Aging In Place - Exercise Tips For Seniors (During A Global Pandemic)

Aging In Place - Exercise Tips For Seniors (During A Global Pandemic)

As COVID-19  has taken over the world, many have been following CDC guidelines and have committed to self quarantining in order to reduce the spread of the virus. While some have come to enjoy staying at home (and while staying at home can definitely be fun) others have become stir crazy. Many people have taken walks during the pandemic, but if COVID-19 is severe in your area, you may feel reluctant to go out in public.

Aging In Place - Exercise Tips For Seniors -(During A Global Pandemic)


Even if you are going crazy in the home, it is important to stay home. Seniors 65+ are the most at risk during the global pandemic and at step2health we care about your safety. Just because you are stuck at home, it doesn’t mean you have to sit at home on the couch all day. In fact, some light daily exercise is a great way to keep yourself healthy.


Seniors who are aging in place in their own home don’t need to leave the house to get exercise, there are plenty of exercises you can do in the home to age in place and remain as healthy as possible. 


Aging In Place - The Importance Of Exercising As  a Senior 


If you are a step2bed user and have trouble getting in and out of bed without the step2bed, you may be reluctant to do any strenuous exercise. However, contrary to popular belief, exercising can actually help reduce the risk of falls. By doing basic exercise daily, you can increase your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and improve your balance. 

Aging In Place - Exercise Tips For Seniors- (During A Global Pandemic)


Exercise is also beneficial to your cognitive health. By exercising as a senior, you help maintain and increase the neurons in your brain, which are necessary to keep the body alive. Brain neurons affect the way you think and your memory — with consistent exercise, you are doing your mind and your body a favor! If neurons are not enough to motivate you, some studies have shown that seniors who take walk multiple time a week have dementia occurrence rates that are 35% lower than does who do not exercise.


Exercise is also a key to cognitive function. Scientists have found that brain neurons- the special cells that perform all the necessary functions to keep you alive, as well as help you think and improve your memory- all increase after a few weeks of regular exercise.  In fact, some researchers found that when individuals walk three or more times a week, the occurrence of dementia was 35% lower than those seniors who were not involved in any type of physical activity.  For those who want to age in place, exercise is a great way to stay in the home longer and to stay healthy.


Given the current state of the world,  and depending on your location, going outside and taking a walk may not be an option for you. Remember to be safe when you exercise and wear proper, loose-fitting clothing. 



Before You Exercise — Stretch Stretch Stretch!

As seniors age in place or age in general, it can be common for one’s flexibility to decrease. Stretching is an essential way to warm your body up before you exercise, but it can also be a very therapeutic and relaxing activity. There are plenty of different stretches you can do.

Static stretching

Aging In Place - Exercise Tips For Seniors (During A Global Pandemic)

Static stretching is when you hold a specific stretch for more than thirty seconds. These stretches usually target a certain part of the body.Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is a great way to target your whole body.


Stretching To Reduce The Risk Of FallsArms

A great way to stretch your arms is to stand with on your feet, make sure they are apart. Lace your fingers behind your back. You can do this loosely and your arms o not have to be tight. Next, slowly lift your interlaced hands to the ceiling. Hold it for ten seconds.

Hips

Stand with your feet together, or slightly apart if it is more comfortable. Put your hands on your hips and begin to move your hips — just your hips in a circle. After one minute, change directions. Doing this stretch helps increase the mobility of your hips.


Own a step2bed? Here Are Some Ways You Can Exercise With It*


*The step2bed is NOT designed for strenuous exercise. These exercise tips incorporate the step2bed as something to lightly hold for balance during exercise Please use caution when exercising. If you do not have a step2bed, you can use a chair for these exercises to help your balance. 

step2bed-step2health-exercise

The step2bed Balance

Take your step2bed and bring it to an area free of any obstructions. Next place one hand on the high grab bar of the step2bed. While holding the step2bed, lift one foot off the ground and balance on the other. Hold that position for ten seconds. Once you are done, switch feet and do the same thing. Repeat standing on each foot while holding with the step2bed ten times.

The step2bed toe stand

Take your step2bed and bring it to an area free of any obstructions. Next place both hands on the grab bars of the step2bed. Making sure your back is as straight as possible, bend your knees ever so slightly. Secure your balance, then go on to your tiptoes. Keep holding the step2bed and gradually lower your heels to the floor. Complete this exercise ten times.


Bored With Balance Exercises? Do Some Cardio In The Comfort Of Your Own Home.


Cardio seems to intimidate many aging in place seniors (and young people!) However, what many fail to realize is that cardio doesn’t mean you have to run ten miles. In fact, you can do some cardio in your home, as you are aging in place, during a global pandemic.

 

Exercises For Seniors With Limited Mobility

If you are a senior with limited mobility, you can still break a sweat. If you are looking for exercises for seniors in  a wheelchair, you can check out “8 Effective Seated Exercises for Wheelchair Bound Seniors.”


Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!

Every time you exercise, you should make sure your are constantly hydrating. Even if you do not feel thirsty, take a couple of sips of water in between your stretches or exercises. It is ideal to drink eight glasses a water a day.


Healthy Post-Workout Snacks

Remember to finish your workout with a snack! When you just completed a workout and feel a little peckish, try to reach for a healthy snack. Some fruit, some veggies, is a great option.


Aging in Place And Staying Fit During a Global Pandemic

Remember, staying fit while aging in place isn’t an overnight process. It is important to keep at your exercises and your stretches. However, also remember not to push yourself too hard — if a stretch or exercise is causing you a lot of pain, stop doing it immediately. 

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