Living your best life as a senior means staying active. Exercise reduces the risk of chronic conditions and slows their progression, but as we get older, it can be harder to stay active.

Quality Life Services assists seniors and their families, including care facilities and home help, and we encourage seniors to exercise as much as their physical condition allows.

The Importance of Keeping Seniors Active

Staying active helps seniors in a variety of ways. It reduces the risk of chronic conditions, and it also:

  • Helps seniors remain independent for longer
  • Improves balance
  • Increases energy
  • Improves brain function
  • Improves mood

Encouraging your loved one to do light exercise will help keep them healthy for longer. They may not be able to do everything they once did, but they can still enjoy low-impact exercise, which will also help them get out and spend time with others, reducing isolation.

How to Exercise With Limited Mobility

Some older adults are lucky enough to maintain normal mobility. Many, however, have conditions such as arthritis that restrict the way they can move. Traditional exercise programs may not work or may be too seasonal. Seniors starting a new exercise regimen should talk to their doctor first.

Water aerobics is a fantastic option for many seniors, including those with arthritis or joint pain. The water reduces the stress put on your joints while adding light resistance to help develop strength. Many seniors also benefit from lightweight resistance bands for home exercise.

Light strength routines, including wall pushups and pelvic tilts, are achievable by most, and some seniors find pilates a great option to preserve muscle strength.

Yoga can be done in a chair if flexibility is an issue.

However, many seniors need to find ways to exercise that fit into their lives or motivate them. Some seniors may find a dance class is perfect for them.

Others might prefer to go swimming in a pool in the winter or a lake when the weather allows.

Walking remains a low-stress, highly accessible means of exercise. Step goals might be down the hall for a senior with limited mobility, or a several mile hike for those who are still fit. Walking with a group is a great way to motivate you, or you can find an audiobook and only listen to it when walking. Going for a walk is also a great family activity. Take the grandkids on a nature walk, and everyone will have fun.

Seniors should avoid running, especially over any distance, intense weight training such as squats with weights or deadlifts, and anything that carries a risk of falling, although if they have been doing it for a while, it’s less of an issue. High-intensity interval training and high-impact aerobics can be a problem with older joints.

Climbing stairs is another exercise to watch out for. Knees are vulnerable joints, and stair climbs result in strain on your knees. Finally, don’t do anything that makes you feel dizzy or start to lose balance.

But none of this means you should give up. Active hobbies you are already involved in can be kept up until they become painful. Another key thing as you get older is that you may need to stretch more than you used to. Staying active will help you stay independent.

Care Available in Western Pennsylvania for Your Loved Ones

If you or a loved one is getting older and starting to struggle with mobility, Quality Life Services can help. We have care facilities and also offer home health aides to help preserve independence. Call us at 724-731-0770 to discuss your family member’s needs.


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