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Three Exercises to Keep Your Senior Loved One Healthy

Jun 6, 2016 by Luke Ries

The Importance of Being Active

Regular exercise is an integral part of staying healthy, for men and women of all ages, and the benefits are seemingly endless. Not only does physical activity help to reduce the risk of serious diseases and chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, but it can also help improve mood and one’s overall quality of living. However, there are many older adults who, due to limited mobility or debilitating conditions, feel as if they are unable to partake in any kind of strenuous physical activity.

Not all exercise needs to be intense and arduous though. In fact, there are several fun and easy activities that your senior loved one can do every day, without having to go through any trouble or investing in expensive equipment. Consider showing your loved one the following three exercises to help him or her live a happier, healthier, and more independent life.

Three Easy Exercises

  • Arm Curls: It can often become difficult for seniors to lift items like a gallon of milk or a load of laundry, so it’s essential for them to continually build arm muscle strength. Have your loved one begin by holding free-weights down at the sides, with palms out and elbows tucked in. Then have him or her bend the elbow and bring the weight up to the chest, hold briefly, let the arms down, and repeat 10 times. The key is to start small and gradually add more resistance, but no matter what, regular repetitions can certainly improve strength and make lifting a piece of cake!
     
  • The Doorway Stretch: Not only can stretching help a senior’s overall range of motion, it can significantly improve his or her peace of mind, as stress often causes muscles to become tense. There are numerous options for nearly all muscle groups, but one of the more popular ones is the doorway stretch, which helps strengthen the chest and shoulder muscles. To do this, have your senior lift his or her arms against the frame of the door, and while keeping the chest up, take a step. Have him or her hold in the position anywhere between 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat.
     
  • Side Leg Raises: Now that your senior has worked to develop his or her upper body strength with the exercises above, it’s time to work on the lower body and core. Leg raises are perfect for strengthening the back and thighs, but they are also great for improving overall balance and stability. To do this, your loved one will just need to stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet just a few inches apart. Then, while keeping the back straight, have him or her lift one leg to the side, hold for a few seconds, and then gently bright back down. Repeat 10 times and then do the same thing with the other leg.

As always, it’s important to consult a physician before your senior starts any kind of exercise routine. Not all activities are appropriate for everyone, but by finding the right ones, you can help your loved one add innumerable benefits to his or her life.

At Comfort Keepers® of Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, we understand that you can’t always be there to help, which is why our compassionate, professional in home caregivers are ready to provide the assistance your loved one needs, whether it’s with exercise or general home health.

To learn more about our services, contact us today or call (920) 843-5858. We look forward to hearing from you.

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