How Often Should I Perform Core Exercises
Your printable core exercise program for seniors handout with pictures will guide you through your first month of practicing these specific core exercises.
Youll notice that you will practice 3 of these exercises per day, alternating exercises each day. This will allow practice of each exercise 3x throughout the week.
At the end of the week, youll have a day of rest however, if youre feeling a bit sore and need an additional day of rest during the week, thats absolutely fine!
We split the exercises up in the program throughout the week to gently introduce you to this routine. If, however, you would rather practice all 6 exercises in one day, and practice that routine 2-3 days per week, thats a perfectly fine variation!
After your first month of practicing these core exercises for seniors, if youre noticing positive results, then keep it up! Long-term, to maintain those results, try to continue practice of each exercise at least 2x per week, if you cant fit 3x in.
Also keep in mind, core exercises for seniors are most effective when combined with consistent whole-body strength training and cardio options. So, you can absolutely include the practice of other exercises with these core exercises for seniors into your workout routine.
If you have any other questions regarding either the specific muscles specified or movements address, feel free to drop a comment below!
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Senior Walking & Biking Exercises
Walking or biking for as little as 30 minutes per day can result in weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, reduced blood pressure, stronger bones, better balance, and more!
If you feel safe walking around your neighborhood, you dont even have to go anywhere. Otherwise, you can find a pretty park, a school running track, or even a shopping mall to get your steps in.
You could also get your daily walk in by walking your dog or strolling with your grandkids!
If you feel comfortable, you can also try running but dont push yourself.
Best Core Exercises For Seniors
Below, weve outlined some of the best core exercises for seniors looking to live a more active and healthy lifestyle.
If youve ever scanned a fitness magazine or sat in on a class at the gym, you know something about the importance of core strength.
Developing a strong core means tight abdominal muscles and strong obliques. Athletes make it a priority, as do many fitness gurus and supermodels, and its about time seniors do the same.
Your core is a collection of muscles around your entire torso: your abs, glutes, and oblique muscles. These are at the center of all you do, and incorporating core strengthening practices into your weekly exercise routine will help you live a more well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.
For older adults, core strengthening will give you the opportunity to enjoy your daily activities without a high fear of injury.
On the other hand, a weak core will keep you from doing the things you love, whether thats playing a sport with friends, getting down on the floor with your grandkids, working in a garden, or any other activity.
Developing a strong core takes discipline and determination. It wont happen overnight or with just a few changes. At the same time, however, you dont need to go out and get a gym membership.
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Chair Exercises For Seniors
Sometimes standing up for long periods of time is NOT healthy. Some people cant walk or move too much, and thats ok. There are still ways to exercise and safely keep your body moving.
For example, try the seated row. Sit in a dining chair or any chair without arms, and repeat a rowing motion with your arms at least 8-10 times. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable. This repeated motion will work your upper back and chest muscles.
You could also do knee lifts from a chair. Simply lift your knees one at a time towards your chest. Lift each leg individually at least 8-10 times. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of lifts and work on bringing your legs higher.
Prefer an even more sedentary routine? These yoga poses can be done from your chair:
Ankle Range Of Motion
This exercise will help keep your feet and ankles flexible as it stretches your muscles.
- Sit near the edge of the seat with your hands gripping the side of the chair for extra balance
- Extend your right leg out as far as you can while keeping your left foot on the ground
- Point your toe up and then rotate your foot once clockwise
- Rotate the same foot counterclockwise
- Alternate which foot you use
- Do 20 reps for each foot in each direction
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Is Stretching Good For Seniors
If you think of your body as a machine then you should think of stretching as the oil you need to keep all the parts well lubricated so it continues to function well over time. Proper exercise and stretching is essential to strengthen muscles while also keeping joints flexible and mobile. Daily stretching and exercise for seniors is particularly important as this can help with fall prevention, build strength and improve balance. We will cover stretches for seniors that can be performed every morning to enhance daily life. Move it or lose it!
How Exercises Help Seniors Avoid Falls
Fall risks are incredibly real for older adults, with a senior falling every 12 seconds.
These falls can lead to life-threatening injuries, especially when the person is left unattended. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to ensure you avoid falls as best you can.
Core exercises can be especially helpful in reducing your fall risk. A strong core helps promote stability and balance in your body, making it harder for something to bring you down.
Additionally, the highly functional exercises we mentioned above help your body get used to these kinds of moves. Whether you focus on the twists and bends of the wood chops or the balance-inducing stillness of planks, either one will get your body in a better position to withstand falling.
Lastly, having a strong core helps prepare you if you do happen to have a fall. Your muscles play an active part in the movements that will help you get up and get help should you find yourself on the ground.
There are a number of benefits when it comes to strengthening your core. Weve outlined some of the best core exercises for seniors so you can become stronger, more balanced, and more active in your daily life.
Dont let a weak core get in the way of your happiness. Try out a few of these core strengthening exercises and rediscover the joy that comes when you can live life without fear of injury.
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The Health Benefits Of Exercise In Older Adults
As we age, we sadly lose muscle and bone mass.
Seniors who lead an active, healthy lifestyle live longer, have fewer diseases, and are more functional.
In contrast, being sedentary increases the risk of osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death.
If you have a chronic condition here are some benefits of exercise to look forward to.
Sitting Balance Exercises For Seniors
Its important to have good balance in a variety of chairs or surfaces, like getting in and out of your bed or on and off the toilet. Oftentimes, standing up from a chair feels unbalanced because of poor sitting balance.
Our next balance PDF handout goes into even more detail on the following essential exercises for seated balance:
- Head turns with minimal support
- Trunk rotation and flexion training
- Sit-to-stand exercises
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Why Core Strength Is Vital To Active Aging
For aging adults, concentrating on core strength becomes more and more relevant. The gradual loss of core muscle tissue typically starts as early as your mid-30s. Thats why including a regular routine of core exercises when youre younger, as well as you age, is so important!
While you might not realize it at the time, without sufficient resistance training, core strength is likely to have deteriorated so much so that by the time you turn 50, everyday life is made more difficult.
The stability of core muscles impacts your ability to keep the spine supported throughout the day, especially during twisting, bending, and turning movements.
From enjoyable activities like swinging a golf club to more laborious work like pushing a shoveling a driveway are all impacted by the strength of your core.
Without a strong core, the likelihood of false and other balance-related injuries increases greatly.
However, a recent study found that regular core stabilization exercises for elderly helped to improve balance in adults 60 to 80 years old! As well, increasing your core strength can also help improve your joint pain.
Exercise Helps Prevent And Counteract Disease:
Heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes are common diseases among older adults, and are often deadly. Fortunately, adopting a more active lifestyle can contribute to the prevention of these diseases, or reduce the unpleasant symptoms of these diseases if you already have them. If you are at-risk for disease, exercise may be the key to warding off an unpleasant condition.
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Safety Precautions To Take
- Do not exercise if your doctor does not allow you to.
- Seek help from a physical therapist if you have osteoporosis or arthritis.
- Start with a lower number of repetitions.
- Do the exercises on a bed/sofa/chair.
- Take the support of a chair or the wall for standing exercises.
- Exercise on an anti-slip yoga mat to prevent accidental falls.
While aging is inevitable, it is still possible to age gracefully by taking care of your body. Stretching exercises for seniors can benefit everyone over the age of 50 as these low-impact exercises can help enhance flexibility, mobility, balance, and coordination. They can also help with mood, circulation, and overall quality of life. Some popular and effective stretches for seniors include neck stretches, chest stretches, side stretch, quad stretch, and hip abduction. Combine a good diet, adequate rest, and these stretches to age gracefully and well.
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Walking Is The Simplest Exercise For Overweight Seniors
The easiest exercise which can be done by people of any group, especially seniors, is none other than walking. This has countless benefits and can be done at any time.
An advantage of walking is that it does not require any sort of equipment or support. All you have to do is go on a stroll. You can even bring your friends with you and chit-chat your way to fitness while walking.
Make sure you keep a water bottle with you so that you do not become a victim of dehydration as you go. Practically, 15 to 20 minutes of walking is recommended for seniors.
Walk daily for a minimum of 15 20 minutes
In case you do not have any issue with your joints or muscles, you can even walk for a longer time but at regular intervals.
What Are The Best Exercises For Seniors
Exercising is good for the body as people age, helping to ensure good overall health, strength, and flexibility. Among the best types of exercises for seniors are those that build strength and stability. They help build muscle, boost the metabolism, and prevent falls that can be dangerous for senior citizens. Stretching and endurance workouts are also healthy exercises for seniors, helping older people maintain mobility, flexibility, and stamina.
Strength workouts are among the best exercises for seniors. They help to not only build muscle and strength, but also to make the bones stronger. These exercises can also boost a senior citizens metabolism, which can be important for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels and normal weight. Strength exercises can even help slow the muscle loss that is a common part of aging. A senior citizen who isnt used to exercise may start out performing strength exercises without weight and then add weights as he gains strength.
Balance exercises are good for senior citizens as well because they build muscles in the legs and strength in the lower body. They can help a senior citizen have better stability, translating into lowered risk of serious falls. It is very important for senior citizens to avoid falls, as such accidents can be debilitating as a person grows older.
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Common Core Strengthening Questions
A majority of these movements may seem foreign to you at first, and thats okay! They are not your traditional crunches, leg lifts, bicycles for good reason many of your traditional core exercises strictly work your rectus abdominis and oblique muscles otherwise known as the show muscles.
o truly reduce lower back pain and improve function in your joints, it is important to focus on the core muscles that actually support your movements and improve everyday life. This printable routine of core exercises for seniors was specifically created with that thought in mind.
How Often Should Seniors Do Core Exercises
Developing strong core muscles requires regular work and discipline. Core strength training should be a regular part of your weekly exercise routine, happening multiple times throughout the week.
Remember that you dont have to do every exercise mentioned above every time you go work out. That being said, mixing up your exercises can help target new muscles and keep things interesting while you work on building a strong core.
You can also try different exercises for different muscles groups. If you feel your abs are too sore, try focusing on one that targets your back muscles instead.
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Stretching Exercises For Seniors
Regular stretches are important as your joints age. As you age, your muscles gradually shorten and lose elasticity. While you cant necessarily stop the aging process, you can certainly make yourself more comfortable by performing daily stretches.
Static stretching lengthens your muscles and improves your range of motion. Static stretching means holding a position for 10 to 30 seconds . Static stretches can be as simple as sitting down and touching your toes for 30 seconds straight.
Try to remember to spend a few minutes on static stretching exercises at least three to five times per week.
Keep in mind that you should feel the stretch a little, but it shouldnt hurt. If you find yourself in pain after a stretch, you may have pushed yourself too far, or something could be wrong. Always see your doctor if you find yourself in pain.
Strength Training Benefits For Seniors
If designed appropriately, a weight training program for seniors can offer benefits that enhance overall quality of life. These include:
- Increased upper and lower body strength
- Improved joint health
- Easier time maintaining a healthy weight
- Keeping or building bone density, which can reduce breaks and fractures
A dumbbell program is also a convenient way to train at home on days when you are not able to make it to the gym.
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How Much Activity Do Older Adults Need
While some seniors will want to get after these workouts every day, its important to talk about your bodys ability to handle your regiment. The last thing you want to do is overstress your body and cause injury.
That being said, most doctors recommend a mixture of aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities. The chair exercises for seniors we outlined above fall into the second category, while activities like walking or jogging fall into the first.
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, developed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, state that generally fit older adults over 65 with no limiting health conditions should do two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities mixed with 75-150 minutes of aerobics depending on intensity.
Lower intensity activities like walking require more time . Higher intensity activities like jogging or running need only 75 minutes per week. You can also mix the two and meet somewhere in the middle.
More than anything, you should speak with your physician about what exercises and what frequencies are right for you.
Greater Independence For Seniors
Older adults who do balance exercises and include weight training in their program are less likely to depend on others .
Independence in old age is defined as being able to perform activities of daily living without help.
These include walking, eating, bathing, getting out of bed, or using the toilet according to Harvard Medical School .
When you strength train and work on balance, you not only live longer but have happier, more independent years into old age.
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