February 11, 2021
Home is the safest place for senior citizens to be during the Covid-19. But the pandemic has further reduced the activity levels of senior citizens as they must stay indoors and observe social distancing. This lack of activity can be harmful to your physical and mental health. Working out can help keep your weight down, reduce stress and depression, increase physical fitness. Getting exercise is particularly important for senior citizens. It reduces diseases such as strokes, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Our at-home workouts for seniors are low impact so there is little chance of injury.
Even a small amount of exercise can go a long way towards improving your health. Ten minutes of yoga or walking has significant benefits. Also, seek medical advice before starting any exercise regimen as some activities may be unsafe for you to take part in.
Along with your workouts, ensure that you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night and eat a healthy diet. Senior citizens need to eat nutrient-dense foods to keep their immunity up. So do your best to cut processed foods, sugar, and trans fats from your diet.
But how can you stay healthy when you must avoid the gym due to Covid-19 restrictions? Keep reading for the best at-home workout for seniors that will help you stay physically and mentally fit.
Walking around your house is one of the best at-home workouts for seniors. Wear a pedometer and aim to at least 5000 steps a day of walking. If you have stairs at your home, you can do an effective step up step down on the bottom step of the staircase.
If your community allows it, take walks outside the home too for at least half an hour each day. Going out to get some sun and fresh air will keep you fit and also help boost your happy hormones.
Double up on the benefits of your walking workout by listening to music, an audiobook, or a podcast. This can reduce your stress levels and help stimulate your brain.
We tend to lose our mobility as we grow older which makes us vulnerable to slips and falls. For senior citizens, a nasty fall can lead to major health problems and even result in a fatality. Some at-home exercises can help with balance and mobility for seniors.
The first exercise you can do is a single leg stand. Hold on to the back of a chair and stand on one leg. Folding your other leg at the knee.
Stand like this for a count of ten and then switch legs. The second exercise is the opposite arm and leg balance. Stand on your left leg with your other leg folded at the knee.
Stretch out your right hand ahead of you and count to 10 before switching to your other hand and leg. You can hold on to a chair with your free hand to keep your balance.
The third balancing exercise you can do at home is the heel to toe walk. This is a similar exercise to the sobriety test conducted by police officers. Basically, walk in a straight line making sure that the toe of your rear leg touches the heel of the leading leg.
To prevent injury, fitness advisors recommend stretching before and after any physical activity. Daily stretching has many benefits such as increasing blood flow to our joints and muscles. It also helps reduce stress and post work out soreness and improving our posture.
Stretching keeps our muscles flexible and increases our joints’ range of motion. Seniors that don’t stretch tend to have shorter, tighter muscles. This can make it hard to do certain activities like bending or reaching for items.
Stretch your upper body by raising your arms straight over your head and interlacing your fingers. Lean as far as you can to the left and hold for 20 seconds. Then lean to the right and do the same. You can do this stretch while sitting or standing.
You can also stretch your lower body through knee to chest stretches. Lie flat on your back then bring one knee to your chest and hold it down by the thigh for 20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the stretch.
There are several other stretches you can do for all your major body parts or muscles such as arms, back, hamstrings, and calves.
Another important exercise all seniors should have as part of their fitness routine is weight training. Resistance exercises and lifting weights help you build muscle. This can ward off weight gain and improves your strength and mobility.
As you walk around the house carry two dumbbells or improvise by using water bottles or canned food. You can also get a resistance band and work out with it for a few minutes every day.
Meditation is an ancient practice whose health benefits are now scientifically proven. The practice reduces anxiety by 60% and cuts the risk of being hospitalized for heart disease by 87%. This is because it helps to reduce the stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes weight gain as well as mental illnesses.
Mediation naturally reduces cortisol levels in the body leading to improved physical and mental health. Meditating for at least 15 minutes daily also helps you sleep better while lowering blood pressure and reducing depression. This is why you should make meditation a part of your daily routine.
At-home workouts for seniors shouldn’t be limited to physical exercises. It is just as important to take care of your mental fitness. Get some memory games on your smartphone and play them for a few minutes each day.
You can also get a puzzle book with crosswords, sudoku, and brain teasers. These help keep your brain working for a few minutes every day. Exercising your brain can prevent memory loss and increase brain functionality.
Looking for assistance?
Home Health Aides or Certified Nurse Assistants referred by Just Like Family are experts in assisting with daily exercises in addition to all of the other services listed HERE.