Staying Fit and Functional: A Senior’s Guide to Exercise

June 8, 2016

StayingFit

Picture it if you will: a vehicle built for continuous operation, one capable of running around the clock and willing to cross any journey that may be put in front of it. While you may be envisioning a high-tech supercar of the distant future, this description defines something we are all much more familiar with—the human body. Our bodies are powerful tools that allow us to perform a myriad of tasks ranging from complex movements carried out by professional athletes and dancers to everyday movements we all do, such as walking and climbing stairs. However, as we age, everyday movements can leave our muscles and joints aching. Find out how exercise can help you combat the stages of the ages and keep you enjoying the things you love to do:

Endurance Activities
Oftentimes, as we get older, our lifestyles tend to become more sedentary and our stamina begins to decrease. To overcome the decline in our endurance levels, it is important to incorporate activities that will safely raise your heart rate to an active level. Walking during sunrises or sunsets, water aerobics and playing games outdoors with grandchildren can help increase blood flow throughout the body as well as raise endorphin levels, burn calories, improve overall energy levels and more.

Strength Training
The famous hiker and traveler Christopher McCandless once noted in his travel journal that, “It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” With daily strength training exercises you can feel strong and be strong, even as you age. For seniors, strength training exercises enhance muscle functionality and help maintain a healthy level of bone mass. With a continued regimen, participating in strength training will help you complete everyday tasks, like carrying in groceries or climbing up stairs, more easily than seniors who don’t partake. For beginners to strength training, try some of these resistance exercises for starters:

  • Seated Knee Extensions
  • Partial Wall Squats
  • Seated Bicep Curls with Light Dumbbells
  • Sit-Backs
  • Seated Overhead Presses

Learn more about how to safely and properly perform these exercises here.

Flexibility Exercises
While improving your flexibility may not directly increase your performance in endurance or strength-based exercises, it will enhance your mobility and ability to reduce joint and muscle pain. Daily stretching can help condition muscle fibers to strengthen, allowing your body to feel more relaxed and rejuvenated with each routine stretching session. For best results in enhancing your mobility, set a goal of stretching early in the morning right after waking up and then again before you retire to your bed for the evening. In combination with endurance and strength exercises, flexibility exercises can help you achieve your activity goals and keep your body in top condition as you age.

If you or a loved one needs assistance in completing basic exercise or range of motion exercises, the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) referred by Granny NANNIES are trained to provide the special care required and can do so in the privacy and comfort of home. Alongside therapy and other preventative actions, CNAs and HHAs assist in routine, daily activities, personal care and monitoring of cognitive risk factors.

Granny NANNIES was established in 1990 to provide seniors with available in home care. Operating under the founding premise that reliable and affordable senior home care should be available to everyone, Granny NANNIES offers personalized services to meet the requirements of any individual, regardless of age or need, in their home. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we provide quality and trustworthy in-home care for you and your loved ones. For more information on how we can help you, call 800-316-2669.