Top 5 Exercises for the Elderly
As we get older, physical activity becomes increasingly important for maintaining good health and quality of life. Exercise can help the elderly stay independent, healthy, and active. Here are a few reasons why it is important for elderly people to stay active.
1. Exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Regular physical activity can also help improve balance and flexibility, which can help reduce the risk of falls.
2. Exercise can help maintain and improve strength, endurance, and balance. This can help elderly people stay independent and able to do the activities they enjoy.
3. Exercise can help improve mental health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It can also help improve mood, memory, and cognitive functioning.
4. Exercise can help to improve sleep quality. Poor sleep is a common problem among the elderly, but regular physical activity can help to improve sleep quality and duration.
5. Exercise (with friends, or in groups) can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Being active and participating in physical activities can help elderly people to stay connected with friends and family, and can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Even walking the dog is good exercise and helps you meet people.
Let’s Look at 5 Top Exercises you can do:
Arm Lifts: Sit upright with good posture. Lift both arms gently in front of you. Take your arms as far as feels comfortable. If you cannot get your arms above your head, just take your arms to your comfortable end of range. Slowly lower your arms. This will help mobilise your shoulders and upper back, and strengthen your arms. Repeat ten times, twice per day.
Hip Lifts with Circles: Sit upright with good posture, feet flat on the ground, and your knees at 90 degrees. Lift one from the chair, and draw a circle with your knee so that your leg goes in a circular motion, before placing your foot back on the floor. Repeat to the other side. This exercise is a strengthening exercise for the legs, and mobilises the hip joints. Repeat ten times, twice per day.
Sit to Stand: Sit upright with good posture. Place your arms across your chest. Gently lean forwards and use as much leg and core strength as you can to push yourself up. If you get stuck, use one or both arms to assist. Once upright, stand up straight. When you feel comfortable, slowly sit back down, ideally with your arms across your chest. However, if you need some guidance then use your arms to assist the sitting. Try to keep a straight spine during the sitting rather than let your back round forwards too much. This exercise will strengthen your legs and core. Repeat ten times, twice per day.
Chair Rotations: Sit upright with good posture. Rotate your upper body by moving your hand towards the opposite side of the chair back-rest. You can let the head follow, but progress by keeping the head straight forwards, thus making the rotation stronger. Only rotate as far as feels comfortable. This is a great exercise to do while sitting for long periods of time if you feel your back is getting stiff. Repeat ten times each side, twice per day.
Wall Press Up: Stand upright with good posture, position yourself in front of a wall in a press-up position with your arms straight and palms flat on the wall. Drop your chest towards the wall by bending your elbows. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds. Return to the start position by pushing through your arms. This is a chest, back and shoulder strengthening exercise. You can make the exercise harder by standing further back from the wall. Repeat ten times, twice per day.
Visiting a Physio or Osteopath
A large contingent of people who see us are seniors. We are very well trained to provide kind, empathetic care to patients who are older, and who need a gentler form of therapy. Do consider seeing our team at Surrey Physio if you have osteoarthritis, joint pains, stiffness, or muscle pains. We can almost certainly help you to feel better.
In conclusion, exercise is important for elderly people for a variety of reasons. It can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve strength and balance, improve mental health, improve sleep quality, and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. For these reasons, it is important for elderly people to stay active and get regular physical activity.
(Physios and Therapists: these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises www.rehabmypatient.com. Patients: if you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).