Exercising Easily as You Age

Without intervention, our bodies can weaken as they age. Muscles lose their tone, leading to poor balance and eventually, to possible falls. If you are someone who is looking to maintain your mobility and your strength as you get older, or you want to help a beloved relative or friend do so, there are exercises that are designed to help elderly people stay healthy.

Obviously, elderly individuals with weight issues do have higher risks of serious diseases such as heart problems, stroke, diabetes and many others. To prevent these diseases and prolong mortality, one should apply strict but simple exercises that are ideal for elder people. So aside from going to a gym, explore some of the exercises below and test your own capabilities.

Ideal and Simple Exercises for the Elderly

Toe Stretches

toe exercises

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Many people are surprised when they start to lose mobility in their feet and their ankles. A loss of mobility and strength here can lead to serious missteps, and that is why the toes and the feet should be stretched regularly. Sit in chair with your feet flat on the floor and stretch your toes towards the ceiling as you keep your heels on the ground. Do this ten times per day. If you want to increase the range of motion that you put your feet through, hold your legs straight out in front of you, and alternately point your feet towards the ceiling and the floor while keeping your legs still.

Single Leg Balance

single leg balance

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To improve balance, start by standing in an open doorway, holding on to either side of the doorway with your hands. Slowly lift one foot off the ground, bending it behind you. Hold the doorway as lightly or as tightly as you need to; the key is to prevent yourself from falling. Balance on one leg for ten seconds if possible, and then repeat it with the other leg. Doing this exercise several times a day can help you prevent falling later on.

Walking

walking seniors

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Walking is one of the best exercises out there for older people. It requires no training and no special equipment, and it is entirely self-directed. The key to making a walk into good exercise is to make sure that you push yourself a little bit. You should be just a little bit out of breath as you walk; ideally, you should break a sweat. This cardiovascular exercise is a great choice for the older person who wants to integrate their exercise into their day. Even doing five minutes of walking is better than nothing.

Water Aerobics

water aerobics

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Exercise can get increasingly problematic for people who have joint issues, where their joints are fragile or damaged in some way. This is where water aerobics comes in. It puts you in the water, where the water cushions your joints and supports you. Further, the water provides importance resistance training, where you are working against the flow. Water aerobics can be tailored for people of all physical capabilities, and it is a good choice when you are thinking about getting out of the house for your routine.

Arm Raises

arm raises while sitting

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Sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. While holding a light weight in either hand, let your arms fall to your sides. Slowly and with control, bring your arms up until they are stretched in front of you at shoulder height. Hold the pose for five seconds or however long you can. Then bring your arms back down to your sides. Once again, use control. Do not simply drop your arms down, as this can harm your joints and your tendons. This exercise allows you to keep a full range of motion in your arms as well as increasing your arm strength.

Hip Rotation

hip rotation

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Your hips are a major focus of your movement no matter what age you are, and it is in your best interests to keep them strong and limber. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and together and your feet flat. Slowly, while keeping your shoulders flat on the floor, bring your knees over to the left as far as they will go. Hold the pose for five seconds if you can, and then return them to to the previous position. Then repeat the motion to the right. This gentle exercise is a little difficult for people who have problems climbing down on the floor, but it can be a great way to stay flexible.

Tai Chi

tai chi for the elderly

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Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that uses very fluid movements and relies on a great deal of core strength. There are two kinds of Tai Chi; the first is a combat art, and the second is related to maintaining good health. Health Tai Chi is a great form of exercise for people who are getting older; it does not stress the joints, but it does force you to do the kind of workout that will keep you flexible and strong for years. Tai Chi is also a great choice when you are looking for something for stress reduction, which can also help you stay healthy in general.

Dancing

dancing seniors
Have you always been interested in bellydancing, swing dancing or the waltz? If you are curious, now is a great time to indulge. Dancing allows you to get your heart rate up, and it is done in a safe place with minimal chances for injury. Dancing allows you to move your body and to also become more aware of how you are moving it, which is essential for staying healthy as you get older. Choose a type of dance and a type of music you like, and consider taking classes in it. Classes give you a schedule to follow, which is perfect if you are the type of person who always wants to put off exercising until later.

Hand Ball Squeeze

handball squeeze exercise

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Pick up a hand ball and hold it straight in front of you with both hands. Your arms should be stretched out at shoulder-height in front of you. Squeeze the ball between your hands as if you were trying to push the ball flat, clasping your fingers together if you need to. Squeeze the ball for several seconds and then relax your hands. Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times to work your chest, your hands and your arms.

Seated Gluteal Exercise

seated gluteal exercise

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While you are sitting in a chair, squeeze your buttock muscles together Hold the tension for a several seconds and then release. This is an exercise that will both strengthen and tone the muscles in your rear, and it can be done nearly anywhere. Repeat it eight to 10 times for the best results and do it several times a day.

Stretching

stretching

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One reason why we fall and hurt ourselves is that our bodies are not prepared for motion. When our muscles are stiff and tense, we cannot balance properly. When you get out of bed every morning, why not run through a series of stretches? Even bending over to touch your toes and raising your arms straight above your head can loosen you up for your day.

Arm Circles

arm circles

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The muscles in the arms and shoulders can tighten up intensely when you are not working with them. Raise your arms out to either side at shoulder height. Make small circles with your hands, moving your arms as you do so. Do at least 10 circles forward before doing 10 circles back. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, start with small circles, and then make medium-sized circles. Finally, end with circles that are very large. This strengthens your arms as well as your chest.

Chores

gardening chores

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Simply doing chores on your own can help you stay fit. For example, raking your yard can count as moderate physical activity, as can gardening. Remember that if it makes your body do work, it counts as exercise! If you have issues with exercise taking up time, consider looking for chores that will make you work a bit. Some people choose to volunteer at community gardens for this very reason.

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If you are concerned about your strength and your flexibility, it is never too late or too early to start working on them. Consider what exercises might be perfect for you as you age!

About the Author

This article comes from Nisha representing mha.org.uk – a charity providing care and support services for older people in Britain, with care homes in Essex to care homes in Glasgow.

Noah Mark

Hi, this is Noah and thank you for reading this post. I hope you learned something here. Rest assured that I will continue to bring you the best weight loss information in this site to help you overcome all your weight gain endeavors. Please follow me on Google+ and Twitter to learn more.

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