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When you move into a senior living environment, you may have concerns about keeping up with your health. As you get older, exercise plays an important role in maintaining your well-being, balance and strength. By focusing on home exercise and appropriate workout strategies for your needs, you will enjoy the benefits of a healthy body.
Walking is a great exercise at every age. It helps maintain your health by keeping your body moving and staying active. When you move into a supportive living environment, you still need to consider your mobility and well-being. A part of that process is staying active through regular movement and exercise.
An easy exercise that does not cause any harm to your body is walking. Take a walk through your home or the hallways of your apartment building and make a few rounds every hour. Regular walks will keep you mobile and active. It also helps maintain healthy circulation throughout the day and limits the risk of clotting. Even if you are not able to engage in more rigorous routines, taking a walk is a good choice for your exercise goals. It is an easy workout to help keep your body moving and healthy.
A key concern associated with aging is a gradual loss of muscle strength. While you may not feel comfortable with squats or more rigorous routines due to the amount of balance required, you can still build up and maintain your muscle strength through a series of sitting and standing exercises.
Sit down in a chair slowly and then stand back up. Make sure you do not hold onto the chair while standing back up or sitting down. The exercise is similar to squats, but is easier on your knees, back and body. Repeat the process of sitting and standing in three sets of ten. As you build up your muscles, you can increase the number of sets or the number of repetitions for each set. The simple exercise uses a similar form to squats but does not require you to go down as far or take the risk of falling throughout the exercise.
Balance is an important part of maintaining your health as you age. Slip and fall accidents are a common problem that may arise as you get older, and you want to take precautions against preventable falls. By working on your balance, you reduce the risk of falling on accident. While it may not prevent falls due to situations like slipping on ice, it will reduce the risk of falling related to a slight loss of balance.
Start the exercise by standing on one foot. Hold the other foot only an inch or two off the ground. Lower the foot and repeat the process with your other foot. You want to hold your balance for 15 seconds at a time. If you feel that you are not able to hold your balance without support, then hold a wall or table to help maintain your balance. Repeat the process ten times. The exercise will help you maintain your balance when walking or engaging in normal activities.
When it comes to home exercise, you are not limited to boring routines. If you are still mobile and flexible, then you may want to consider dance workout videos. Focus on videos that use easy dance routines. For example, consider a video that uses steps from a waltz. A simple box step routine will help you maintain your cardiovascular health and will work up a sweat. Depending on the type of routine, you will find that the exercise may also strengthen your muscles and help with balance.
Take your level of dance skill into account when selecting any video routine. You do not want to select an advanced routine unless you have the experience with the dance steps, since you do not want to risk a loss of balance and a fall. Focus on beginner workout routines that allow you to learn the steps at your pace.
Chair workout routines are a good option when you have concerns about your health and mobility. Since you sit in a chair for the workout, you do not have a risk of falling. At the same time, you are able to build up your muscle strength and improve your blood circulation.
Start the exercises with toe taps. Sit in the chair with your feet hip-width apart or in a comfortable position. Keep your heels on the floor and start with your toes on the floor. Lift your toes up toward the sky while keeping your heels on the floor. When you feel a comfortable stretch, stop the motion and then lower your feet until your toes are back on the floor. The exercise will improve your blood circulation and strengthen your lower legs. Keep in mind that you should feel a slight stretch, but not pain when you move your toes off the ground. If you feel pain, then stop and lower your toes. Pain suggests that you are over-extending your feet.
After you finish your sets of toe taps, work on heel raises. The exercise starts in the same position, but you lift your heels off the ground instead of your toes. Keep your toes on the ground and lift your heels up until you bend your toes. Lower your heels to the ground and then repeat the process.
Wall push-ups are exactly what you expect from the name. Instead of getting down on the floor to work on push-ups and risking your health, you put your hands against the wall at shoulder width. Start with your arms straight and your feet together. Lower your body toward the wall and then slowly push away from the wall to the starting position.
A key advantage of wall push-ups is that they are easy for your body. You do not put the full weight of your body on your arms, but it still strengthens your arms and shoulders. The exercise does not require you to risk injuries to your knees, elbows, wrists or other joints because you are not getting down on the ground or putting excessive weight on your hands.
Dumbbell exercises are a good choice as you get older because they add a bit of weight to your exercises without adding the extra risks to your balance associated with a barbell. Use small dumbbells that are a comfortable weight. Five pounds is usually a good weight, but you can reduce the weight if you are not comfortable with a total of ten pounds.
Sit with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight. If you prefer to stand, then keep your feet hip-width apart and maintain a stable stance for good balance. Bring the dumbbells up and start with them near your ears and your palms facing outward. Lift your arms slowly over your head until they are straight. Lower your hands until they are by your ears again. Repeat the process in sets of ten.
After you finish arm raises, lower your arms to your sides and then lift them slowly with your arms straight until they are at a 90-degree angle from your body. Lower your arms back down slowly and then repeat the process.
You can also add bicep curls to the exercises for your arms. If you decided to stand for the initial exercises, then sit down. Keep your arms close to your body and at a 90-degree angle with your elbow bent. Your palms should be up toward the ceiling. Curl your arm so your hand comes up toward your shoulder. Lower your hand back down to the starting position. Repeat the process in sets of ten and then move to the opposite arm.
Sit backs are a core exercise designed to help maintain mobility and muscle strength in your abdominal region and your back. The exercise starts with sitting on the floor, so you will want a carpet or a yoga mat to help alleviate pressure. Sit comfortably with your knees bent and your heels on the floor. Place your arms across your chest as if you were giving yourself a hug. Slowly, lean back from your starting position until you must engage your abdominal muscles and back. Do not allow your back to round, since that may cause injuries. Keep your back straight and use your core muscles to hold the position for three seconds. Sit back up in your starting position. Repeat the movement in sets of ten.
Keep in mind that sit backs do not require a large movement. You do not want to lower your back and shoulders to the floor. The goal of the exercise is engaging your core muscles without harming your back or causing pain. If you feel pain, then reduce the motion or stop the exercise. You should feel a gentle tightening in your abdominal region when working on the exercise. It should not cause pain in your back.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining your well-being at every stage of life. By focusing on routines that work with your fitness level and your personal interests, you can enjoy the process of working on your health from the comfort of home. The key is combining exercises to work on your balance, strength and mobility. By maintaining your strength and balance, you will reduce the risk of accidents and you will be able to enjoy more activities with friends and family.
Luckily, many senior living communities have programs and amenities that encourage an active senior lifestyle. At Tessera of Brandon, we encourage mental and physical wellness with an engaging community. If you have any questions about the many benefits of assisted living in Brandon, Florida, contact us today!