
  • Set aside dedicated time each day for exercise, and make it a priority.
  • Designate incentives or rewards for attaining milestones.

For more recommendations on best exercises for seniors to help increase activity levels, contact At Home Independent Living in the Syracuse, NY area. Our professional in-home caregivers are experienced in helping seniors thrive and enhance their overall wellbeing, and we love nothing more than knowing the older adults within our care are healthy and enjoying life to the fullest! Call us at 315.579.HOME (4663) for more information!