How late is too late when it comes to staying active? Well, staying active doesn’t guarantee your youth but in other way, can make you stay healthy for a longer time. Which, in a way, is near similar to staving off the age related complications. Researches show that, age reduces the functional and structural capabilities of human body. It also suggests that regular physical activity could reduce the probable signs of aging, age related chronic diseases and improves the quality of life and overall functional capacity in older adults. Though we say it’s never too late to start off with your workout, but when we are talking about senior citizens, we would strictly recommend checking with your regular physician before going with any kind of workout to be on the safer side and enjoy the benefits of staying active for a longer time.
Here are a few exercises senior citizens can do at the comfort of their home and stay active. These exercises include stretching, mobility exercises, balance Exercises, cardio and low impact exercises. Let’s go:
While seated on a chair or mat, slowly tilt your head to the right shoulder.
Stay in this position for 15 seconds while keeping your left arm straight downwards parallel to your waist.
Breathe normally and release.
Repeat the same on the other side.
Upper Back Stretch
Relax your shoulders while being seated on a chair.
At shoulder height, extend your arms forward. While grabbing one palm with the other and pushing outwards while extending your back and shoulders towards the front.
Stay in the posture for 10 seconds and relax.
While in a seated position, relax your shoulders and breathe.
Stretch your arms backwards as far as you can. Make a nest with your fingers and lock them near your buttock area.
Extending your chest forward pull your shoulders back. Stay for 10 – 15 seconds and then relax.
Overhead Triceps and Shoulder Stretch
While sitting straight, fold your one arm in a way that your forearm faces your back. Try touching your shoulder blades with your fingertips.
While your one arm remains folded, the other arm should grab the bent elbow and pull backward gently.
Keeping your biceps close to your ears, feel the stretch in your shoulders and the back of your arms.
Try holding it for 20 seconds each side and relax.
Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch
Sit straight and stretch your right arm sideways parallel to your neck. Fold your left hand across your right hand stay in this position.
Ensure you keep your elbows a little below your shoulder height.
Hold for 15-20 seconds and switch to the other side.
Fold your arms and place your fingertips on your shoulders.
Move your arms in circle, once clockwise and once anticlockwise, 10-15 each circle.
Ankle and Wrist Rolls
While sitting straight on a chair, stretch your right arm forward and keep your fingers together like a fist. Rotate your wrist clockwise and anticlockwise, 10-15 times each side.
While you are rotating your right wrist, extend your right foot and flex your toes. Curl and flex your toes 5-6 times.
Roll your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise, 10-15 times each side.
Sitting straight on a chair, plant your feet flat on the floor hip width apart.
Now raising the heels of your feet as high as you can balancing on your toes. Bring your feet to the starting position and raise again.
Do this 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Sit on a chair keeping your feet hip width apart.
Keeping your arms forward, chest upwards and back straight, push your butt back and sit on the chair.
Stand up keeping your back straight and chest upwards.
Repeat this 12-15 times.
Low Impact Interval Training
Walking & Jogging
Brisk walking on a treadmill or park is a good cardiovascular option for senior citizens. Brisk walking increases the mobility of your upper and lower body, strengthens your lower body muscles and improves cardiovascular function. Jogging, on the other hand, improves stamina, staves off fat from getting stored in your body, and promotes weight loss.
Get on your four making an arrow shape of your body.
Take your body forward and keep your shoulders above your palm.
Repeat this for 10 times and continue till a good 3 sets.
Do a clean push-up.
Bring your feet forward one by one then do a light jump.
Come back to the push-up position and continue.
Repeat 10 times in each set for 3 sets.
Modified Mountain Climbers
Staying on a plank position, bend your one leg forward as far as you can and take it back.
Do the same with the other leg.
Once you complete one left and one right bend, you complete one rep. Do 20 reps of this.
Step up with knee raise
Place a low raise stepper in front of you.
While your one foot is planted on the ground, the other rests on the stepper. Pull the bent leg from the ground towards your torso. And then touch the ground again.
Do 10-12 reps for the same side before switching to the other side.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, your one hand on your waist and the other holding the support.
Take your right leg forward and set your knees at 90-degree angle while dropping your hips.
Take your left leg backward and lower your knee downwards just above the floor.
Now bring your left leg forward and repeat the same.
Farmer’s walk exercise is just picking some heavy dumbbells or kettlebell or weight plates and walk as far as you can keeping your back and shoulders straight.
This is one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your shoulders and back.
These are some of the exercises senior citizens can do. But the possibility of improvement is immense and thus, there are various interesting exercises that can be performed by senior citizens depending on their fitness level. Last but not the least, diet of senior citizens play an important role when you incorporate fitness into your regular routine. Get your customized meal plan from our Nutrition expert Sujetha Shetty and get started with your fitness goals.