Poor strength and loss of balance are the major reasons which lead to injury and death from falls among those aged 60 and above. Fortunately, the risk of a tumble can be avoided and the ability to recover increases by incorporating some simple workouts in your daily routine.
Be on the move
Remember, movement is medicine. The first most important step in improving flexibility and physical fitness in the elderly is to always be on the move. Even a bit of walking is enough to set the fitness wheels in motion. Try and spend the maximum part of the day on your feet, doing whatever you like, whether it is jogging, swimming, or gardening just to ensure you are getting adequate movement. This will help stretch out those backs and hips and prevent them from tightening caused by too much sitting or bad postures. If you are already having extreme mobility issues, getting a mobility scooter in order to go out and get fresh air and feel independent, could help boost morale.
As the years pass by, all seniors usually face a decline in flexibility and muscle strength. Stretching exercises help improve the moment of the body joints and allow better posture. It will also release tension and soreness in the muscles, which will eventually reduce the risk of injury. Twelve months of results on stretching have shown increased physical fitness, perceived well-being and functioning and an overall decrease in pain. Seniors should exercise their major muscle groups by stretching for at least ten minutes, twice a week.
Wrist and ankle rolls
Poor limb circulation is a major cause of concern in older adults. This can result in stiffening of joints, loss of balance and reduced mobility. Warm up your hands and feet before attempting these steps:
- Sir on a stool with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
- Open and close your first five times with fingers fully extended. Roll your lists ten times in clockwise direction and repeat with the opposite direction.
- Now do the same with the feet. Lift your foot off the ground and point your toes and flex them ten times. Roll your ankles ten times outside and then ten times inside.
Follow the steps below to strengthen your arms and shoulders to assist with lifting movements:
- Plant your feet flat on the floor, keep your back straight and hold a football between your palms.
- Stretch your arms, keeping your elbows slightly bent and lift the ball slowly to shoulder level. Hold for a few seconds and lower it to rest on your legs. Repeat ten times.
Yoga is fast gaining in popularity, especially with older adults, and for good reason too. The various yoga positions are a gentle type of exercise that is not only perfect for overall well-being but enhances flexibility and body strength as well. Yoga utilizes movements that focus on the body as a whole rather than on any particular part. At the same time it targets the important aspects of emotional, spiritual and mental well-being.
Your body has all the tools to maintain mobility. Keep things simple, don’t overwhelm yourselves with these exercises but keep progressing. These are the keys to success.