Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Seniors

Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Seniors

All ages should be spent being active, but as you age, staying fit becomes even more important for your general health and wellbeing. Seniors who exercise regularly have better mobility, flexibility, and balance, which lowers their risk of falls and accidents. The National Institute on Aging states that four types of exercise—flexibility, endurance, balance, and strength—can improve your health and help you keep your independence as you get older. Finding the appropriate workouts that are safe, effective, and pleasurable can be difficult, though, especially if you like working out at home, given the deluge of false information that is floating around the internet.Thankfully, Mike Masi, CPT, of Garage Gym Reviews, a certified personal trainer, agreed to speak with us and provide us with a list of the top ten exercises that seniors may perform at home.

“Exercise for seniors is crucial for maintaining flexibility, strength, and balance, which can help prevent falls and maintain independence,” Masi says. Actually, studies show that regular exercise helps keep older persons from developing sarcopenia by maintaining their muscle mass and strength, which tend to decrease with age. Exercises that work different muscle groups (like resistance training) can be very helpful in preserving muscular mass and function and reducing your chance of developing sarcopenia.

The top 10 activities that Masi recommends seniors perform at home are listed below. After you’re done, have a look at the Top 7 Exercises To Get More Flexibility.

1. Chair Squats

The first exercise is the chair squat, which is a variant on the traditional bodyweight squat and a tried-and-true method of strengthening your lower body.

Masi instructs, “To execute this exercise, place your feet shoulder-width apart in front of a chair. Lower yourself into a squat, gently contacting the chair before raising yourself back up. Keep in mind that this exercise will be more difficult the lower the chair. As needed, adjust the difficulty by adjusting the seat height.” After a minute of rest in between sets, perform four sets of eight to ten repetitions.

2. Push-ups with an Elevation

A adapted form of classic pushups that is less taxing on the shoulders and wrists is the elevated pushup.

“Place your hands on an elevated surface like a countertop or a banister slightly wider than your shoulders, but adjust the width for comfort,” says Masi. Make sure your body is straight, as though you are in a plank posture, and your feet are behind you. Touch the countertop with your lower chest. This practice will be more difficult the lower the surface. As needed, adjust the difficulty by using surface height.” After a minute of rest, complete four sets of eight to twelve repetitions.

3. Adapted Burpees

Traditional burpees may be your love or hate, but modified burpees are a more sustainable, low-impact option for seniors.

“Start by straddling a yoga mat,” Masi instructs us. Step back one leg so that your knee is on the ground and extend both hands toward the ground. Proceed similarly with the opposite leg. Next, bring your hips and chest down to the floor. Reverse this sequence to ascend again. If you require support with your upper body, place your hands on a stable surface.” With a minute’s rest in between each round, aim for three sets of two to five repetitions.

4. Heel Raises

Your calf muscles, which are crucial for balance and stability, will get stronger with this easy lower-body workout.

“Hang your heels off a step while standing. This is not a balance exercise, so make sure you’re hanging onto something firm for support. Lift your heels in the direction of the ceiling after lowering them gradually until you feel a stretch behind your lower thigh. If necessary, this can be performed as a regression from a level surface “says Masi. Perform four sets of ten to fifteen repetitions, with a minute of rest in between.

5. Arm Rotations

Arm circles are a great way to strengthen the muscles surrounding your shoulder joint and increase shoulder mobility.

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and extend your arms to the sides, then make small circles with arms, each set changing direction,” Masi explains. Repeat this motion three to five times, then halt for 30 to 60 seconds. Between each round, take a minute to rest.

6. Walking

Walking is a key component of a healthy aging process and a great low-impact workout. A review published in 2023 claims that walking lowers the risk of chronic diseases, builds muscles, improves mood, and improves cardiovascular health.

“Walk briskly on a treadmill or around the neighborhood,” suggests Masi. “If you require assistance with balance, utilize an assistive device. Once you gain confidence, move on to somewhat sloping and hilly terrain after starting on flat terrain. Strive for a walking pace that doesn’t require you to stop.” Strive for five 30-minute walks a week to reach your weekly goal of 150 minutes of walking.

7. Hip Abduction Standing

This exercise strengthens and stabilizes the hip by focusing on the muscles of the outer thigh and hip.

“Stand behind a chair for support, keep your body straight, lift one leg to the side, then lower the leg back down gently,” Masi advises. For the duration of the exercise, make sure both of your toes are pointed straight ahead. When elevating a leg, try not to compensate at the trunk.” Perform three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions per leg. Take a 30-second break in between sets.

8. March in Seated Position

Marching while seated is an excellent way to develop your lower body muscles and increase hip and knee flexibility.

Masi says, “Sit in a chair with your back straight, and march your legs up and down in place, lifting your knees as high as comfortable.” Do this motion continuously for 20 to 30 seconds. Take a minute off in between each of the four repetitions.

9. Gluteal Bridges

Glute bridges are the next exercise on the list; they are a really powerful way to develop your lower back muscles and glutes.
“Lie on your back with your knees bent so your feet are flat and about shoulder-width apart,” Masi adds. “Lift your hips off the ground by using your glutes, or butt muscles. You might begin by doing this on your bed if lying on the ground is too uncomfortable.” Work in four sets of ten to twenty, pausing for one minute in between each set.

10. Balance on One Leg

Exercises for single-leg balance help increase stability and balance, which are essential for avoiding falls and preserving mobility as you age.

“Stand behind a chair, and lift one foot off the ground while raising your knee toward the ceiling,” Masi explains. “Make sure your leg stays straight on the ground. Maintain this stance, then change your foot positions. If you need assistance starting, you can use your fingertips on the chair in front of you for balance.” Five repetitions of this pose should be made, holding each leg for 15 to 30 seconds.

Sanchita Patil

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