April 18, 2015
Although exercise may sound great, it’s often difficult to get out of your house and go for a walk or to the gym. However, an active lifestyle can keep you in your home longer. Exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions, including heart disease and arthritis.1 Physical exertion can also benefit brain activity, preventing memory loss and slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.2 Older adults are recommended to have 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and muscle-strengthening activities for at least two days a week.3 This week, Staying Put at Home will look at some simple aerobic, balance and core strengthening exercises that you can do at home that will improve your stamina, mobility and balance.
Increased aerobic and cardiovascular activity has been linked to decreases in cholesterol, hypertension and depression.4 Here are a few aerobic exercises you can do at home:
Start slowly; you don’t need to sprint right out of the gate. Make sure you find the duration and exercises that work best for you. If you feel any discomfort (like chest pain or dizziness), then slow down to a more relaxed rate.
Improving your balance can be a great way to deter dangerous falls. As we have discussed elsewhere on Staying Put at Home, senior falls can often lead to hip fractures and long stays in hospitals and nursing homes. Try out some of these exercises so that your balance remains steady:
When exercising, avoid wearing clothes that restrict you or that are overly baggy, as these could be trip hazards.
The deep muscles of your stomach and lower back are commonly referred to as your “core muscles.” Strengthening your core can reduce your risk of falls by improving balance and coordination. Research has shown that a strong core can increase strength by 30% and balance by 23% in seniors.5 Here are a few core exercises you can do at home.
Some of these exercises require you to lie down on the floor. Make sure you have a way to stand up, like balancing yourself on sturdy furniture or having a partner nearby.
While we have provided a bit of advice above about getting off the floor, we realize that you can often find yourself in a situation where assistance is not close at hand. If you are having a hard time standing up, follow these steps:
If you are unable to complete these steps because you are hurt, then try to find a phone and call for help.
Remember, if you have trouble breathing, have chest pain or experience dizziness, then take a break and consult a medical professional. Always consult a physician before beginning an exercise routine. Ask your doctor if there are any exercises you should avoid based on your medical history. If you have any advice or suggestions, please share in our comment section.
This post is a mirror for the official Staying Put at Home Blog. Staying Put at Home provides information for educational purposes only. The advice offered on this site is not a substitute for consultation with a licensed medical professional. Should you have any questions about the information provided by this site, please refer to your primary care physician. Bliss Walk-in Tubs is not legally responsible for the use or misuse of any information presented through Staying Put at Home. Though we link only to reputable safety and health sources, Bliss Walk-in Tubs is also not liable for the recommendations given by our linked sources.