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5 Seated Exercises for Seniors

By , 9:00 am on

Exercise is essential at every stage of life, but seniors with mobility issues might face difficulty with conventional aerobic and strength training activities. Thankfully, there are plenty of exercises appropriate for aging adults of every mobility level. Here are five exercises that can be performed while sitting down.

1. Ankle and Wrist Warm-Ups

Poor circulation is common among seniors. For aging adults with circulatory issues, it’s important to warm up the extremities before moving on to more intensive exercises because it delivers oxygen to the feet and hands, increases blood flow throughout the body, and keeps the muscles supple. To warm up the wrists and hands, seniors can flex their fingers, make a fist, and rotate their wrists in gentle circles. Seniors can perform the same basic movements with their feet: flexing, pointing, and rotating at the ankle.

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s ability to perform exercises safely, consider hiring a trained professional caregiver to provide assistance. Des Moines elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Upper Back Stretches

When seniors stretch their muscles and joints, it increases mobility and reduces the pain associated with arthritis and other joint issues. Upper back stretches, which are easy to do while seated, keep the neck and back limber and pain-free, and they enhance overall posture, which many seniors face difficulty managing as they age. To perform this activity, seniors should twine their fingers together and extend the arms in front of the chest so they are level with the shoulders. While extending the arms, they should press the upper back and shoulders toward the ceiling, allowing the back to round. 

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, a professional caregiver can take over for you. Des Moines respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

3. Arm Raises

Strong arms are a good starting place for boosting quality of life. When the arm muscles start to atrophy, the ability to perform many daily tasks—from carrying clean laundry to putting away the groceries—is impacted. Seated arm raises are an effective way for seniors to strengthen their arm muscles. This exercise can be performed with an exercise ball, dumbbell, or makeshift weight, such as a can of soup. To perform the exercise, seniors should extend their arms forward with the weight grasped between their hands, then raise the weight so it’s level with the shoulders.

4. Knee-to-Elbow Exercises

The knee-to-elbow exercise increases range of motion and engages the muscles of the core and legs. Building strength in these key areas promotes stability and minimizes the risk of fall-related injuries. To begin the exercise, seniors should sit at the edge of a chair with one arm extended overhead. Slowly, they should draw the elbow and the opposite knee in toward the core of the body.

5. Toe Touches

Seniors can finish their exercise session with a toe touch exercise that stretches the legs, hips, and back. These stretches reduce the lower back strain often caused by arthritis and nerve compression, and they loosen the tight tendons and muscles that restrain range of motion. Seniors should begin this exercise with their legs forward, knees slightly bent, and heels touching the ground. Then, bending at the waist, they should reach their arms toward their toes.

Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Des Moines senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.

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