Exercise for Seniors
Exercises for seniors will go a long way in improving your mobility, flexibility, and strength for all your daily chores. As we age, we tend to lose muscle in our arms, legs, and our core, creating additional problems with everyday things like walking and standing.
Begin an exercise program today to stop the muscle loss and decreased flexibility as we age. Start slowly with a gentle exercise program and working on your arms, legs, and core. Allow at least 3 to 4 weeks to gradually improve your strength to see results.
- Sit to Stand
- Overhead Press
- Chair Lift
- Russian Twist
Watch my instructional video
Starting with the classic sit to stand will get your strengthening program off to a marvelous start. This is my favorite exercise for seniors, and I recommend performing this for at least 10 repetitions a day. Then to take your arm strength to the next level, try the overhead press. Certainly you don’t need weights, simply use the weight of your arms to perform this excellent arm strengthening exercise. The seated lift goes to the next level by improving your shoulder strength and hip strength, all in one great exercise. If you can’t lift your bottom off the chair, simply unweight your bottom. Finally the Russian twist is all you need to have a tight and strong core. Make sure not to lean your back against the chair rest.
Sit to Stand. Begin sitting in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Scoot up to the front edge of the chair. Bring your toes back to under your knees. If you need to place your hands on the chair, hold onto the side or arm rests. Begin leaning forward until your nose is over your toes. From here power up from your legs until reaching the standing position. Squeeze your glutes when in full standing and bring your shoulders back and down. Reverse the sequence by taking a bow and bringing your tailbone back to the chair to sit. Repeat 10 times.
Overhead press. Sit or stand with your hands at shoulder height, palms forward. Use small dumbbells for a more challenging workout. Press the weights overhead, as high as comfortable. Stop if you have pain. Keep the weights forward of your shoulders. Extend your elbows as far as comfortable, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Remember to breathe out as the weights go up and in as the weights come down. Keep the chest lifted, and core tight.
Chair Lifts. Sitting in your chair, place your hands on either side of the seat. Pushing down through the arms, lift your bottom off the seat, then bring your hips forward, then lift hips as high as comfortable. If you cannot lift your bottom, simply push down and unweight your bottom. Repeat 10 times.
Russian Twist. Sit in your chair like you are going to take a nap. Interlace your fingers together in front of your waist. Lean back just enough to feel the chair lightly on your shirt but do not support your back on the chair. Begin twisting side to side using your hands for momentum. Continue for one minute.
As with any exercise program, make sure to properly warm up all your muscles with a good limbering routine. I like to lift my knees high and walk around the house while at the same time, swing my arms in circles. This will not only raise the core temperature of your muscles, but bring more blood into the tissue which increases the flexibility and range of motion in the joints as well. Our joints love movement to bring the synovial fluid to the cartilage to nourish and lubricate the joint.
I like to think about my breathing also while exercising in order to bring needed oxygen to all the cells in the body. Breathe deeply by letting the air go deep down toward your belly. Avoid shallow chest breathing if you can, by bringing the air low into the lungs with a diaphragmatic breathing pattern.
Don’t forget to cool down after your exercise program too. Cooling down is actually just a stretching program at the time when your muscles are well warmed up and can take that pull on the muscle fibers. A good rule of thumb is stretch your muscles for 20 to 30 seconds each.
Exercise for seniors will help you avoid falling, build arm and leg strength for your daily chores, and build your endurance to tackle any daily task you have to do. Make sure to gradually build up your strength over a period of 3 to 4 weeks in order not to get sore or otherwise hurt yourself.
Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see other exercises or senior fitness content. You can leave your comments and suggestions on my About Page. Need personal help? Check out my new Academy. Exercise is really your magic pill to feel better and live longer. Remember to stay active, stay strong, and stay connected!
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