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Exercises the Elderly Can Do at Home

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms
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As we grow older, it’s important to maintain our health and well-being through regular exercise. Keeping fit can help you to stay independent for longer by improving strength, balance, and flexibility.

A major advantage of exercise is that it helps improve our cardiovascular health. As we age, our heart and lungs don’t work as efficiently as they used to. Regular exercise helps to keep these vital organs in good condition and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, exercise can help to reduce the risk of falls and fractures by improving strength, balance, and coordination.

And it's not just our bodies that benefit. Undertaking exercise on a regular basis has been shown to improve mental health, mood, and sleep quality. It can also help to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression.

However, getting active may be more difficult as we grow older. Visiting the gym may not hold the same appeal as when you were younger and getting outside may not always be possible. But that's no reason not to try and keep in shape.

Working out at home has never been easier. Even if you have mobility issues that prevent getting exercise outside, there are still plenty of ways you can help to keep yourself fit without leaving the house.

With this in mind, we explore some exercises the elderly can do at home.

Home Workouts for older people that don't need equipment

These exercises can be undertaken at home without the need for any equipment. You can adapt them as you need to, based on your level of fitness.

1. Chair Stand: This exercise strengthens the legs and back and helps improve balance. Start by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your thighs. Slowly stand up, using your thigh muscles to lift yourself out of the chair. Hold for a few seconds, then sit back down and repeat. Aim for 10 repetitions.

2. Wall Push-up: This exercise works the chest and arms. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and placing your palms flat against a wall at about shoulder height. Lean forward until your nose is almost touching the wall, then push back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

3. Seated Twist: This exercise helps improve flexibility in the spine and shoulders. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground in front of you. Place your right hand behind you and put your left hand on your right knee. Slowly twist your upper body to the right, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides and repeat with your left hand behind you and your right hand on your left knee.

4. Bicep Curl: This exercise works the biceps muscles in the upper arms. Start by sitting in a chair with a light weight in each hand, palms facing forward, and arms extended straight in front of you at shoulder level. Slowly bend your elbows to curl the weights toward your shoulders, then lower them back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

5. Triceps Dip: This exercise works the triceps muscles in the upper arms. Start by sitting on a chair with your hands palm-down on either side of you near the edge of the seat cushion. Grip the edge of the seat with your fingers and slide yourself forward until only your palms are gripping the edge of the seat cushion and your butt is off the chair (you may need to scoot forward a bit more so that when you dip down, there’s still room for you to come back up). Slowly lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then press back up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times

6.Toe lifts: This exercise is great for strengthening feet. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and lifting your heels so you’re standing on your toes. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Workout videos at home for the elderly

If you're looking for something with more guidance, why not take a look at some workout videos? There are literally thousands of videos on channels such as YouTube which provide workouts to be done at home specifically for seniors.

Even the "nation's PE teacher" Joe Wicks has some videos designed specifically for older people, check out his 10 minute senior workout here.

For those who have severe mobility problems or use a wheelchair, the MS Society YouTube channel has some excellent seated workouts.

Prefer something more sedate? Take a look at Pilates workouts online. These can help you to strengthen your body and maintain balance.

The great thing about home workout videos is that you can go at your own pace. If you want to do the same workout every day you can, but if you prefer to mix things up, it's easy to find different workouts for every day of the week!

Virtual classes

Over the pandemic, many gyms, personal trainers and yoga teachers started to offer online classes on Zoom or other platforms. Lots of them have kept this as a service, whereby participants can join a "live class" from the comfort of their living room.

This can be great for those who like more support when undertaking exercise at home or who benefit from the motivation of working out with someone else.

You can choose from one-to-one sessions which take place online with a single teacher or group classes that take place online. Most will not require you to have your camera on, so you can enjoy feeling part of a group while keeping your privacy as you work out.

Virtual classes or personal training sessions can be perfect for those who are new to exercise as you will still have the support of an expert who can keep an eye on how you are performing movements and check that you are ok.

Keeping safe when exercising at home

While it's important for people working out at home, whatever their age, to take some basic safety precautions, this is particularly important as we get a little older. For some, balance may not quite be what it once was, and therefore a fall may be more likely. Also, a trip or slip while exercising could be more serious than for those who are younger, as bones can be more brittle.

Firstly, we recommend that you consult with your doctor before undertaking any new exercise regime.

Secondly, make sure that where you choose to work out is free of any trip hazards and there are no loose rugs or carpets. Ensure that you wear sensible footwear for the workout you are doing - this is especially important if you have a wood or laminate floor - working out in socks should be avoided!

For anyone undertaking exercise at home, especially if they are alone, it can be wise to ensure that you are able to get help if you need it.

SureSafe offers a range of personal alarms which allow you to summon help should you need it. Many of our alarms also offer fall detection. These devices can detect that you have fallen and will notify your contacts even if you are not able to press the panic button - giving you complete peace of mind.

And the SureSafeGo Plus even includes a heart monitor and step counter, so not only can you feel secure, but you can also monitor your fitness progress too!

Here at SureSafe we provide a range of devices that are designed to help the elderly to maintain their independence for longer. Get in touch with us on 0800 112 3201 and speak to one of our team for further information.

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