Top 5 Exercises for Older Adults to Fit and Flexible
You know it’s true: Use it or lose it. When it comes to staying fit as we age, it’s a rule we should live by. But what’s the best way to maintain strength, endurance and flexibility without causing an injury or turning all your free time into gym time?
Fortunately, it only takes a few simple exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home. And there’s no special equipment required. Try these five easy exercises to help you stay healthy, active and focused on the things you love.
To maintain your physical strength, squats work more muscles at once, including the major muscles in your legs, lower back and core than just about any other exercise. These muscles help you sit down and get back up, and they also help you keep your balance to prevent falls.
To do a squat, stand with your feet hip- or shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and ease your hips down and back, as if you were sitting in a chair. Stand up and repeat.
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week to maintain physical endurance and keep your heart healthy. Walking is the easiest way to accomplish this goal without putting strain on your joints.
To get the most out of your walk, maintain a brisk pace, or try wearing a backpack with a few books for additional weight. Bring a friend to catch up, or keep time to your favorite tunes.
3. Shoulder Rolls
If you find yourself sitting for most of the day, your posture could be suffering. To avoid the dreaded hunch while keeping your upper back limber, add shoulder rolls to your exercise routine. These postural exercises help keep your body in good alignment in order to relieve pressure and support your bones.
To do a shoulder roll, stand up straight and raise your shoulders up toward your ears. Then, roll them back as you bring your shoulder blades together. Continue the circle motion downward, forward, and up until you’re back where you started. Repeat several times, then reverse direction.
4. Single Leg Balance
Did you know falls are the number one cause of injury and injury-related deaths in people over 65? Improving your balance can help you avoid falling and empower you to do more activities you enjoy. One easy way to practice good balance is with a single leg lift.
To do a leg lift, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your arms straight out at your sides. Engage your abs and slowly lift the knee of one leg a few inches off the floor. Straighten your leg so your foot hovers above the floor in front of you. Repeat several times for both legs. As your balance improves, try lifting your leg a little higher. Just be sure you practice this one within easy reach of a counter so you can catch yourself if you start to wobble.
5. Wall Push-ups
Maintaining upper body strength is important so you can continue to lift things and scoop up your grandchildren for hugs! A wall push-up works the major muscles in your arms, back and chest.
To do a wall push-up, stand about two feet from a wall, placing your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows to lower your face toward the wall. Push back up and repeat.
At FellowshipLife, we’re devoted to your well-being. Each of our communities like Pine Village has members who love having a full fitness center and access to a personal instructor to keep their exercise routines varied and fun. If you’d like to learn more about how independent, active living can support your overall health, contact us for a tour today!