Exercise is important to health throughout life, especially as a senior. As you age, it can be difficult to maintain flexibility and muscle tone without regular activity. There are low-impact exercises you can do around the home each day to keep in shape, get the blood flowing, and reduce stress. Here are five simple ways to help stay fit.
This is still one of easiest, simplest, and most beneficial exercises for seniors. Take the time to walk more, whether it’s a trip to the corner store or just visiting with neighbors. You might want to consider driving to the park, zoo, or flea market where you can get in a good afternoon’s walk, see some interesting sights, and take in the fresh air, but still sit on a bench and relax as needed.
Flexibility is important to avoiding muscle and ligament strains. The easiest stretching routine is to sit on the edge of a bed, chair, or sofa, and extend your legs out so that your heels are firmly planted on the floor. Then just lean forward and reach for your toes. Don’t bounce, but hold the stretch for about 10 seconds.
Many seniors who haven’t been active may suffer from balance issues. One exercise to restore balance is basic leg raises. Stand with one hand on the back of a chair for support, and raise the opposite arm and leg to the side, front, and back. Hold for several seconds. Repeat a few times, then turn and work the other side.
If you have the space and budget, consider a stationary bike. Some models come with digital readouts for distance covered, calories burned, heat rate, and more. But all you really need is 15 minutes a day of slow, steady peddling to elevate your heart rate. It’s a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the knees, and you can do it at your own pace in the comfort of your own home. A recumbent bicycle that’s easy on the back is also an option.
You may also be able to get personal training as part of your home care plan. A qualified trainer can help you work out a fitness regimen that’s just right for your particular situation. Targeted routines can be designed to address certain issues, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, and improve overall fitness for better health. Home care fitness may extend your physical independence for years.
Good nutrition is another part of staying healthy, but even that won’t help if you don’t stay active. Even if you have to start slowly, find an activity that you’ll enjoy and stick with.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie recommends looking into places like Queen City Home Care if you’re looking for a place where your elderly loved one can stay active after retirement.