The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted many older people to spend more time at home than they ordinarily would. This, coupled with the effect of old age, makes it harder for them to stay active. For a healthy lifestyle, older people aged above 65 should endeavor to be physically active daily. They should engage in activities that improve their flexibility, strength, and balance while avoiding long periods of inactivity.
Exercising during this present condition for elderly people rules out gyms. The Covid-19 pandemic is more aggravated towards older people due to the risk of an underlying disease. Therefore, the best thing is to exercise at home. Exercising at home has its perks. However, this article will deal with it. Let’s get right on it.
Benefits of Exercise for The Elderly
Exercise for the elderly is beneficial for the following reasons:
- It improves brain function.
- An active lifestyle contributes to the prevention of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.
- It promotes the release of endorphins that combat stress hormones.
- Exercise improves stability.
The exercises highlighted below are simple and do not require supervision. However, it is important to check with your physician before embarking on any regimen of exercise.
This is a good exercise for older ones who find it difficult to do push-ups on the floor. It helps to strengthen your entire upper body, especially your arms and your chest. This exercise does not require any equipment. A sturdy wall is all you need.
- Stand facing the wall or elevated platform.
- Place both hands on the wall
- Keep your feet away from the wall and your body straight.
- Bring your chest towards the wall by bending your elbows.
- Stop when your face is close to the wall.
- Press the wall to straighten your arms and bring your chest away from the wall.
- Ensure that your arms control your movements.
Squats are a very effective and simple exercise that helps in body stability. They can be performed at home, and no equipment and supervision are required. A good form of the squat for older adults is the chair squat. This is beneficial because the chair provides a seat in a situation where the participant loses balance or becomes tired.
- Lower yourself slowly from a standing position into a semi-sitting position.
- Hold out your arms in front of you and keep your back straight.
Alternatively, start from a sitting position and slowly get up without holding anything for support. The purpose is to strengthen the entire lower body
Wall Snow Angels
This form of exercise focuses on strengthening your back muscles and opening your chest and shoulder. Wall snow angels help to improve strength in the muscle and while increasing mobility.
- Stand and place your head, back, and feet against the wall.
- Place your hands at your sides with the palms out.
- With your arms touching the wall, lift your hands high above your head as high as comfortable.
- Repeat the exercise 5-10 times, take a break for one minute and start again.
Weights Training Exercise
For this form of exercise, you might need a little trip to a fitness shop to get your weights (dumbbell), or better still you can improvise at home. Weight training exercises for older adults help enhance joint health, stability, bone density and increase upper body and lower body strength.
It is important to take necessary precautions before engaging in weight training:
- Choose a dumbbell that you can use comfortably. Using a weight that is too heavy may lead to sore muscles and joints days after the exercise. So, start with lighter weights and advance to heavier ones over time.
- Do not exceed your physical capability.
- Hydrate with water or electrolyte drink.
- Wear appropriate footwear.
- Stop and put down your weights if you start to feel pain.
- Do not overstress yourself and rest for a day between sessions.
There are many exercise routines with weights. One of them is the arms raise. To perform this exercise, follow the steps below.
- Sit straight up in a chair with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Raise one arm until it is in level with your shoulder.
- Gently lower the dumbbell and repeat it with the other hand.
Stretching exercise is known for increasing blood flow and reducing stress. The beauty of these is that you can do them in the comfort of your home. Stretching should not be painful, so it is advisable to stop when you experience any discomfort. However, ensure to feel the tension in your muscles while holding a stretch.
There are many stretching exercises, and each depends on the part of the body you want to work out. To stretch your arms, shoulder, and chest, follow the steps below.
- Stand with your feet apart, and interlace your arms.
- Drop your hands down near your tailbone.
- Lift your hands gradually away from your tail bone as much as you can.
When you feel pain in your neck, you can stretch your neck and shoulders to find relief. Follow the steps below.
- Place your arms in front of you and let your elbows touch.
- Let your palms touch as well and turned to your face.
- Place your palms on the top of our head and drop our chin gently.
To increaser movement in your hips, stand and put your feet together:
- Put our hands to our hips and circle our hips in a clockwise then anticlockwise direction.
- Try not to move shoulders and pull in your stomach.
- Repeat the movement for as long as you are comfortable.
Conclusively, elderly ones need to do all they can to maintain their health by engaging in exercise regularly. Simple exercises at home can help them overcome most of the challenges of living an active lifestyle. Interestingly they can also be fun.