Have you heard exercise is essential for seniors, but you don’t know where to start with your residents? You’re not alone. Many older adults feel discouraged by physical exercise, such as chronic health conditions or fear of injury or falls. If your residents have never exercised before, they may not know where to begin. Here are some exercise routines that will fit the needs of your resident’s:
Upper Leg Stretch – Start by stretching out your hamstring muscles. Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Take hold of your right upper leg and pull it up toward your chest. Do this slowly until you feel the muscle starting to stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Return your leg to its normal position and do this five to seven times. Repeat the exercise on your left leg.
Heel Raises – Stand up straight and make sure you are not within reach of any walls. Put your arms at your sides and press up on your toes so that your heels are off the ground. Hold the position for two seconds and return your heels to the ground. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Take a one-minute break and then repeat.
Walking – Start walking in your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Walking on a daily basis for as little as 15 minutes per day can improve strength, endurance, circulation and mental acuity. Walk at a reasonable pace, swing your arms and concentrate on finishing your walk with pace and not slowing down.
Core Exercises – You don’t have to lift heavy weights in order to get stronger. Sit on an exercise ball and find your balance point. Take a 3 pound dumbbell in each hand and hold them at your sides. Raise the one in your right hand to shoulder height and then return it to your side. Repeat with your left hand. Do 10 repetitions with each arm. Take a one-minute break and repeat. This will help you regain lost strength in your arms and your core muscles in your upper body.