As of May 20, each of the 50 states has begun to ease stay-at-home orders. It’s an exciting time for everyone! And, while many people appreciate the chance to regain a sense of normalcy, high-risk individuals — particularly seniors — must continue with social distancing practices. Below, we list some ideas for staying fit while social distancing in Bayside.
The Importance of Staying Fit While Social Distancing
Seniors who stay active — even during isolation — will build strength, improve balance, and gain increased flexibility. This will reduce the risk of falls and injury. Regular exercise is also proven to strengthen the immune system and improve the overall quality of life, according to Jennifer Tripken, EdD, CHES, and Colleen Hergott, PT, DPT of the National Council on the Aging (NCOA). Furthermore, fitness has been linked to:
- Improved mental health and cognitive function
- Positive emotions and increased feelings of wellbeing
- Cardiovascular health
- Optimum diabetes management
Now that we know the benefits of physical fitness, let’s explore some senior-friendly exercises.
Senior-friendly Workout Ideas
“Snow-Angels” Exercise for Flexibility
Olympic athletes always limber-up before and after a workout, and seniors should do the same. Try a standing “snow-angel” to improve flexibility and prepare the body for movement.
This exercise is straightforward. Stand with your back against the wall, with feet below the shoulders. Make long, swooping arm lifts. It’s just like making a snow angel during winter.
Next, step away from the wall and roll your neck gently a few times in both directions.
Now, you’re ready for muscle-building activities.
Chair-Squats for Strength
Strength training increases the capability of seniors to carry out independent tasks around the home. It also builds stronger bones and reduces the risk of death from heart disease.
To build new muscles, seniors should try chair-squats.
- Stand in front of a chair.
- Place your feet under your hip bones.
- Bend your knees, but keep your shoulders and chest upright.
- Lower the bottom-half of your body, as if you’re about to sit down.
- Finally, return to a standing position.
As with any exercise, try only a few repetitions at a time. Be careful not to overdo it.
Wall Push-Ups for Strength
Similar to traditional push-ups, wall push-ups build upper body strength. It’s also a great exercise for balance.
- Stand in front of a wall, up to two feet away.
- Place your hands up against the wall, at about shoulder height.
- Bend your elbows to lean in towards the wall as if you’re doing a push-up.
- Push your body away from the wall to your normal standing position.
Before trying any new exercises, seniors should inform a family member or caregiver. It’s a good idea to have a “spotter” by one’s side, at least initially.
Gardening for Stress Relief
Seniors can benefit from light gardening activities, whether growing flowers on the windowsill or planting a patio garden. Easy vegetables to grow on the patio include tomatoes, summer squash, and lettuce. According to the AARP, gardening can be a great stress reliever for seniors in light of COVID-19.
Dancing for Physical Endurance
Many seniors enjoyed dancing in their youth, and there’s no reason to discontinue this enjoyable activity. In fact, research shows that dancing can improve senior health significantly. According to a study, seniors who dance regularly have “greater flexibility, postural stability, balance, physical reaction time, and cognitive performance than older adults who do not dance on a regular basis.” So, get out those records and dance away at home!
Be sure to clear the floor of any tripping hazards like electrical cords, area rugs, and pets before exercising. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, sit down right away. Finally, don’t forget to hydrate! Drink plenty of water (never coffee or tea) before any exercise session.
David York Supports Bayside Seniors Staying Fit While Social Distancing
David York understands the challenges of caregiving and is willing to provide all the support you need.
If you’d like 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. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
David York Agency Home Healthcare remains committed to providing personalized care for your loved one. If you have questions about our services, please contact us. We can help you through the difficult times and give you the break you deserve!