At a time when we’re all spending more days at home, it’s easy to neglect physical fitness. But for seniors, it couldn’t be more important. Making time for fitness at home can improve your mood, your overall health, help manage chronic conditions, and get those muscles ready for fun activities to come—like traveling and visiting with family.
While we wait for those times, there’s no better time to exercise. Here are four key areas to focus on to stay fit at home and see the back of this page for our sample workouts. Please consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.
The key to cardio is to keep moving. Luckily, our daily household activities provide movement built-in, whether it’s putting the laundry in or giving the rug a quick vacuum. Try to get outside when you can. The sun’s vitamin D provides numerous benefits and activities like gardening or social distance walking are great for the heart. Or simply march in place. Commercials between TV programs provide the perfect reminder to get up and march it out.
Building muscle strength is extremely important for seniors in protecting bones and preserving mobility. Use soup cans or water bottles for some added weight to bicep curls or try a few squats when unloading the dishwasher. While you’re watching a favorite show, try standing up and sitting down, using your legs instead of your arms to get you going or lift your heels standing or sitting to strengthen the calves.
We all know how good a deep stretch can feel, especially when we spend more time at home. If stretching is difficult, start slow. Try sitting in a chair and reaching for your toes, then take your arms overhead for a good shoulder stretch.
Good posture has fantastic benefits for balance and strength and it’s incredibly easy to practice. Again, use the commercials in your favorite show as a reminder to lift your chest and roll those shoulders back for a posture that would make any mother proud!
- Timer or watch
- Hand weights, soup cans or water bottles (optional)
- Sturdy chair
Things to remember:
- Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program
- Stand or sit with good posture
- Listen to your body - no movements should be painful
Complete each exercise for 30 seconds during your favorite show’s commercial breaks.
- March in place (standing or seated)
- Chair stands - stand up and sit down, avoid using hands if possible and repeat.
- Heel touches while marching (standing or seated)
- Bicep curls - with or without weights, start with arms down and palms facing forward. With elbows close to your sides, bend your elbow and lift toward your shoulder. Slowly lower your arms down. Toe touches while marching (standing or seated)
- Military press - with or without weights, start with arms at shoulder level and lift up until your arms are straight. Return to shoulder level.
- High knees - lift one knee up to a 90 degree angle, touch hands to knee and repeat on opposite side (standing or seated)
- Lateral raise - with or without weights, and with a slight bend in your elbow, start with your arms down to your sides and palms facing your thighs. Raise arms out to each side up to shoulder level. Slowly lower to starting position.
For more tips on fitness for seniors, download our free wellness guide at www.Immanuel.com/youractiveretirement