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6 Light Exercise Ideas for Seniors

Home Care San Diego Senior Stretching and Exercise

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy!  This is particularly true for seniors, who must regularly perform exercise to maintain their cardiovascular health, muscle mass and bone density.

Unfortunately, it can become difficult to perform certain types of exercises when you become older.  Health conditions like heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis and osteoarthritis can make exercises like running or lifting weights difficult.  Certain medications can also make certain types of exercise hard to perform.

Fortunately, there are many different forms of “light exercise” that can be enjoyed by seniors.  These exercises are safe, comfortable, and most importantly — effective at maintaining your health.  This article will highlight the importance of exercise for seniors, then offer 6 light exercise ideas for seniors.

The importance of exercise for seniors

Exercise carries significant benefits including:

  • Improved healing
    Scientists have discovered that seniors who regularly exercise will heal at a faster rate. Any cuts or bruises that you have will heal as much as 20% faster!  Also, having a healthy body helps you fight off infections and recover from illnesses faster.
  • Disease prevention
    Research from the National Institute of Aging shows that exercise can prevent or slow certain diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. This is one of the reasons why seniors who exercise have longer lifespans than those that don’t.
  • Exercise improves your agility
    Exercising gives you better control over your body. You will be able to walk more confidently and maintain your balance more easily.  This reduces the risk of having a fall — one of the most common ways that seniors injure themselves.
  • A happier life!
    Researchers have discovered that seniors who exercise are less likely to suffer from a mental illness. Exercise is a natural way to produce endorphins — a brain chemical that makes you feel great.  Endorphins help to prevent mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.  Your stress levels will be lower and you feel relaxed after exercising.
  • Exercise increases social inclusion
    Exercising is a great way to socialize with other people. It can help a senior retain their connection with friends and relatives.

Six light exercise ideas
The following light exercise ideas are effective, affordable, and highly rewarding.  Most of these exercises can be performed individually or in a group and are very safe for seniors to perform.

Walking

Walking is a rewarding activity that can be performed both indoors and outdoors.  Some of the benefits of walking include:

  • Walking improves cardiovascular health
  • It helps you lose weight by burning calories
  • No equipment is required other than a good pair of walking shoes
  • Strengthening the bones and muscles
  • Walking outside in the sunshine increases vitamin D levels, which is important for brain health
  • Walking improves your mood
  • Walking with friends is a great way to socialize

Swimming
Seniors who are in good health can incorporate swimming into their exercise regime.  Swimming improves joint health, cardiovascular health, lower body strength, and upper body strength.  It is very low impact and can be performed by seniors who have issues with their joints that prevent them from walking long distances.  If a senior does not have the fitness required to swim laps, they can perform water aerobics.

Yoga
Yoga has many well-documented health benefits.  It can improve a person’s flexibility, balance, posture, strength, and overall health.  It is also an excellent way to relieve stress!  Seniors who aren’t well enough to perform a standard yoga routine can try chair yoga.

Seniors aerobics
Aerobic exercises are fantastic for improving the health of your cardiovascular system and lungs.  Seniors aerobics is a special form of aerobics designed to suit older people.  The exercises are low impact and designed for people who may have existing health conditions.  There are also special aerobic exercises which can be performed by seniors while seated.

Stretching
The simple act of stretching can improve a senior’s health.  It can help to keep the joints healthy, reduce stress, and maintain good balance.  There are many stretching routines for seniors available online.

Light weights
Lifting weights can help prevent bones loss and muscle loss.  It can also help keep joints functioning well.  Start off by using light weights and aim for high repetitions.  Seniors can even lift household items like bags of flour to stay fit!

How Adult Home Health Care Can Help
Adult Home Health Care provides professional caregivers to work in a client’s home.  Our caregivers can help the client perform exercises or provide transport to venues where exercise will be performed.   Some of the services provided by Adult Home Health Care include:

  • Cooking and grocery shopping
  • Assistance with stretching
  • Assistance with personal hygiene
  • Assistance with walking
  • Medication management
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments and social engagements
  • Laundry and domestic cleaning
  • Much more!

If you are interested in learning more about Adult Home Health Care, contact us today at 619-940-6561 for a free in-home consultation.