Exercise and nutrition are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and should be the focus of our everyday life. As we age, our body slows down, muscles become weak, and metabolism takes a hit. Simple activities like playing with grandkids, taking the stairs without getting winded or getting off the couch with little or no grunting can be challenging. Therefore, it’s important for the elderly to be physically active and make exercise a regular routine because it has some serious health benefits. For effective and easy home workout sessions buying a few home fitness equipment’s would be smart move.
Health Benefits of Exercise in Older Adults
Older adults have different reasons to stay in shape than the younger generation. Physical fitness is important for them to live a healthier, longer and more joyous life. The health benefits of exercise in seniors include:
Exercise is one of the best ways to remain independent for older adults. Regular exercise keeps them active and helps with walking, cooking, eating, dressing, and using the restroom on their own.
- Improves balance
Regular exercise helps improve balance, so the older adults can do the activities they enjoy without straining or risking a fall.
- More energy
Exercise promotes the release of endorphins. These essential neurotransmitters are associated with pain mitigation and a sense of well-being. They help in combating stress hormones, promoting healthy sleep, and making them feel more lively and energetic.
- Prevents diseases
Old age makes them vulnerable to diseases such as osteoporosis, heart diseases, depression and diabetes. When they adopt a healthy and more active lifestyle, they can prevent these diseases or reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Improves brain function and mental health
Seniors leading an active lifestyle is known to have improved cognitive health. A study from the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation revealed that regular exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by nearly 50%.
At-Home Exercises for Older Adults
The best part of at-home exercises is that they are all about function; they are not very different from everyday movements, and yet you can get to make the most out of them. These exercises can be done with basic equipment like dumbells and resistance bands or with objects around the house. However, we recommend you to use a yoga mat for padding and also to reduce your chance of slipping. If you are not confident, ask someone to supervise you and provide support when needed.
Walking is one of the most accessible and least stressful forms of exercise. Generally, 10,000 steps per day are recommended for a healthy lifestyle. But if you have difficulty walking or pain in the joints, settle down for a smaller number. Walking strengthens your muscles, lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer.
- Dumbbell strength training
Strength training is known to reduce the symptoms of osteoporosis, diabetes, back pain, and depression. It also helps you manage your weight, contributing to higher metabolism and better glucose management. Regular workout and strength training helps you in maintaining balance and stamina.
Some of the best dumbbell strength training exercises for improved balance and flexibility include:
- Tricep extension
- Bent-over row
- Overhead press
- Bicep curl
- Front raise
- Stretching Exercises
Stretching exercises help relieve some types of chronic pain. These exercises also increase flexibility. However, be mindful of your hip and knees while doing stretching exercises.
- Leg & Arm Raises
Leg and arm raises are simple yet effective ways to incorporate workouts for seniors at home. They not only improve strength but also help with balance. You can use a chair for support when doing leg raises. And if you want to increase the difficulty level of arm/leg raises, add a resistance band to your workouts.
- Resistance band workouts
Resistance bands are stretchy rubber strips used to add resistance to workouts. They are affordable, user-friendly, and hence are a great at-home workout for seniors. These resistance band exercises strengthen the core, improve mobility, posture, and balance.
Some resistance band workouts for seniors include:
- Triceps press
- Bicep curl
- Leg press
- Lateral raise
- Band pull apart
- Weight Training
Lightweight training helps prevent osteoporosis and increase muscle strength. Simple exercises such as wall push-ups can improve muscle mass, increase endurance and strength.
- Chair Yoga
This low-impact form of exercise is great for improving muscle strength, mobility, balance and flexibility. Chair yoga is less stressful on muscles, joints, and bones and hence a better option than conventional forms of yoga.
Chair yoga has been shown to improve mental health in seniors while improving sleep quality, lowering instances of depression, and helping seniors experience a general sense of well-being. Some popular chair yoga exercises for seniors include:
- Seated cow stretch
- Overhead stretch
- Seated cat stretch
- Seated twist
- Seated mountain pose
To lead a better quality of life, it’s important that you stay active. One way to do it is through regular exercise. Try the above at-home exercises for seniors and develop an exercise routine that works best for your health needs and capabilities.
Sancket Kamdar, a certified weightlifting coach, and a successful entrepreneur founded
SF HealthTech with a single goal in mind – to bring high quality, international standard exercise equipment to help fitness enthusiasts and athletes reach the next level of fitness. When he’s not working on new equipment ideas and designs, he loves to create educational content about health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He also writes to help budding entrepreneurs on running and growing a business, based on his experience.