Advertisement

Exercise for Seniors: How to Improve Strength and Balance

Exercise for Seniors: How to Improve Strength and Balance
From Lifehack - April 3, 2018

Seniors are living longer than ever. But longer isnt always better. If you want your parents (and yourself) to live healthier, happier and more independently as they age, try introducing these proven exercises into their weekly routine.

Ive selected 15 exercises focused on improving seniors balance, strength, flexibility and cardio. Because no matter the age or conditioning, research has shown that these exercises help seniors avoid falls and disease while staying active, mobile and independent longer.

Lets look into these exercises for seniors:

The importance of exercise for seniors

Lets take a look at 10 benefits of exercise researchers at Harvard have identified for seniors:1

Finding the right exercise is the ultimate life hack. Not only will it help the elderly feel better physically and emotionally, it will help them live independently far longerdramatically improving their quality of life.

Exercise for seniors (the complete guide)

This ultimate guide on exercise for seniors is different because there is no complicated exercise routine or trainers needed.

You can choose from a wide range of exercises that you enjoy. No one exercise is the answer. Just get in the habit of doing some of the suggested strength, balance, flexibility and aerobic exercises every week.

I recommend following a weekly routine suggested by a recent study from Harvard University specifically for seniors:2

Just make sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

Senior exercises for strength

1. The squat (for strength / lower body, balance)

This is a good strength training exercise for the lower bodythe squat to chair. Squats are one of the best exercises to improve the strength of your legs, gluts and your core.

Doing it with a chair is very safe.Try doing 5-15 repetitions, for 2-3 sets. If you feel light headed, dizzy or off balance stop. Heres a great video to teach proper form:

2. Wall push-ups (for strength / upper body)

Wall push-ups are a great and safe exercise for upper body strength, specifically for the arms, chest and shoulders. The closer one stands to the wall, the easier it will be.

Try doing 10-30 repetitions, for 3 sets.

3. The plank (for strength / core)

Strengthening the core improves balance, overall fitness and prevents many lower back injuries.

Plank strengthens arms, abs, legs, tush, hips and back. In fact, AARP (the United States-based interest group that focuses on the elderly) claims its the #1 best overall exercise for every post 50 year old body.

Try doing it for 2-3 sets for 30-60 seconds a set.

4. The bridges (for strength / core)

Like the planks, bridges are great for building strength in your glutes, abs and lower backthe entire core. Its highly effective, but low impact on the joints.

Try doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Stretching exercises for seniors

5. Floor hip flexors

The floor hip flexor stretch does a wonderful job stretching the glutes, thigh and hip flexors.

To do it, lie down flat on the ground. Wrap your hands around one leg, and pull it back to your chest as far as you comfortably can. Hold it in that position for 10 to 30 seconds. While doing so, press the back of the knee of your other leg as far to the ground as you can, stretching your hip flexor.

Try doing it 2-3 times per leg, holding each leg in position for 10 to 30 seconds at a time.

6. Standing hamstring stretch

This is a simple stretch for the back of your legs.

Extend your right leg straight in front of you, heel grounded on the floor and toes pointing to the ceiling. Place your hands on your upper thighs for support and hinge forward from the hip, keeping your spine neutral. Hold. Return to the starting position.

Try doing this 2-3 times, holding it for 10-30 seconds at a time.

7. Double knee torso rotation

8. Yoga (also for strength and balance)

Senior exercises to improve balance

9. The single leg stand

10. Heel raises

11. Walk the line

12. Tai Chi

13. Walking

14. Swimming (also for strength)

15. Dancing (also for balance)

Summing it up

Advertisement

Continue reading at Lifehack »