6 Simple Exercises for Senior Citizens
Unfortunately, we all lose muscle mass and strength as we age. This is why many senior citizens can easily slip and fall, and get injured.
Fortunately, there is an easy way for senior citizens to stay strong, healthy and independent: add some exercises to your daily routine. Exercises will help you gain some muscle mass and improve your strength, your balance, your endurance and your flexibility.
That doesn’t mean you have to get a gym membership, or to join a fitness class. It’s perfectly possible for you to exercise from the comfort of your home. If you are in need of some inspiration, take a look at this list of exercises for senior citizens.
1. Go out for a walk
Walking is one of the best exercises for senior citizens. It can be done anywhere, and it doesn’t require anything, except a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Walking can improve your health as well as your mood, and you can do it alone, or with a few friends.
You don’t need to walk for hours to enjoy the benefits of this low-impact exercise. Walking for as little as 30 minutes each day will make a difference. Don’t forget to gently stretch your muscles as soon as you come back home!
2. Ride your bike
Cycling is another simple exercise for senior citizens. Riding a bike, whether it’s a regular bike or a stationary bike, is another low-impact exercise that can increase your strength and balance, and ease the pain caused by arthritis.
If you’re going to ride your bike outside, be sure to wear a helmet and to stay safe. If you can, ride your bike on a nice bike path, or at least, in an area where there is no traffic.
3. Exercise in a swimming pool
If you have access to a swimming pool, then swimming could be one of the more soothing exercises for senior citizens. You could go for a swim at least once a week. Swimming helps improve your strength, your endurance and your flexibility.
If you are dealing with joint pain, swimming is the perfect exercise for you because water relieves stress on joints. Swimming around in a pool also helps stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, your arms, your shoulders and your legs.
4. Lift some weights
Lifting weights might sound like something difficult or risky, but it doesn’t have to be. You can go slowly, and start with light weights, until your strength improves and you can use heavier ones.
If you want to make sure you won’t be risking any injury, ask a personal trainer to teach you how to safely improve your strength by lifting weights.
5. Join a yoga class
If you’re also looking for a social activity to make new friends, you should consider joining a yoga class. Many classes are offered especially for senior citizens, so you know you will be able to follow the different poses proposed. If you have some trouble, your instructor will be able to help you find an alternative position.
6. Do some chair exercises
There are different exercises that you can do without having to leave your home. In fact, some exercises for senior citizens can be done while sitting on a chair!
Here are a few simple exercises for seniors that will help improve your balance and your strength:
- While sitting straight on a chair, gently rotate your shoulders up, back, and down. Do it a few times, and then do the opposite. Doing this a few times each day should make you feel good.
- When you are done exercising your shoulders, put one of your hands behind the back of the chair. Reach out for that hand with your other hand, and hold that position for at least 10 seconds. Then, start again, but with your other hand.
- Get up, and stand behind your chair. Put your hands on the back of your chair, and lift yourself up on your toes, then lower yourself down. Do this 20 times. This simple exercise can really help improve your balance.
- Now, keep your hands on the back of your chair, and lift your right leg behind you, without bending your knee. Bring your leg back down, then do the same thing with your left leg. Repeat 10 times.
- Next, keep the same position, but make sure your feet are slightly apart. Lift your right leg to the side, while keeping your back straight and your head up. Lower your leg, then repeat with your left leg. Do this 10 times.
- Now, hold on to the back of your chair with only one hand. Lift up your right foot, and balance on your left one. If you feel like you don’t need to hold on to your chair, remove your hand from it, and keep that position for as long as possible. Then, do the same thing, but lift up your left foot and balance on your right one.