It is important to stay active at all ages. In fact, continuing to exercise even as you grow older is even more important for maintaining a clean bill of health. This is because other than increasing a person’s strength, exercise is also able to help improve blood circulation, improve flexibility, and even improve a person’s mood and balance.
With limited mobility, it is true that it is harder to engage with the exercises that you used to be familiar with. One of the best ways to continue exercising and staying active is to modify your exercises so that they are suitable for limited mobility. Our favorite way is to incorporate a chair. This is because chair exercises provide an additional source of support that can help older adults who are frail or have a higher risk of falling. However, they can be just as physically stimulating as regular workouts that are done standing. More importantly, sitting on a chair can help reduce the amount of pressure or impact sustained by the joints.
Before you get started on any exercise, it is important that older adults take it slowly to avoid overexertion. At any time, it is also best to have someone watching over or aware of what they are attempting in the event of an injury.
At SummerHouse Grayson Valley, helping our residents remain active is one of our top priorities. By having a dedicated health and fitness program, we are able to ensure that our residents continuously have interesting and senior-specific exercises to try out. Here are some that you and your loved ones can do at home!
One of our favorite exercises is to do shoulder rolls. Before you get started, sit straight with your feet flat on the ground. Once you have found a comfortable position, start to rotate your shoulders in a circle – moving them back, down, to the front, then to the top. Once you have completed the cycle, reverse the movement for a full rep. Perform this ten times. What this exercise does is that it engages the trapezius and shoulder muscles that are key to carrying and lifting objects.
Once again, start by sitting straight up with your feet flat. Making sure to keep your heels on the ground, start to bend your toes upwards to point at the ceiling before relaxing them back onto the floor again. Do this for around eight to ten repetitions in order to improve the strength of your calves and shins. Once you are confident with this movement, try sitting on the edge of the seat with your legs stretched out.
After having a comfortable seat, lift your knee up towards your chest before lowering it back onto the floor. Repeat this with the other leg. At all times, ensure that the non-lifted foot is flat on the ground. Do this for ten repetitions on each leg. If you are comfortable with this movement, you can add difficulty by holding your knee towards your chest for five counts. This helps to strengthen the quads which are the largest muscle group of your body.
Similar to knee lifts, the Captain’s Chair exercise involves lifting your feet off the ground. Begin by sitting at the edge of your seat before lifting both feet off the ground towards your chest. Make sure that the chair is sturdy before attempting this and engage your abs. This will help to strengthen your core muscles.