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Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors

Exercise and physical activity for seniors is essential in order to maintain a healthy body which directly impacts the quality and standards of your life. Nobody wants to live years restricted to the bed or the sofa when many seniors are busy travelling and enjoying their passions and life as a whole through their healthy body.

Our Bodies Are Unique – Make Certain To Respect Your Medical History

That said, everyone’s body is unique and seniors who want to start a new physical activity should ideally discuss it with their family doctor, because there might be particularities due to their personal medical history which must be respected. However, it is very rare for basic activities such as stretching or other simple activities for seniors to be prohibited, thus, this is just a cautionary note to check with the doc.

Getting some circulation while watching TV

Many seniors spend few or many hours in front of the television set and so their body does not move much and the blood circulation lessens which, over time, brings many negative health consequences as blood circulation is the way how our body distributes food and nutrients to all parts of our bodies. Without any physical activity seniors might quickly notice problems with their extremities (arms, legs) as it is more difficult for blood to reach all those “edges”.

Knowing the above, those seniors who do not enjoy exercise or physical activity can, using the rational part of their brain, do some basic movements while watching the TV just to get the circulation going.

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - exercising arms

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - exercising arms

What seniors can do while sitting:

While sitting on the sofa, an armchair or a chair a number of simple movements can be done while watching your favourite TV show without any interruption:

  • Standing up and sitting down: this is especially useful for the legs, thighs, but also the abdominal area. It is not difficult at all and the elderly can do this as slow or as fast as they wish.
  • Moving the arms about in any way that is comfortable would bring more circulation to the arms and activate those muscle fibers.
  • Rotating the upper body / torso to left and right
  • Moving the head left and right to exercise the neck

If sitting on the recliner or if the legs are up on the sofa:

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - seated elderly stretching

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - seated elderly stretching

In this position seniors can:

  • Draw circles with their feet
  • Try to stretch their body by attempting to move towards their feet (even a slight movement forward is already good enough)
  • Try to lift slightly one foot at a time and hold it in the air (any effort is already good)
  • Fold one leg at a time and put it back down

All of the above stretching movements are great to get the blood circulation going, support the joints to remain flexible and keep the muscles active so they do not deteriorate.

Invent your own physical activity routine

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - stretching the arms

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - stretching the arms

With the above exercise & fitness tips for seniors the elderly can already be inspired to invent their own small stretching routines for their time in front of the TV set. Picking out your favourites and inventing interesting variations are both very good ways to keep the movements more interesting and challenging. Remember that nobody knows your body as well as you do, so challenge your body in the areas that you know for certain it can handle and be careful with your weak parts.

Exercise & Fitness Tips For Seniors Before Rising In The Morning

There was a Chinese general I had read about who had forced all his soldiers to do stretching exercises while they are still in their “beds” before they rise in the morning. There is a very solid medical reason for this and knowing this absolutely everybody and especially the elderly as their body is weaker should try to respect science and take care of their body.

Our bodies are coldest in the morning:

The explanation is very simple. Our bodies have a circadian rhythm – a body clock, according to which, among many other elements, the temperature of out body rising to its highest point in the evening and falls to its lowest point in the early morning. The time when seniors wake up and rise from their bed is actually relatively dangerous because the body has not warmed up well still and it is not as flexible and strong as it will be by the evening. For this reason the risk of injuries is much higher at this time.

What physical activity seniors can do in their bed:

Doing simple stretching movements while still in bed boosts the blood circulation and temperature of the body thereby making you more ready to begin your day with less risks of injuries. All the exercises described above can also be done in bed and seniors are more than welcome to invent their own. The idea is very simple – any movement utilizing all parts of the body to get the blood flowing.

The Quantity & Intensity Of Physical Activity For The Elderly

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - elderly woman stretching

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Seniors - elderly woman stretching

As a general statement any person, young or old, should always try to improve versus their previous day. So applying to the above stretching and physical activity movements seniors should attempt to do a little bit better or a little bit more every day as their body gets stronger. That said, it is very important, especially for seniors, not to overdo and not to receive any injury. Therefore, as this is not a race or a competition, just make small increases and not large leaps.

In case of existing muscle injuries, joint problems, osteoporosis or arthritis it would be best to discuss with the family doctor first because involving weaker body parts in a physical activity without any consideration or thought may not be the best idea.

Family Should Encourage The Elderly To Undertake Physical Activity

The reason all of this is important not only for the seniors, but also their family is because it is much better to have healthy and independent grandparents than to support grand parents’ every move. All of these very easy stretching and physical activity movements might seem not important, but every day usage of them greatly improves the physical health of your grandparents.

Also remember that the older people become the more capricious they may become and so your motivation will go some way in inspiring the elderly to engage in physical movements. Those seniors who are completely alone or isolated may not have any will or desire left for such things, so definitely spend time with your precious grandparents and take care of them both physically and psychologically.

Final words

I hope you have found these explanations and tips for seniors useful. You are more than welcome to see other articles, be it about activities for seniors or games for seniors.

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