Maintaining a good level of physical health can be challenging for adults of all ages, but it often becomes even harder after the age of 60.
Limited mobility can make physical activity seem like a daunting task, but even just light activity on a regular basis can make a big difference.
Adding some exercise to your daily routine is the best way to make a habit of it. The more you do it, the less painful it becomes.
Physical health problems can have a significant impact on the ability to live independently. For seniors that wish to continue living at home, consistent physical activity can help provide the strength and mobility to keep up with daily tasks and chores.
Chair Exercises for Seniors
An excellent physical activity for older adults is chair exercises. This is becoming a very popular exercise routine for seniors because there are variety of maneuvers that can be done to get a full body workout.
The chair provides a little extra support to help with balance and technique. These exercises can be done at your own pace and to your own level of comfort.
A comprehensive and versatile chair exercise routine for seniors can be found here.
Muscle Groups to Target
It is important to get a balanced workout that covers all the basic muscle groups. This helps contribute to overall physical health and wellbeing.
Ideally your chair exercises should include:
Starting of with at least one exercise for each muscle group is a good way to start. More can be added later once you begin to feel comfortable with the activity.
There are several exercises included in the above chair exercise program to choose from.
Stretching is an essential part of physical exercise. Seniors especially should be stretching every day to enhance flexibility. Flexibility is directly linked to mobility, and muscles and joints that are stronger and more flexible offer better mobility.
Stretching is a perfect activity to start the day, to get the muscles loose and relaxed.
Studies show that stretching frequently throughout the day is more effective than one long stretching session.
So, light stretching can be done in the morning, before exercising, as well as post workout as part of a cool down routine.
Just like with the chair exercises, there are stretches that can be applied to each muscle group. Stretching the legs and back can be particularly helpful for older adults.
Eating a healthy diet goes hand in hand with exercising and physical health and the two should not be separate.
Any type of physical exercise is taxing on the muscles. For the muscles to sufficiently heal, they need the proper protein and nutrients.
Some foods to target after exercising might be:
- Quality fish and poultry
- Whole grains
Benefits of Chair Exercises for Senior Health
Older adults that regularly engage in physical exercise that works all the muscle groups, like these chairs exercises, will likely see an improvement in overall health.
Some of the benefits of these exercises, may include:
- Improved circulation
- Elevated mood
- Pain relief
- Enhanced strength and flexibility
Physical exercise helps to get the blood flowing. Poor circulation is common in seniors, and especially those that lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Improved circulation is good for the blood vessels, allowing them to send more oxygen and nutrients to the brain and heart.
The release of endorphins during physical exercise help to reduce pain and generate feelings of positivity.
Physical and mental health are directly related, and improved physical health can contribute to reduced stress and anxiety, and even depression.
Regular physical exercise can be effective in reducing joint and back pain. Chair exercises can help joint stiffness and pain caused by arthritis.
Physical activity is associated with reduced inflammation, which is often a symptom of arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Enhanced Strength and Flexibility
As we get older we naturally begin to lose strength and flexibility in our muscles and joints. That is why physical exercise is so important with age.
Chair exercises can help improve both strength and flexibility, without putting undue stress on the joints.