Exercise For Older Adults? It’s Never Too Late!


By Akinwale Akinyoade

Elderly couple stretching | Photo – Cambridge Village of Apex

Exercise is one of the keys to living a quality life as we age. There are no official fitness guidelines for older adults, but the basic exercises for seniors are the same at every age. If you need tricks and tips about exercise for older adults, we have listed some out below for you.

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Aerobic Exercise:

From walking, dancing, biking to swimming, aerobic exercise stimulates the heart rate and breathing rate. Not only good for fitness, but it also helps for both physical and emotional health. Another good thing about aerobic exercise is that your body gets better at using oxygen and burning fat when you do regular aerobic exercise.

Resistance Exercise:

You can have your resistance exercise either from the comfort of your home or by hitting the gym. You should consider tubing if you are looking for a simple but effective resistance exercise at home. You can do a lot of different exercises with tubing as it is versatile. You can start with a set of four for about, they come in colors to denote the tension. If you order them, make sure to order the strap that allows you to attach the tube to a door, and if you want to work your legs, ask for leg straps.

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Flexibility Exercise: 

Though it may not sound as exciting as a six-pack, flexibility is key to feeling mobile, agile, and strong in our bodies. Stretching—especially when paired with deep breathing, like in yoga—promotes both greater range of motion (your joints’ abilities to move to their fullest potential) and extensibility (how well your muscles and connective tissues allow those joints to move). Plus, yes, it also strengthens your muscles.

Balance exercise:

We recommend some or all of these exercises every day for the best results. It is advisable to also have someone nearby for support if you have concerns about falling over. You should also speak with your doctor before doing these exercises if you have a balance disturbance or are concerned about whether it is safe for you to do them.

Three senior black women exercising together

Walk a straight line: Use a string lie on the floor like floor tiles and try to walk along with it. What you are trying to do is to land one foot in front of the other heel first. Try with arms extended out and then relaxed at your sides. As you get better with this, you can move on to walking forward to one end and then back to the other. Do this 10 times.

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Stork: Stand on one leg, keep your arms at your side with your shoulders relaxed, and try to balance for 30 seconds. Repeat one to two times with each leg every day. You can increase the minutes as the weeks go by. Also, make it more challenging by trying to swing your arms like you’re running. That will throw you slightly off balance and you will need to make corrections to maintain your balance. This is good for your core and abdominal muscle groups that are involved in balancing. Another way to make it more challenging is to hold bottles of water in each hand.

Nose toucher: Stand with your right leg approximately 24 inches in front of your left, bend your knees slightly, and try to touch your nose with your finger. The more in line your feet are with each other the more challenging this will be. Once you can do it well with either leg in front of the other, try this exercise with your eyes closed.

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Sit-stands: Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair and try to stand up without swinging your arms forward, and then sit back down very slowly. Repeat 10 times. If you need help, go ahead and let your arms reach forward for balance, but then over time, try to do them without the assistance of your arms.

Marching: For this, you will need a strong chair for balance. Lift your right knee up toward your chest, then lower to starting positions. The left knee can be bent slightly. Repeat 10-15 times with the right leg, and then do the left leg. As you master this, you can move to touch the chair with one finger for balance and then eventually without holding onto any support at all, and finally with your eyes closed. You can also try alternating the marching between the left and right leg instead of one set with one leg.

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Side leg raises: Hold on to a sturdy chair for balance and lift your right leg out to the side. The left knee can be bent slightly. Repeat 10-15 times with the right leg then do the left leg. You can progress to touching the chair with one finger for balance, then eventually no holding at all, and finally with your eyes closed.

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Heel raises: Hold on to a sturdy chair for balance and rise up on to your tippy toes. Repeat 10-15 times. You can progress to touching the chair with one finger for balance, then eventually no holding at all, and finally with your eyes closed.

Step-ups: Stand in front of a staircase and step up with your right foot, then up with your left, then back down with your right, then back down with your left. Repeat 10 times. If you need a little support, hold on gently to the railing, or better yet, just touch the wall with your fingertips.

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