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The Perfect Exercise Schedule for the Elderly

As we age, it can be critically important to stay active. Developing an exercise routine or schedule that you can stick to can help combat some of the negative effects of aging. Any exercise that can improve strength, balance, and flexibility can not only keep you healthy, but it can reduce the risk of falls that can lead to bigger health problems down the road. We here at Health Products for You can help you come up with the perfect exercise schedule for elderly men and women.

Exercise Schedule for the Elderly

What are the Benefits of Exercise as We Age?

Exercise is important to us all, but as we age it takes on an entirely different meaning. When we get older we become less flexible and this can lead us to shorten our gait, hinder our balance, and even fall. This can lead to fractures and bruises that can be dangerous to us or our aging loved ones. The benefits of exercising as we age include (but are not limited to):

  • improved balance
  • Maintain muscle mass
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improve coordination
  • Improved mental health
  • Prevention of disease/chronic conditions
  • Increased quality of life

It can’t be overstated that exercise has a positive effect on our minds and bodies as we age. So, yes an exercise regimen is good for you, but what should you do and how often? Developing an exercise schedule is important and can improve participant compliance.

Leg Exerciser Dumbel

Exercises and Schedule

One of the laws of physics is a body in motion, stays in motion until acted upon by an outside force. This can be true of our bodies as well. In order to reap the benefits of a workout program, coming up with an exercise schedule that is practical will help you stay on schedule. Some exercises that are beneficial to us as we age include:

  1. Abdominal Contractions: Increasing your core muscles can minimize back pain and increased stability, therefore minimizing the risk of falls.
  2. Wall Push-Ups: This exercise can increase strength and muscle mass in the chest and shoulders without having to get down on the ground.
  3. Pelvic Tilt: These can strengthen and stretch the muscles in the lower back. This also can help strengthen your core and improve coordination and stability.
  4. Shoulder Blade Squeeze: By standing upright and squeezing your shoulder blades together you can strengthen your postural muscles and stretch your pectoral (chest) muscles at the same time.
  5. Toe Taps: When seated, simply lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. This exercise can help strengthen the lower leg which can help with your gait and stride. This can also help blood circulation in the lower leg.
  6. Heel Raises: Performed like toe taps in a seated position, you would raise your heels as high as possible while leaving your toes on the ground. This can help strengthen your upper calves by doing 20 repetitions.
  7. Knee Lifts: Also performed from a seated position, simply contract your quad muscles in your leg to lift your leg off the ground. You should do 8-12 repetitions per leg and then switch to the other leg.
  8. Shoulder/Upper Backstretch: Stretching is important to improve flexibility and balance. Start by bending your right arm directly across your chest and place your right hand by your left shoulder. Hold in place for 20-30 seconds and then repeat with the opposite arm.
  9. Ankle Rotations: Remain seated and rotate one of your feet slowly to the right about five times and then repeat in the opposite direction. After rotations in both directions, switch to the other foot rotating that ankle likewise in both directions.
  10. Neck Stretch: Relieving tension in the neck and upper back can not only feel good, but allow you to easily increase your field of vision to identify potential obstacles and avoid falls.
  11. Aquatic Aerobics: All body parts can be worked out in the pool and with the natural buoyancy of water, impact on your joints are minimized. Water also offers gentle resistance.

These exercises can even incorporate the use of elastic bands or ankle weights to increase resistance as you become more proficient and want to increase strength. Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. This can ensure you are doing the safest exercises possible for your individual needs.

How to Make a Plausible Exercise Schedule?

Any exercise program is only effective if you stick to it. When developing a schedule, be realistic and don’t overdo it to the point where you may feel discomfort and abandon your program. Try to group exercises by body regions or convenience. For instance, do your exercises that target your legs on one day and any upper body exercises on the next day. An example may look something like this:

Monday  Walk Strength Exercises Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Tuesday  Walk Rest Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Wednesday Swim/Cycling Strength Exercises Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Thursday Rest Rest Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Friday  Walk Strength Exercises Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Saturday Aerobics Rest Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises
Sunday Rest Rest Balance Exercises Flexibility Exercises

As you can see, balance and flexibility exercises can be done every day, but you can change up the exercises in order to keep things fresh. Not to mention that elderly folks need to work on balance and flexibility in order to minimize the risk of falling. Compliance to any program you come up with is the secret to its success, so be realistic…be diligent…be healthy!!

 

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