What about Exercise for Seniors?

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 8/31/2020 10:42 AM by Interim HealthCare
As seniors get older and their bodies age, a senior's types of exercise probably change over time. Many seniors in their 70s and 80s are still cycling, hiking, and rowing, but many, a daily walk or using a low impact exercise bike may be all that can be endured. The level of endurance changes as the body ages; the key is what can be done in your 50s and 60s to continue to have the stamina and ability to do the same as your 70s and 80s? According to the National Institute on Aging, a good exercise program for seniors is built on four different building blocks of fitness: 
  1. Endurance (or aerobic) exercise: Stair-climbing, hiking, tennis, brisk walks, cycling, and rowing and are examples of the types of activities that can get your heart pumping.  
  2. Strength exercise: Weights such as dumbbells or resistance bands or exercise equipment can help build muscles with repetitive motion Strength exercises may help prevent bone mass loss. Strength exercises will help when doing laundry, grocery shopping, and any other chore that requires you to carry a load.  
  3. Balance exercises: Pilates, yoga, and tai chi can all help with balance and help reduce the risk of a fall. These exercises help maintain physical stability as you go about your daily activities. 
  4. Flexibility exercise: these same types of activities named above in the balance area will also aid you in stretching your muscles to help your body stay flexible and help with agility. These exercises can help with your range of motion while driving, house cleaning, and other activities of daily living.
The CDC provides us with some detail on exercise regimes for seniors and the elderly:
  • It is recommended that seniors participate in some moderate-intensity exercise at least five times per week. A brisk walk, swimming or aerobic swimming, cycling on an exercise bike at home or dancing based on your ability and preference. It would be best if you chose something that is of interest, and you enjoy doing so it becomes part of your daily routine.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days a week that work all major muscle groups. This can be done at home with small and straightforward exercise equipment like strengthening bands or dumbbells. This is key to help you live independently and keep up with the activities of daily living.
Most importantly, being disciplined to start and get on a routine with consistency is key to your exercise program's success. Sometimes, it takes time to find a type of exercise that you enjoy – some people like to do this alone, and others get more enjoyment by participating in a group exercise regime. Committing and tracking the time spent per week will help build an effective routine, and you should see results in a matter of a few weeks. You will notice daily activities become more comfortable to do, and you will have more endurance when going places with your family and friends. 

Please note that these are general guidelines and all seniors have individual abilities and medication
intake so you should always consult your doctor before starting or changing an exercise program.

Interim HealthCare has been taking care of seniors for over 50 years in the comfort of their own home. We provide caregivers to help with activities of daily living when seniors are unable to care for themselves. Our goal is to help seniors stay in their homes and have a good quality of life as they live out their remaining years as independently as possible.    

Need Help at Home?

Send us your questions about home care or a specific request. We're here to help.