The decline in physical capacity as people age is often due to a sedentary lifestyle. Scientists studying the aging process have shown that regular moderate exercise can reduce or even reverse age-related physical and cognitive decline. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a regular exercise program may reduce the risk of falls, bone fractures, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers and can help older adults continue to live independently.
So what exactly should a senior’s exercise regimen consist of? Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care in Boca Raton presents information on some of the most important types of exercises for seniors and older adults.
Aerobic or Cardiovascular Exercises
Cardiovascular exercise is the key to maintaining heart and lung health, controlling blood pressure, and boosting mental acuity. One of the most convenient cardiovascular exercises is walking. Swimming or other forms of water exercise are recommended for people with arthritis, balance issues, or other conditions that might make walking uncomfortable or unsafe. A recumbent stationary bicycle is a stable, safe way for seniors to improve cardiovascular health as well. Seniors should begin a cardio program with two or three 10-minute intervals of low-intensity exercise, and gradually increase either duration or intensity as they get stronger.
Strengthening, Stretching, and Balance Exercises
Strengthening or resistance exercises maintain strong muscles, increase bone density, and keep seniors fit for everyday tasks such as picking up groceries or cleaning the home. Chair exercises use light (3 to 5 pound) dumbbells and ankle weights to build arm and leg strength safely and gently. Balance exercises such as heel-toe walking, weight shifts, and standing on one foot improve balance and help prevent falls. Seniors should finish their workout with stretches such as reaching up over their heads, leaning to both sides, and doing gentle head circles, to maintain flexibility.
Before seniors start exercise programs, they should consult their health care providers to determine which exercises are safe and appropriate for current needs. Interested in learning more about senior exercise? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Boca Raton and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We offer flexible hourly and live-in home care in Boca Raton and our highly trained and compassionate caregivers are available 24/7. Call us today at 561-826-9282 – we’re here to help.