5 Low-Impact Exercises for Active Seniors

Senior Exercise

The aging process doesn’t mean you should give up on exercise. In reality, it is just as important to work toward fitness now, as it was in your teens. A  study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that too few people over 50 participate in regular physical activity. More than a quarter of adults in this age group are at higher risk for diabetes, cancer and heart disease. A lack of exercise can exacerbate typical risk factors. With the ageism in medicine that we have spoken about in the past, the importance of senior physical activity is rarely emphasized.

The CDC recommends that adults get at least thirty minutes of exercise five days a week. Maintaining this level of activity can help manage and prevent chronic diseases. Seniors will also be able to maintain their good health and to live independently for longer. Regular exercise can also help with balance, depression and arthritis pain.

There are lots of low-impact exercises for active seniors, and studies have shown an array of health benefits which will ultimately improve quality of life.

Portrait of smiling senior couple exercising at home

Of course, not all exercises are created equal, and finding the right activity for your lifestyle and physical limitations is important. Take some time to research senior-centric programs and find the best fit for you.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 5 low-impact exercises that are suitable for seniors.

 

Low-Impact Exercises for Seniors

 

Barre Class

Based on exercises utilized in ballet, barre classes focus on strength, flexibility, and balance. Seniors will also appreciate the barre for the safety it provides. They can grab onto it to prevent falls. This is a flexible format that provides options available that allow you to customize your experience. Do you need lighter weights? No problem. You can also perform wall push-ups instead of traditional push-ups.

 

Silver Sneakers

Designed specifically for the elderly, the Silver Sneakers senior fitness program offers low-impact exercises for active seniors. Classes include targeted instruction and proven results. Happily, it’s compatible with many insurance carriers, including Medicare! Visit your local gym to learn more about Silver Sneakers classes, availability, and focus. Strength, balance, and cardio classes are available at participating gyms, giving you the freedom to choose a course that suits your needs.

 

Zumba Gold

If dancing is your passion, Zumba Gold classes are designed for you! Built around simple choreography, these classes will get your blood pumping. Seniors can enjoy all the wonderful music that makes Zumba so great, and get an age-appropriate workout.

 

Pickleball

Pickleball is a combination of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. Although it’s a fast sport, it is low impact and easy to follow. Commonly played on an adapted tennis or basketball court, the playing area is small, limiting the amount of movement necessary to play. The paddles resemble a cross between ping-pong and racquetball paddles, the ball is similar to a whiffle ball, and the nets are much lower. You can usually find pickleball at community centers as well as senior centers. Play with 2, 3 or 4 players and enjoy a different experience every time.

 

Line Dancing

This form of exercise is also social entertainment. You and your friends will arrange yourselves in lines and perform a choreographed dance in unison. Line dancing is a great way to get moving and have some fun. No instructor needed, just plenty of friends willing to participate.

 

These are just a few of the low-impact exercises for active seniors. With a little research and persistence, you can find an activity that speaks to you and actively improves your health.

 

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us online or by phone at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide how to provide your loved ones with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

Exercise Can Delay Dementia

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a type of cognitive decline characterized by memory loss, communication difficulties, and impaired thinking. Dementia is a growing concern for aging populations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 47 million people have dementia worldwide. WHO also estimates 75 million people will be affected by dementia by 2030. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 60 to 80 percent of patients suffering from dementia also have Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process, and signals damage to the brain. Doctors have long advocated a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of dementia. A new study finds that exercise may also play a vital role in helping to delay dementia.

Group Of Seniors Enjoying Dancing Club Together

 

Study Results

Results of this ground-breaking study were published in the September 2017 issue of Scientific Reports. The study found that mice who ran on a wheel for one week had more new neurons in their brains than those of mice who did not run. Neurons are brain cells that transmit information to other parts of the body and provide direction.

Since dementia patients have damaged neurons, the creation of healthy neurons through exercise is a fantastic find. Researchers surmise that exercise can help change brain cells in humans, protecting them from the onset of dementia as well as ensuring a higher quality of life.

 

Exercising to Delay Dementia

Though the study focused on running, there are many other ways for seniors to stay active and keep their brains healthy. Here are four types of exercise to help seniors stay mentally and physically active:

  • Aerobic exercise, or cardio, gets the heart pumping. Some examples of easy aerobic exercises for seniors include jogging, brisk walking, or dancing. Chair-based aerobic programs are also available.
  • Flexibility exercises help seniors maintain good posture and normal a range of movement. Examples of flexibility exercises include stretching and yoga.
  • Strength exercises benefit seniors’ muscles and bones. Examples of strength exercises for seniors include lifting light weights or using resistance bands.
  • Balance exercises can help seniors stay steady on their feet and prevent falls. Tai chi as well as yoga are a popular balance exercises among seniors.

When starting any exercise routine, it’s important for seniors to start out slowly and listen to their bodies. Seniors with medical conditions should also consult a doctor before beginning any type of exercise regimen. Be sure to find trainers that are specially trained to work with the elderly.

Have your trainer lay out a safe exercise plan and have it approved by your healthcare practitioners. David York Agency has a handy workbook that can help.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and it can help seniors maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind.

 

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide your loved one with the care and assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

Designing An Elderly Exercise Plan

Fact:   By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be older than 65 and exercise is crucial to their well-being.

The accompanying loss of muscle mass, strength, flexibility and bone lead to a loss of mobility and, therefore, independence. Regular exercise such as aerobics, strength training as well as balance and flexibility exercises can diminish their negative effects.Basically, you need about 30 minutes of exercise per day which can be broken into two 15 minute or three 10 minute intervals.

If someone hasn’t exercised in awhile, it is best to start slowly with shorter, more frequent periods of exercise. Be patient and remember it’s never too late to begin exercising since every movement leads on the path to optimal physical health.

Employing a trainer for at least the first few sessions will also help solidify the plan of attack and ensure that the exercises are being done correctly.

An exercise regimen incorporating goals specific to the elderly client while taking into account their specific deficits is the most constructive way to develop an effective program. This is best accomplished using a fitness trainer who is acquainted with the elderly and their special needs. These trainers have a sense of how much to push them to improve their strength, flexibility and mobility. Later, having videos available for ongoing use will reinforce what was learned and make sure that the exercise routine is appropriately followed.

Varying the exercises improves different areas and adds interest.

Activities should include some aerobic or cardiovascular work through activities like brisk walking, bicycling, swimming or even jogging. Strength training is great for enhancing balance to reduce the risk of falls and to help in general with getting up and down and generally all around. Yoga is a wonderful and relaxing form of exercise as is Tai Chi.   For those who are able to get out, strength training can also be done using machines in a gym.

Use these Exercise Plan Worksheets in conjunction with a medical or healthcare professional in addition to a fitness trainer experienced with the elderly.

My Exercise Plan” is a packet of worksheets provided by David York Home Healthcare Agency to be filled out and tracked in association with a Healthcare Professional, Fitness Trainer or Caregiver. It includes the following items:exercise in senior routine

  1. Physical Fitness Goals
    • Short Term Goals: List 2 or 3 things to accomplish over the next few weeks to help make exercise a part of your daily routine.
    • Long Term Goals: List 2 or 3 long term goals for your exercise plan such as specific physical improvements you would like to see.
  1. Specific Workout Activities
    • Use this form with your Healthcare Professional or Fitness Trainer to specify the activities for your personal workout routine while incorporating your long term goals.
    • Activities should address the following issues as well as suggest the number of minutes and times per week for each.
      1. Increased Mobility
      2. Endurance
      3. Upper-Body Strength
      4. Lower-Body Strength
      5. Balance
      6. Flexibility
  1. Workout Routine Monthly View
    • Once your Healthcare Provider or Fitness Trainer determines specific activities for your routine, schedule them by the month in the chart provided.
  1. Keep track of your daily and weekly progress and compliance with your exercise routine using the forms included. These specify the day of week, the number of minutes on each exercise, how the person felt doing them and any progress notes.

These David York Agency designed worksheets should ease the planning and tracking process. Please check out the packet on our website resources page. We hope they will help better organize those who have made this momentous resolution and ring in a New Year of true health. Good health and happiness to all!

David York Agency is fully acquainted with all factors related to eldercare services and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. They are healthcare professionals that provide skilled home health aide services for the elderly in their home and are abreast of all the latest guidelines for seniors.  When home healthcare becomes necessary, David York Agency provides skilled home health aide services. Visit our website at David York Agency attesting to our mission to provide the highest degree of personal service. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.