Can older adults still exercise? You may be surprised at how crucial exercise for the elderly is. The main difference in working out for seniors is to prolong life expectancy. Older adults at home can try exercising with stationary gym equipment like a treadmill. You can learn more about treadmills at home on this website. Several families may not have time to go to a private gym session for elders.
Moreover, the cost of doing physical activity can harm hospice patients or the elderly. Hence, if you want the best exercise for the elderly, you can learn more tips from a doctor or a personal fitness trainer.
Are Older Adults Advised To Exercise?
As we age, people’s bodies tend to become weaker and more vulnerable to different kinds of diseases. Even if an elderly is actively visiting a doctor for regular checkups, the body may still experience aches and pain. Many physicians recommend older adults to exercise daily to prevent stiffness, backaches, and illnesses from paralyzing them slowly.
At least 150 minutes of exercise for the elderly is safe for elders 65 of age and above. Younger family members can assist their elderly to break down the time of a physical fitness routine.
Which Exercise For Elderly Works Best For Their Health?
There are many types of exercises for every person to train. From light, moderate, to vigorous, people can tone their muscles and become fit. However, seniors and older adults benefit from exercising to maintain their endurance, flexibility, and strength. Moreover, cardio or aerobic workouts like a 15 – minute walk can enhance blood flow and stabilize heart rate.
1. Stationary Cycling
Home gym equipment is the trend that people benefit from these days. Specifically, people with chronic conditions or have mobility limitations may find it challenging to go outside. A home gym equipment like a treadmill or a stationary bike can suffice for burning calories, lower blood pressure, and defeat joint pain.
Moreover, modern machines come with tracking mileage, heart rate and indicate intensity and stress levels.
If you’re curious about which machine is best to use for exercise for the elderly, you may consult a geriatric doctor near you.
2. Chair Squats
Even if you are not going to spend a lot on your equipment, you can try using tools and furniture at home. One way to do squats and assist an elderly with this routine is to use a chair. Sit on a sturdy, tall chair and try standing up without touching the armrests. Push yourself to sit and stand at least for 3 to 4 sets. You may also perform other seated chair exercises by asking your personal fitness trainer for more guidelines.
3. Brisk Walking
Exercising your feet, calves, hamstrings, and joints can enable you to strengthen your posture and core. Brisk walking is the perfect exercise to give your heart and lungs its much-needed oxygen.
Aim to get 30 minutes of brisk walking at your target heart rate zone. At age 65, the lower end is at least 77.5 beats per minute (bpm), and the higher rate is 131.75 bpm.
On the other hand, you can also test if you are comfortable with brisk walking if you can talk comfortably with some breathlessness after the program. You may also replicate walking outside by using a treadmill and set the pace at your senior member’s comfort.
4. Tippy Toe Balance
Regular flexibility and endurance workouts are great for seniors. Additionally, balance is crucial for seniors to regain posture and lessen falls and injuries at home. If you want to increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance training, try a tippy-toe balance routine. Lift your ankles and toes without moving your feet on the ground. Exercises for seniors with this balancing activity may need another adult to prevent the risk of falling.
5. Wall Push-Ups
Stretching for flexibility should be maintained as any abrupt movements in the muscles or joints can still lead to injuries. Older adults can do wall push-ups guided by a fitness instructor or a family member. Start by standing on a wall about two feet away and extend your arms.
Who says exercising can’t be fun and entertaining? Dancing is an aerobic exercise to pump adrenaline and blood healthily in the person’s body. Moreover, it can also increase protection from the immune system by producing more red blood cells and oxygen that flows throughout the body.
7. Doing Light Home Tasks
If you aren’t active or have some limitations due to medical or health care problems, you can still improve illness resistance with a good workout at home. Pushing the lawnmower, folding the laundry, or just dusting around the house can always move muscles, joints, and tendons. However, chronic disease can get into the way of physical activities even within a week.
How Many Exercises Do Older Adults Need?
Doing day to day tasks without relying on a family member still shows that you may frequently be exercising. Older adults benefit from exercise more for helping their bodies prevent certain illnesses that come with aging.
It may not be quantified, but exercise for seniors should not sprain or strain their hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, or any muscle groups. So, it may be risky for seniors to use dumbbells, do bench press, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and other heavy exercises.
Before an elderly starts an exercise, don’t forget to wear loose, light clothing. Also, drink water regularly and wear sunscreen if walking outdoors.
If Exercise Becomes Stressful, Consult A Doctor
As with any inevitable side effects of moving your arms, legs, and feet, older adults may feel a bit of stress along the way. Here are some symptoms to avoid when seniors do strength exercises.
- Persistent or chronic pain
- Continuous coughing or any other respiratory disease symptoms
- Breathlessness even with light aerobic or cardio exercise
- Easy bruising, swelling, or inflammation