It’s no secret that exercise helps improve your quality of life at any age. For adults ages 65 and older, the WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity a week, which ends up being about 20 minutes a day. The benefits of exercise include:
· Boosting energy
· Helping manage weight
· Improve heart health
· Better balance
· Decrease risk of falls
· Reduce pain from arthritis
Many seniors stay active by walking on trails or around the mall, or taking classes such as tai chi and Silver Sneakers workouts. But what do you do if you can’t get out to take part in your physical activities? Whether you’re staying in because of the weather or to protect yourself during the height of flu season, there’s no reason to skip your exercise. Here are a few of our favorite exercises to do in the comfort of your own home.
1. Modified Squats
Stand in front of a sturdy chair with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your shoulders. Slowly bend your knees and lower your body onto the chair, pause, then press through the back of your feet to stand up again. Try not to use your hands to push back up. Do two sets of 10 reps.
2. Farmer’s Walk
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands down by your sides, palms facing your body. Slowly walk forward while imagining a string through the crown of your head pulling your spine straight toward the ceiling. Walk for 30 seconds one direction (or as long as you can before getting to the end of the room) and then repeat in the opposite direction. Make it a little harder by adding weights in your hands.
3. Upper Body Strengthening Exercises
Using light weights in each hand (3 or 5 pounds is good) lift your arms straight up above your head for 10 reps, then side arm raises and front arm raises, each for 10 reps. Repeat all exercises two or three times.
4. Wall Push-ups
Stand arm’s length away from a wall, then place your hands on the wall, palms flat. Lean forward, hold, then push back until your arms are straight. Do two reps of 10.
5. Chair Exercises.
You don’t even have to leave your chair to get the benefits of exercise. If you have limited mobility or are worried about falling, these are a great option. Tummy twists: sitting up straight, twist your torso as far as possible to the right while keeping your legs straight forward, then come back to the center, and twist to the left. Knee lifts: pull your right knee up as close to your chest as you can, then put it down on the floor and repeat with the left knee.
Leg extensions: sitting on the edge of the chair, brace yourself with your arms on the seat. Raise your feet up until your legs are straight, then lower back to the floor.
Here at Piedmont HomeHealth, we know how hard it can be to get motivated to exercise every day. Our compassionate staff is available to work with you and your loved ones to get motivated to exercise and find fun and creative ways to improve physical activity in your daily life.