It’s easy for older individuals to fall into a more sedentary routine when contending with such issues as prolonged pain, stiffness of joints and muscles, and overall fatigue. The fact is, however, that, inactivity tends to aggravate the very conditions older adults are intending to relieve by avoiding physical exercise. The senior care experts at Enhanced Home Care understand that the answer lies in learning which activities will enhance energy levels and safely lessen bothersome aches and pains.
Although the primary step to improving senior health and fitness levels should always be a consultation with the primary care physician to receive his or her recommendations and approval, the following several varieties of activities are a great way to get started on a much healthier lifestyle:
- Strength. As outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older individuals should engage in strength training activities at least two times each week. This can include a process as basic as lifting 1- or 2-pound weights to acquire arm strength, along with squats and lunges for leg and core strengthening. Adapted push-ups are also recommended, from a standing position and pushing back against a wall. Group strength training programs can also be found at a variety of community clubs and senior centers.
- Balance. Especially important to avoid the risk of a fall, seniors can increase balance through structured classes such as yoga or tai chi, or through basic everyday exercises such as holding onto the back of a chair from a standing position, lifting one leg with a slightly bent knee, and holding for a count of ten. Ten repetitions with each leg several times each week are beneficial.
- Flexibility. Beginning with a warm-up of marching in place or a quick walk, stretching exercises can help soothe stiff muscles and make activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, reaching up to retrieve items from shelves, and changing positions simpler and safer. One helpful neck stretch entails simply turning the head to one side until a slight feeling of stretching is experienced, holding for up to 30 seconds, and then carefully turning back to the starting position, repeating on each side three times.
For more senior fitness techniques, call on the Kansas City home health care experts at Enhanced Home Care. Our expert home care team can offer encouragement and motivation for older adults to stay active and engaged in exercise, provide accompanied transportation to senior fitness classes, and serve as a cheerful companion to make staying active fun! Call us any time at 913-327-0000 to learn more.