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We all know that getting exercise is good for us. Despite this, many older people are inactive. When 31 million Americans over the age of 50 don’t get regular exercise, it’s time to shake things up and get moving.
A few simple exercises could greatly improve seniors’ health and wellbeing. Read on to learn about five mobility exercises for seniors in at-home care.
We know that getting exercise is healthy, but what exactly are the benefits?
Aging results in ligaments becoming less flexible. Stiffness and pain can set in if a person does not keep moving. The heart and arteries can also decline with age. These effects can be reversed from raising the heart rate with moderate exercise.
The natural lowering of metabolism with increasing age means that weight gain can become an issue. More weight puts pressure on the heart and lungs. Obesity is also associated with other health risks.
Getting regular exercise helps maintain muscle mass and increases your bone density. These two factors alone help protect you from injuries. As you age, injuries are more difficult to recover from, so reducing the likelihood of getting an injury is very beneficial to your overall health.
Strengthening exercises help you maintain balance. They improve your posture and help you keep flexible. These benefits, in turn, help prevent falls and trips, another risk that affects older people.
Exercise has benefits in the control of chronic diseases including helping manage symptoms. Getting exercise helps increase metabolism and so helps control your weight.
A further major benefit of exercise is in alleviating low mood and depression. Scientific studies have shown that getting exercise is effective in reducing the symptoms of depression.
Before getting exercise, it’s important to loosen up and warm up.
Warming up the muscles prepares them for the exercises. It gets the blood flowing and is effective in reducing the likelihood of any injuries during exercise. It’s also a fun way to get in the mood for your workout.
Starting in a seated position, place the fingertips of each hand on your shoulders. Move your shoulders in circles one way for about twelve times and then reverse the motion.
The second warm-up exercise also uses a chair. You will need a chair that you can easily sit and stand-up from. This time stand up in front of a chair with your feet slightly apart.
Keep upright and slowly bend your knees until you are seated on the chair. Return to a standing position without resting on the chair. Repeat this warm-up exercise twelve times.
Now you are warmed up, and you are ready for the exercises.
This exercise is great for improving mobility in your arms, shoulders, and back. It helps with posture and raises your heart rate. If you do it vigorously, it will increase your breathing rate and so is a form of aerobic exercise too.
Stand with your back to a wall. Place your feet a few inches from the wall but let your head and lower back touch the wall. Start with your hands by your sides with the back of your hands against the wall.
Maintain the contact between your hands and the wall at all times. Keep your arms straight and raise your hands as high as you can. If they touch above your head that’s very good, but otherwise, raise them as high as is reasonably comfortable.
Lower your hands, keeping your arms extended and the back of your hands against the wall. When they have returned to your sides, that is one repetition completed. Repeat the exercise twelve times.
It’s important to keep mobility in your neck. Long periods of limited movement can lead to your neck becoming stiff. Try doing this exercise while watching TV to maintain flexibility.
This exercise can be done either sitting down or standing up. Keep your back straight and let your shoulders droop.
Slowly turn your head to the right and stop when you feel a slight stretch. Hold this position for a moment and then turn your head back to the front. Repeat but turning to the left.
Repeat this exercise twelve times. Do it slowly and steadily and avoid jerking or straining.
This exercise helps you keep your balance. You can practice it anytime, but incorporating it into a regular exercise routine is also good.
Use a stable chair to steady yourself. Hold on to the back. Raise your right leg so that your thigh is parallel with the ground.
Try to balance on your left foot with minimal support from the chair. Feel the muscles that support your balance in your trunk. This core strength is what keeps you upright, balanced, and stable.
Hold the position for as long as you can comfortably. Change legs and repeat the exercise. Try to do each leg for a minute.
Build upper body strength with this rowing exercise.
Sit on a chair. Place your feet on the floor and your arms straight out in front of you. Bring your arms back, leading with your elbows, and press your shoulder blades together.
Return your arms to the starting position. Repeat this movement 12 times. If the exercise is too easy, add some weight by holding books or small weights.
This simple neck stretch also works your arms, shoulders, and back.
Start this exercise sitting on a chair. Sit up straight and then tilt your head to your right side and feel the stretch in your neck.
Extend your right arm down and notice the stretch. Do this up to 12 times and then repeat it on the other side.
Exercise is important whether you are young or older. Mobility exercises for seniors in at-home care are effective and fun. Get moving and feel the benefit.
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