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Best Exercises for Staying Active in Assisted Living

Senior living residents doing yoga outdoors

No matter what age or phase of life you’re in, there are probably still things you want to do. And while it seems obvious, the best way to stay active is to be active. As you age, your body changes, but there are still certain must do exercises for seniors that can help maintain strength, flexibility and balance. This blog post will discuss the health benefits of exercise and suggest senior wellness options to help ensure you’re still physically able to do the things you enjoy.

Health Benefits of Exercises for Seniors

Exercise is an investment in yourself that can help you live a longer, healthier and happier life. Some of the benefits of being physically active include:

  • More independence: Seniors that exercise regularly are less likely to depend on others for help walking, getting dressed, cooking, bathing and maintaining their grooming routine. If self-reliance is a priority for you, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain or regain independence for older adults.
  • Improved balance: Every 11 seconds, an older adult is admitted to an emergency room for a fall-related injury. Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles responsible for maintaining your balance to help reduce your likelihood of falling.
  • More energy: Exercise promotes the release of endorphins linked to pain relief and a sense of well-being. These endorphins can also help combat stress, promote healthy sleep and make you feel more lively and energetic.
  • Prevent disease: Having a more active lifestyle can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes.
  • Improved brain function: Seniors that exercise on a regular basis have been shown to have improved cognitive health. In a recent study from the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by nearly 50%.

The Best Exercises for Seniors in Assisted Living

While exercise is crucial for older adults, it can be hard to know where to begin. Before you start any fitness program, it’s important to check with your doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough for exercise and to see which exercises are ideal for your current fitness level. There’s also a good chance the exercises you were once accustomed to aren’t ideal for you now. Here are few suggestions on where to start:

  • Yoga: Whether you do yoga standing or sitting in a chair, It’s one of the best stretching exercises for seniors. It can also help improve muscle strength, mobility and balance.
  • Resistance band workouts: Using stretchy bands of rubber to add resistance to leg presses, tricep presses, lateral raises and bicep curls can help strengthen your core muscles, making resistance bands an ideal part of balance exercise for seniors
  • Pilates: This low-impart form of exercise is also good for improving balance and flexibility and emphasizes breathing, body alignment, concentration and core strength.
  • Walking: One of the least stressful and most accessible forms of exercise is walking. It can help strengthen muscles and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and colon cancer. 
  • Body weight workouts: To help prevent muscle loss, consider adding a body weight workout to your routine. Suggested exercises include push-ups, squats and sit-ups. If you have difficulty getting down or up from the floor, try modifications like wall push-ups. You can also try chair exercise for seniors like calf raises. Stand with your hands on a chair back and raise up onto your tip toes until your heels come off the floor, and then slowly lower back down. 
  • Aerobics: Doing 5-minute intervals of classic aerobic moves like jumping jacks and walking in place/knee lifts can get your heart pumping and promote cardiovascular health. 

Discover a Community of Wellness at Village Shalom

No matter how much you want to, sticking to a health and wellness routine can be difficult. When you choose a senior living community that’s focused on wellness like Village Shalom you’ll find a supportive group of neighbors and staff to help you enjoy life to the fullest. In addition to assisted living, Village Shalom also offers independent living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. To learn how we can help you maximize your independence through exercise and other fitness programs, contact us here.