Although staying safe at home has become our new normal, that doesn’t mean we should spend our time sitting in front of the TV! For older adults, especially individuals diagnosed with chronic health concerns, maintaining an energetic lifestyle throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge which may seem impossible. However, research shows that incorporating exercises for older adults into the daily lives of those with chronic conditions delivers numerous positive benefits, such as:
- Builds independence
- Lowers the chance of falls and subsequent fractures
- Lowers blood pressure levels
- Improves stamina and strength
- Eases depression and anxiety
- Promotes healthy muscles, bones, and joints
- Helps manage pain and swelling connected to arthritis
- And more
In spite of the many benefits of exercise, the majority of seniors – 67% of them, per another recent study – are spending the majority of their day on sedentary activities, and by age 75, 1/3 of most men and ½ of all women report engaging in no physical activity whatsoever. A sedentary lifestyle can be particularly detrimental to seniors with chronic health issues, as it can exacerbate many of the symptoms associated with diabetes, cancer, arthritis and more.
At Anthem Home Care, we love helping seniors get back into a healthier, more energetic lifestyle. Sometimes, having someone to work out with tends to make all the difference in making exercise a routine that older adults look forward to.
We recommend putting together a playlist of the older adult’s favorite upbeat music, setting a designated time daily for working out so that it becomes a habit, and making it fun! Here are several simple exercises for older adults you can try with the seniors you love, right in the comfort of home:
- Sit and stand: Simply stand about six inches in front of a sturdy chair, with feet placed in line with the hips and arms held straight out in front. Slowly bend the knees and sit down in the chair. Rest for a moment, and then press with the upper 2/3 of the feet to go back to a standing position. Repeat 10 times, twice a day. If possible, the exercise can be intensified by eliminating the chair and lowering into a squat (while holding onto a sturdy piece of furniture).
- Balance stance: Stand with feet together, and while grasping onto a sturdy chair or piece of furniture for balance, place one foot directly in front of the other, heel to toe, keeping your feet in a straight line as though walking on a balance beam or tightrope. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch feet. To help make the exercise a bit more challenging, try without holding onto the chair for support, and eventually, add in small hand weights.
- Farmer’s walk: Stand with feet in line with the hips, and a small weight in each hand, with arms held down to the sides and palms facing your body. With head lifted and spine straight, walk for 30 seconds, or as long as possible, and then turn and go the opposite way. More weight can be added to intensify the exercise, which will also help strengthen the hands.
Make sure to always check with the older adult’s health care provider before beginning or changing any workout routine.
Connect with our knowledgeable aging care team for additional exercise recommendations and resources, and for a companion to make exercise more enjoyable! You can easily connect with us any time at 361-643-2323 to learn more about our trusted senior care in Rockport and the surrounding communities.