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Is Your Elderly Parent Getting Proper Exercise?

What is the key to preserving mobility even after reaching the ripe old age of 65? You have got to move! It’s after all the fear of losing independence in old age that worries most people especially someone who remained active and independent all life. It’s this fear that prevents seniors from enjoying their life.

Benefits of Staying Physically Active

In addition to increased socialization, staying active and getting regular exercise helps seniors prevent chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury. That being said, following the ‘right’ exercises will ensure all joints in the body are in ideal working conditions.

Apply one or all exercise ideas into your elderly parent’s exercise regimen.

Types of Effective Exercises for Senior

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seniors (aged 65 and older) should at least get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, per week. Balancing exercises and mild strength training are also effective.

The Trunk Lift

This exercise puts the abdominals, external and internal obliques, and the spinal erectors at work. These are large muscles which benefit the smaller groups in the body, after exercising. This exercise is excellent for strengthening the front abdominal wall. How to do the trunk lift?

  • Lie face-up, on the floor
  • Keep one leg straight. The other leg should be bent from the knee
  • Hold hands behind your lower back
  • Raise both shoulders and head off the floor. This position should be held symmetrically until you feel fatigue and go back down
  • Rest for a couple seconds. Then begin the motions again

The Side Bridge

This exercise works at the outer abdominals, as well as all the muscles on lower back and some large spinal muscles. The side bridge provides support to the spine and helps stabilize. However, you must keep your body straight as a board for the exercise to be effective.

  • Lie on your side
  • Place forearm (on the floor) under your shoulder. It must be perpendicular to rest of your body
  • Keep all your weight in the elbow and forearm. Head must be held in a neutral position
  • Raise your hips up. Only come down when you are unable to hold this position any longer
  • Rest for a few seconds and then repeat the exercise, on the other side

Start with low-impact exercises especially if choosing aerobics for older adults. Walking, cycling, swimming, and water aerobics are good options. Some others are:

  • Tai chi
  • Line dancing
  • Square dancing
  • Ballroom dancing

Taking care of your elderly loved one can get overwhelming especially if you have your own life and work to worry about. Take a much deserved and needed break from care giving by asking iCarePros for help! Schedule an appointment today.

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