Exercise Tips for Seniors

The home care providers at Avila Home Care suggest several tools seniors can use to maintain their fitness while aging in place.

Senior Couple Exercising In Park

Fitness is an important component of healthy aging in place. Staying active helps to maintain and build muscle in areas of the body that become weaker with age while preventing muscle atrophy, a condition which often leads to injuries. Whether you have exercised your whole life or are just becoming familiar with its benefits, these tips can help you create a routine that you can maintain and enjoy.

Before the adoption of any new exercise program or tool, be sure to consult your doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer to ensure that your health will allow for this type of activity.

Seated Exercise: This type of low intensity cardio workout focuses on engaging specific muscle groups in a way that increases mobility. Exercise equipment like free weights and resistance bands are employed throughout the workout to increase difficulty. These fun and engaging classes can be found in community centers and are usually offered in areas where there is a substantial senior population.

Nintendo Wii: This video game console offers a range of at-home play by simulating sports like baseball, golf and tennis. Using a remote control that is sensitive to motion, players perform actions that simulate the actual sports the game mimics. Even if you are no longer able to play the sports you love, you will likely be able to find enjoyment in the low-impact Wii simulations. Wii Fit is also available and provides additional exercise options using a board that tracks foot motions.

Low-Impact Exercise Machines: Some fitness companies have begun producing machines that are specifically built with seniors in mind. Check with your nearest athletic center or the gym you belong to in order to find out if this equipment is available to you.

Home Gym: Much of the portable equipment provided in the gym is also available for purchase and home use. Resistance bands, free weights, medicine balls and kettle bells combine to create an affordable and effective home gym. Begin with easy or resistance-free exercises and slowly build up strength by adding equipment or increasing weight. Much of this equipment can also be taken to a nearby park for an outdoor workout.

Fitness Instruction Videos: There are workout videos that have been created specifically for seniors. If regular exercise is new to you and you are unsure of where to start, exercise videos are a great way to get to know basic moves and techniques and to figure out which types of exercise you like best. These programs are particularly well-suited to seniors who are largely unable to leave their homes on their own.

It cannot be stressed enough that before you make changes to your exercise routine, you should consult a medical professional. Exercise is only beneficial if it improves your overall health and does not put you at risk for potential injuries.

For more information on staying in shape and active while aging in place, contact Avila Home Care today.

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