Questions? Call Us 416-613-8570
Select Page

Exercises for Seniors: Are you a senior who would like to experience the significant benefits of an exercise routine?

Are you considering a home exercise program that’s safe and easy, but you aren’t sure how to start?

Exercise routines for seniors can help you improve your health and maintain your independence. Regular moderate levels of exercise reduce the risk of death and of developing chronic health conditions in older adults.

Regular exercise can help you:senior exercises easy

  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve bone density
  • Preserve muscle mass
  • Improve balance and prevent falls
  • Manage chronic health conditions
  • Maintain cognitive function
  • Promote better sleep
  • Control weight
  • Manage pain
  • Boost energy
  • Enhance mood

Many adults spend over 10 hours every day sitting or lying down. This level of inactivity comes at a cost.

Scientists have found a direct link between a lack of physical activity, low cardio fitness, and chronic health conditions.

“A lot of the symptoms that we associate with old age—such as weakness and loss of balance—are actually symptoms of inactivity, not age,” says Alicia Arbaje, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in older adults, physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.

    When beginning a new senior home exercise program, older adults should consult with a physician to ensure safety.

    Adults who have previously been sedentary should start with short intervals of moderate exercise (5-10 minutes).

    The World Health Organisation’s Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health lays out specific recommendations for seniors over age 65.

    The WHO defines physical activity in this age group as “recreational or leisure-time physical activity, transportation (walking or cycling), occupational, household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise.”

     The WHO recommends the following exercise regimen for seniors:

    • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration
    • Physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on three or more days per week
    • Muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week

    When seniors cannot meet these recommendations due to health conditions, WHO recommends they be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

    easy senior exercises

    Guardian Home Care is committed to reliable, trustworthy, invaluable senior care. The following easy exercises for seniors focus on three main areas:

    • Strength
    • Balance
    • Flexibility

    5 Easy and Safe Exercises for Seniors

    Balance and chair exercises for seniors help to improve strength, increase flexibility, and promote better balance. The following safe and easy exercises for elderly adults will address these areas and can be done using items found in most homes.

    This exercise routine for senior adults should be performed at least three times each week, and can be performed daily.

    1. Seated Arm Curl

    Chair exercises for seniors are a simple way for elderly adults to safely improve their physical fitness. Seated arm curls help to increase arm strength and flexibility and facilitate reaching and holding.

    1. Begin seated in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart.
    2. Holding a one-pound weight, can of soup, or water bottle in each hand, extend each arm down by your side.
    3. Bending at the elbow, curl one arm up toward your shoulder.
    4. As you straighten that arm back down, curl the other arm up toward the shoulder.
    5. Continue arm curls, alternating from side to side, until you’ve done 15 arm curls on each side.
    6. Take a break for about a minute.
    7. Do 15 more arm curls on each arm.

    2. Seated Step-in-Place

    The seated step-in-place exercise helps to increase leg strength and facilitate walking.

    1. Begin seated in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart.
    2. Keeping knees bent, raise one knee a few inches upward, and then place it back down on the floor.
    3. Raise the other knee a few inches upward, and then place it back down on the floor.
    4. Continue to raise alternate knees as though you are walking in place.
    5. Continue “walking in place” for one minute.

    3. Seated Ankle Point-and-Flex

    The ankle point-and-flex exercise helps to increase strength and flexibility in the ankle, which can improve ankle stability and help improve balance. Simple stretches for seniors like the ankle point and flex also help to improve range of motion.

    1. Begin seated in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart.
    2. Raise one leg a couple inches off the ground.
    3. Moving only the ankle, point the toes down toward the ground as far as they’ll go.
    4. Pause and hold.
    5. Then point the toes up toward your face as far as they’ll go.
    6. Pause and hold.
    7. Repeat this point-and-flex movement for one minute.
    8. Take a break for about a minute.
    9. Repeat on the other side.

    4. Chair Stand

    The chair stand exercise helps improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Practice the chair stand regularly to help maintain mobility and independence, while being careful to progress slowly as you gain stability.

    1. Place the rear legs of your chair against a wall to prevent the chair from sliding backward.
    2. Begin seated in the chair, seated toward the front of the chair, with your feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart, heels directly below the knees.
    3. Step your feet back slightly, about one inch.
    4. Lean forward to build momentum until your feel your bottom coming off the chair and then push your heels into the floor as you stand up.
    5. Sit back down trying to use your hands for support as little as possible.
    6. Repeat standing and sitting for 30 seconds.
    7. Rest for about a minute.
    8. You can push your hands into your thighs to help raise up out of the chair, if needed.
    9. Eventually, once your balance feels very stable, try crossing your arms over your chest as you stand up and sit back down.

    5. Walk in Place

    Walking in place is a great exercise to improve balance and strength. Balance exercises for seniors like walking in place help to reduce the risk of falls, one of the biggest concerns in this age group.

    1. Stand next to a chair, holding onto the back of the chair with one hand for balance.
    2. Begin walking in place.
    3. If your balance is good, let go of the chair and continue to walk in place.
    4. Walk in place for one to three minutes.

    In a pilot study of older adults in a Medicaid-funded home care setting, researchers studied the use of the first three exercises in this sequence—seated arms curls, seated step-in-place, and seated ankle point-and-flex—three times weekly for four months in home care patients.

    The patients reported improved day-to-day function and health, and also experienced enhanced physical performance. Patients also reported feeling less fearful of falls.

    Further studies with a larger population are underway to investigate the potential benefits of the program.

    Easy Daily Exercises for Seniors

    In older adults, daily activities make up a large part of their physical exercise. Simple ways to increase exercise at home for seniors include the following:

    • Do more. If daily cleaning activities like washing dishes or wiping the counter are part of your regular routine, include tasks like cleaning out a junk drawer or organizing your papers to add extra activity to your day. If you walk to get your mail every day, try to extend the walk by a short distance. Find small ways to add extra activity to your day.
    • Be social. If you find it difficult to get motivated increase your physical activity, enlist a friend. Exercising together is always more fun. Plan a walk with a friend, or meet up at a local senior exercise class. You’re more likely to show up if someone is counting on you to be there.
    • Find exercise you enjoy. If you despise swimming, don’t sign up for a senior aquatics class. Likewise, if you enjoy gardening but can’t stand exercise, making gardening your exercise of choice. What physical activity do you truly enjoy? Make time for it. 

     

    Easy exercise for seniors
    at home exercise for seniors

    Too Old to Exercise? No Such Thing

    While you do need to get approval from your physician before starting an exercise program, most seniors can perform safe and easy exercise at home. The exercises above are designed for seniors who want to maintain well-being and improve strength, balance, and flexibility.

    Numerous studies have found exercises to be beneficial for elderly people of all ages. “Few contraindications to exercise exist, and almost all older persons can benefit from additional physical activity,” state Robert Nied, MD of Michigan State University and Barry Franklin, PhD of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan in an effort to motivate family physicians to counsel sedentary patients to become physically active.

    “To increase long-term compliance, the exercise prescription should be straightforward, fun, and geared toward a patient’s individual health needs, beliefs, and goals.”

    Guardian Home Care is Dedicated to Senior Care

    At Guardian Home Care, your care and independence are our number one priority. Our caregivers can help you identify your physical activity goals and encourage you to maintain a healthy level of physical activity under the guidance of your physician.

    Learn more about our Toronto home care services or Call us now to discuss how we meet your needs.

    safe exercises for seniors