Seniors are an incredibly diverse group of individuals, with varying needs and abilities. Our bodies change as we age, which means that our fitness routines need to too!
This blog post will discuss 16 exercises for seniors that you should be doing on a regular basis in order to stay strong and balanced.
Whether you’re recovering from injury or chronic pain, or simply want to maintain your current level of activity – these exercises can help improve your quality of life. We’ll also go over how to modify the exercises so they work best for you!
Single Limb Stance
An easy exercise for people in their senior years is to stand behind a chair. You can hold on to the back of it. Lift up one foot and balance on the other foot. Balance as long as you can then switch feet.
The goal is to stand on one foot without holding onto a chair. Hold that pose for up to a minute.
Walking Heel to Toe
You might wonder how walking is an exercise to improve your balance. It makes your legs stronger and so you don’t fall when you walk.
Put your right foot in front of your left. Put the heel of your right foot on top of the toes of your left foot. Move your left foot in front of your right, putting weight on the heel. Then put weight on the toes with your left foot. Do this 20 times by walking in different directions each time so it does not get too boring.
Rock the Boat
Stand with your feet apart, so that the space between them is the same width as your hips. Press your feet into the ground. Keep your head up and make sure you are not leaning to one side. Then, put all of your weight on one foot and lift the other leg off of the ground. Hold it there for 30 seconds.
Stand up. Put your foot back on the ground. Lift your other foot off the ground. Stand on one leg for balance five times each side, then do more repetitions if you want to work up to it.
You need a chair for this exercise. Imagine that you are standing in the center of a clock, with 12 o’clock in front of you and 6 o’clock behind you. Hold the chair with your left hand.
Put your right arm straight up at 12 o’clock. Then point it to the 3 o’clock position, and then to the 6 o’clock position. Put it back to 3 o’clock, and then start again with 12 o’clock. Repeat this two times on each side.
Back Leg Raises
Stand behind a chair. Lift your right leg straight back without bending your knees or pointing your toes. Hold it for one second then bring it down. Do this ten to fifteen times per leg.
Single Limb Stance with Arm
This balance exercise will help seniors. It improves their ability to coordinate their body and move around. Stand with your feet together and arms by your side next to a chair. Lift your left hand over your head. Then, slowly raise your left foot off the floor so it’s not on the ground anymore. Hold that position for ten seconds, then put the foot back down.
Side Leg Raise
You will need a chair for this exercise. Stand behind the chair with your feet spread apart. Slowly lift your right leg to the side. Keep your back straight, look forward, and slowly lower it again. Repeat ten or fifteen times (10-15) per leg.
This exercise can be done sitting down. You will need a cane or a stick to hold onto. A broomstick works well for this – you just have to remove the top of the broom. Hold on to the flat part of the stick on your palm and balance it as long as you can, then switch hands so that you work at balance with both hands.
This is a great exercise for seniors because it strengthens their core and improves balance as well. You will need a chair that has arms on it or be sure to hold onto something sturdy in front of you while doing this exercise. Sit on the edge of your seat so your lower back is on the edge of the chair. Keep your feet and legs together and flat on the floor in front of you, not dangling off of it. Then slowly sit up so that your back is touching the top part or behind the area of the chair for a few seconds (up to ten) then slowly lay down again
Repeat this exercise two times if you can.
As long as you have a wall, you can do a strength training exercise for seniors. Stand in front of a wall without decorations or windows or doors. Put your palms flat on the wall at shoulder height and shoulder width. Keep your feet planted as you slowly move towards the wall. Gently push yourself back so that your arms are straight. Repeat this exercise ten times.
Get on the Floor
As long as you have a sturdy piece of furniture in your house to hold onto or a strong armrest at the side of your chair, you can do a strength training exercise for seniors. Keep one hand firmly planted on that surface and slowly lower yourself down until you are lying flat on the floor.
Keep your back straight and don’t let it touch the ground until you are all of the ways down. Then, slowly get up again so that your arms are straight against whatever surface you have to hold onto (the chair or furniture). This is not an easy exercise but it will help seniors keep their muscle strength better than most other exercises will.
Marching in Place
Marching is a good exercise for seniors. Don’t hold on to anything when you do this. Marching in place, lift your right foot off the ground. Lower it and then lift your left foot off the ground. Repeat 20 times.
This exercise can help you with balance and make you stronger. You will need a chair or counter. Stand up straight and put your arms in front of you. Raise your body as high as you can on your toes, then gently lower yourself. Do not lean too far forward on the chair or counter while lifting and lowering yourself 20 times.
This is a very easy exercise. You can do it while you are sitting or standing up. First, raise your shoulders to the ceiling and then back down. Next, put them forward and then down again.
Hand and Finger Exercises
First, pretend that there is a wall in front of you. Hold your arms up above your head. Wiggle your fingers for 10 seconds. Then lower them down to the ground.
First, put your hands behind your back. Then you should reach for the left hand with the right hand. Hold that for ten seconds then try with the other arm.
These exercises can be done either sitting or standing.
To do calf stretches, stand facing a wall with nothing on it. Put one leg in front of the other and bend your knee. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat two to four times per leg.
If you want to stretch your calf muscles while sitting, you need a towel. Put the towel around your right foot and hold the edges of the towel with both hands. Pull the towel towards you with your right leg straight and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise two to four times on each leg.
Whether you’re a senior or not, these exercises are good for everyone. They can help seniors maintain their strength and balance well into old age while also preventing falls that could lead to broken bones, hip fractures, head trauma, brain damage- the list goes on. You may be able to prevent an accident before it happens with just a few minutes of exercise every day!
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