Seniors with limited mobility due to accidents, stroke, disease, or age-related decline can find it difficult to stay physically active. Physical impairment is the most common in the US, affecting 1 in 7 adults or 39 million Americans—this may be difficult with moving around, waking, or climbing up the stairs. This leads a lot of people to believe that they couldn’t do anything about it and leave them always sitting down or in bed but this simply isn’t true. Everyone, at any age, must stay physically active to sweat and physically stimulate the body.
Why is it Important to be Physically Active?
Physical activity has good benefits for the body at any age. Seniors shouldn’t be held back from being active by their age or condition—being active doesn’t mean doing vigorous exercises. Being physically active is a protective factor against diseases such as stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some types of cancer. It can improve your mental health as well—physical activity can delay the onset of dementia and improve mental well-being. Being inactive can result in a combination of low muscle mass and strength which contributes to poor physical performance (Sarcopenia). Having good physical performance reduces falls and accidents.
Keeping Yourself Active as a Senior with Limited Mobility
Knowing what exercises to do is important but learning how to approach it can make things easier to do.
Slow Things Down
Going right into high-impact exercises might be tempting but this could easily drain you and keep you from being consistent—this can also result in accidents and injuries due to overexertion. Consult a physical therapist to give you a proper exercise regimen to follow if necessary.
Never Forget to Warm up and Cool Down
Doing warm-ups will prepare your body for exercise. It will slowly get your blood pressure and heart rate up in short time frames. Repeated movements and stretching are simple warm-ups that anyone can do. Cool down on the other hand, slowly brings your heart rate and blood pressure to a normal rate after doing a workout, this can be done like a warm-up but at a slower pace, focusing more on stretching. Remember to hydrate when working out because dehydration can make exercising more difficult than it is.
Consistency is Key
Being consistent with your workout routine is important. Set clear and realistic goals for yourself when you’re exercising. Maintaining a consistent schedule for your workouts will also make sure that you won’t miss out on any physical activity.
Exercises to Try
As a senior with limited mobility, these exercises are easy and can be done at home with or without assistance.
This exercise will help strengthen the shoulders and arms.
How to do it: Sit on a chair with armrests, place your hands on the armrests and extend your elbows to lift your bottom off the chair. Do this 10-15 times.
This is another exercise that can strengthen your shoulders and arms, making carrying things easier. This exercise can be done with a ball or any object with a good weight to it.
How to do it: Start by sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Stretch your arms so that the ball falls on your legs. Make sure that your elbows are slightly bent. Begin to slowly lift your arms to shoulder level then back down to your legs. You can always modify this exercise depending on your fitness level or if the workout got easier to do. Do this 9-10 times.
This exercise strengthens the legs and provides them with circulation.
How to do it: Begin by sitting on a chair with both feet flat on the ground and hip distance apart. Look forward and lift your heel off the ground as high as you can with your toes still planted. Do this 10 times. You can also alternate the feet for example: doing calf raises 10 times with only the left foot and then moving on to the other with the same amount of repetition.
This exercise can improve the flexibility of the joints in your hands.
How to do it: Sit on a chair without leaning back with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hand above your lap and extend your fingers 5 times, then roll your wrists 10 times. Close your hands into a fist and roll them 10 times inward and outward.
Other workouts such as yoga can also help with keeping a senior with mobility issues active but these home workouts are more accessible for a lot of people and easy. Exercising consistently can give you good results and improvement in mobility.
Finding it difficult to keep yourself physically active? Unified Pledge’s in-home senior care can take care of that for you and more!
Unified Pledge is a leading provider of in-home senior care solutions in Palm Beach County and Broward County. We offer free, no-obligation in-home consultations, cost estimates, and insurance policy benefit reviews
Give us a call at 561-800-4581 so we can help you create a custom home care solution for yourself or your loved one.