Exercise for Seniors: How to Improve Strength and Balance (And Stay Fit)

Older people live more than ever. But more time is not always better. If you want your parents (and you) to live healthier, happier and more independent as they get older, try to introduce these proven exercises into your weekly routine.

I selected 15 exercises focused on improving the balance, strength and flexibility of the elderly and cardio Because age or conditioning does not matter, research has shown that these exercises help older people to avoid falls and diseases while they remain active, mobile and independent for longer.

Let's look at these exercises for seniors:

  • The importance of exercise for older people [19659005] Let's look at 10 benefits of exercise researchers at Harvard identified for older people: [1]

    • Decreases the risk of heart disease
    • Reduces blood pressure
    • Strengthens bones
    • Protects joints
    • Limits knee and mobility problems
    • Improves mood, reduces depression
    • Improves cognitive functioning
    • ] Improves sleep
    • Helps to defend against infection
    • Increases duration

    Finding the right exercise is the last trick in life. Not only will it help the elderly to feel better physically and emotionally, but it will help them to live independently longer by drastically improving their quality of life.

    Exercise for seniors (the complete guide)

    This definitive guide on exercises for seniors is different because there is no complicated exercise routine or coaches are needed.

    You can choose from a wide range of exercises that you enjoy. No exercise is the answer. Get into the habit of doing some of the strength, balance, flexibility and aerobic exercises suggested each week.

    I recommend following a weekly routine suggested by a recent study by Harvard University specifically for seniors: [19659021] Do at least 150 minutes of walking or other aerobic exercise per week

  • Practice strength training 2-3 times a week, but never 2 days in a row
  • Stretch and do balance exercises every day
  • Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

    Major exercises for strength

    1. The squat (for strength / lower body, balance)

    This is a good strength training exercise for the lower body, the squat to sit on. Squats are one of the best exercises to improve the strength of your legs, glutes and your core.

    Doing it with a chair is very safe. Try to do 5-15 repetitions, for 2-3 sets. If you feel dizzy, dizzy or without balance, stop. Here is a great video to teach the correct way:

    2. Wall push-ups (for strength / upper body)

    Wall push-ups are an excellent and safe exercise for the strength of the upper body, specifically for the arms, chest and shoulders. The closer you are to the wall, the easier it will be.

    Try to do 10-30 repetitions, for 3 series.

    3. The plank (for strength / core)

    Strengthening the core improves balance, general fitness and prevents many injuries to the lower back.

    The plank strengthens the arms, abs, legs, fangs, hips and back. In fact, AARP (the US-based interest group that focuses on the elderly) claims that it is the general exercise n. ° 1 in general for each body after 50 years.

    Try doing it for 2-3 sets for 30-60 seconds a set.

    4. The bridges (for the force / core)

    Like the planks, the bridges are ideal for developing strength in the buttocks, the abdominals and the lower part of the back: the whole nucleus. It is very effective, but has little impact on the joints.

    Try to do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

    Stretching exercises for older people

    5. Floor hip flexors

    The hip flexor floor stretch does a wonderful job of stretching the glutes, thighs and hip flexors.

    To do so, lie on the floor. Wrap your hands around one leg and pull it towards your chest as much as you can. Keep it in that position for 10 to 30 seconds. While doing so, press the back of the knee of the other leg as far as possible, stretching the flexor of the hip.

    Try doing it 2-3 times per leg, keeping each leg in position for 10 to 30 seconds at a time.

    6. Right Hamstring Stretch

    This is a simple stretch for the back of the legs.

    Extend the right leg straight in front of you, the heel connected to the ground on the floor and the toes pointing towards the ceiling. Place your hands on the upper thighs to hold and hinge forward from the hip, keeping the spine neutral. To hold. Return to the starting position.

    Try doing this 2-3 times, holding it for 10-30 seconds at a time.

    7. Double rotation of the torso of the knee

    This is a great stretch for the outer part of the thighs, hips, chest and back.

    Lie on the floor. Lift both knees to your chest and then lower them to the right side of the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and pressed on the floor, look in the opposite direction, with your arms extended.

    Do this 2 to 4 times, holding it for 10-30 seconds at a time.

    8. Yoga (also for strength and balance)

    As we get older, our flexibility and flexibility diminish. As a result, activities of daily living, such as dressing and tying shoes, become more challenging.

    The US Department of Health and Human Services. UU He recommends yoga as a "total solution" exercise for older adults. Yoga is an effective and safe way to improve your flexibility, strength, balance and general physical condition.

    You can start with a yoga routine for beginners, or if mobility is a problem, start with yoga for seniors in this video:

    Exercises for seniors to improve balance

    9. The single-leg support

    The one-leg base is another excellent exercise to improve balance.

    Just lift one knee to swing on one leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Then do the other leg. Repeat 5 times per leg. Feel free to use a chair for additional support.

    10. Heel Augmentation

    Heel increases improve balance by strengthening the flexors of the toes and getting used to the toes.

    Stand up straight. Lift the heels of the ground and stay in that position for 3 seconds. Repeat the sequence 10 times. Hold a chair if necessary.

    11. Walk the line

    To walk the line, simply place one foot in front of the other, placing the heel directly in front of your finger (they should touch), and walk 10 to 15 steps. If necessary, place one hand on a counter while you exercise to maintain balance.

    To make the exercise progressively more difficult, try doing it with your hands at your sides, turning your head from side to side, keeping one eye closed, keeping both eyes closed and doing it backwards.

    12. Tai Chi

    Harvard researchers have shown that Tai Chi improves the balance, gait and general functional abilities of older people. [3] Tai Chi is an excellent activity to help older people improve balance and avoid falls.

    Here is a great 8 minute Tai Chi daily video designed specifically for beginner older adults:

    Cardiovascular Exercise Recommendations

    13. Walking

    Walking, although it is simple, is still one of the best exercises to improve cardiovascular exercise, balance and physical fitness in general. According to the National Institute of Health, a simple walk of 30 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease. [4]

    If your loved one is starting out, encourage them to start with a walk of 10 to 15 minutes and increase to 30 to 60 minutes per day. Make sure they have a good pair of support shoes.

    14. Swimming (also for strength)

    Swimming has been identified as one of the best general exercises for seniors. It is soft for the joints, excellent for muscle strength, builds the core and improves cardiovascular exercise. A study has shown that swimming reduces falls in adults by more than 30%. [5]

    Complex muscle movements, which require coordination, seem to offer benefits that simple movements such as walking do not. I recommend swimming during a 30-60 minute session, with breaks between turns as needed.

    15. Dancing (also to maintain balance)

    It has been shown that dancing not only improves cardiovascular health, balance and motor skills, but also has important cognitive benefits.

    A recent study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience showed that the physical demands of dancing, learning new dance routines and the emotional benefits of socially participating while dancing, all helped to slow down mental decline. [6]

    Summing it up

    The challenges of aging are not inevitable. The 15 selected exercises are proven to help the elderly stay healthy, active and independent for longer.

    The formula is simple. Perform any cardio exercise for 150 minutes a week, any strength-training exercise at least 2 times per week and a daily balance or stretching exercise.

    Whether you're out walking, swimming or dancing, these exercises are fun to do and will make your parents feel great!


    [1] Havard: Healthy Mind,
    Healthy Body: Benefits of Exercise
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: Walking, another exercise helps older people stay mobile, independent
    [3] Harvard Gazette: The balance in healthy aging
    [4] National Institute of Health: your guide to physical activity and your heart
    [5] Live Science: why the swimming may be the best exercise for older adults
    [6] Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience: Integrity of white matter decreased for 6 months, but dance intervention improves integrity of Fornix for older adults [19659097] function footnote_expand_reference_container () {jQuery ("# ​​footnote_references_container"). Show (); jQuery ("# ​​footnote_reference_container_collapse_button"). text ("-"); } function footnote_collapse_reference_container () {jQuery ("# ​​footnote_references_container"). hide (); jQuery ("# ​​footnote_reference_container_collapse_button"). text ("+"); } function footnote_expand_collapse_reference_container () {if (jQuery ("# ​​footnote_references_container"). is (": hidden")) {footnote_expand_reference_container (); } else {footnote_collapse_reference_container (); }} function footnote_moveToAnchor (p_str_TargetID) {footnote_expand_reference_container (); var l_obj_Target = jQuery ("#" + p_str_TargetID); if (l_obj_Target.length) {jQuery (& # 39; html, body & # 39;). animate ({scrollTop: l_obj_Target.offset (). top – window.innerHeight / 2}, 1000); }}

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