We become more sedentary as we age. When we stop moving, we lose our ability to do the things we enjoy. Regular exercise helps us stay mobile.
Movement may be uncomfortable or painful for many seniors. Low-impact exercises are easier on your body and can even help heal joint pain.
What are some simple exercises for seniors?
These four low-impact exercises will get you moving.
Going for a stroll is not only relaxing—it’s a total body workout. When you walk, you engage your major muscle groups. With each step, you involve your legs, core, and arm muscles.
Walking improves balance and boosts your energy levels. It can help relieve back pain and lower your risk of serious conditions, like heart disease. When you take a walk, you’ll also free your mind. Walking reduces stress and anxiety.
If you cannot walk without assistance, you can still exercise by taking your wheelchair for a roll. You’ll work your arms and core muscles each time you go rolling.
Yoga is restorative. It asks you to engage your body and mind. Yoga involves a series of held poses to help you become more balanced and flexible.
Yoga’s focus on mindfulness and breathing helps reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. Many seniors also find that yoga reduces arthritis pain. Yoga exercises for older adults can be modified so that you can exercise at your ability level.
Tai chi is as much meditation as it is exercise. After tai chi, seniors may experience peace of mind and pain relief. This free-flowing exercise loosens stiff muscles and joints.
Like yoga, regular tai chi improves balance in older adults. Performing this exercise helps seniors overcome fears of falling and become more confident in their mobility.
Seniors can do many exercises from a chair. For seniors with limited mobility, seated exercises help increase circulation and maintain range of motion.
Some examples of seated exercises for older adults include:
- Toe taps for stronger legs. To perform this move, sit at the edge of your chair. You will point your toes up toward the sky and then down to the ground for one rep. Try this move one foot at a time.
- Twists to engage your core. Sit up in your chair and pull your arms to your sides. You can hold an object or a weight in front of you. Twist to one side as far as you can. Then, twist to the opposite side. That’s one rep!
- Knee lifts to strengthen leg and core muscles. For this move, you’ll lift one knee toward your chest and lower it back to your starting position. After you complete a few reps, repeat this move with the other leg.
- Arm raises for muscles that can support you. Seated exercises are the perfect opportunity to work your arms. To do arm raises, start with your arms bent and hands at your shoulders. You may want to hold a weight in each hand to make this move more challenging. Then, lift your arms above your head and bring them back to the starting position.
Assisted living communities offer a variety of exercise classes. Many provide seated strength, yoga, and tai chi classes for those with limited mobility.
Are you ready to keep leading an active life?
At Culpepper Place, we offer daily exercise classes. Our residents stay connected and engaged with activities, like yoga and gardening, and events like live music, poker, and socials.