Strength training provides our bones with the mild stress they need to stay strong, and it keeps our muscles toned and ready for the activities of daily living. Using light weights once or twice a week can prolong our independent lives by keeping us fit for climbing stairs, completing daily chores, and enjoying activities like hiking or gardening. Check out Scottsdale Home Care Assistance’s strength training routine for seniors:
Proper warm-up and cool-down is very important, and ten minutes of walking is a great choice. As a warm-up, this walk should be brisk enough that your breathing gets a little heavier, but not so fast that you feel out of control. As a cool-down, this walk should be a little more leisurely, with nice, deep breaths. Elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, and arms should swing freely with our steps. Between these two walks, do the following exercises:
- Stand facing a wall, about arm’s-length away.
- Lean forward and place each palm against the wall, about shoulder-width apart and at shoulder height.
- Keeping the body in a straight line from head to heels, bend the elbows to slowly bring the upper body toward the wall. Tightening the stomach helps to keep the body in line, but keep breathing!
- After a brief pause, straighten the elbows and press the upper body away from the wall. Repeat ten times, rest two minutes, then do ten more.
- From the push-up position, step slightly toward the wall.
- Beginning with palms against the wall below shoulder level, slowly walk the hands up the wall, one above the other. If able, don’t be afraid to raise up onto the toes and reach!
- From the top, slowly walk the hands back down to starting position.
- Repeat the exercise, this time using fingertips to climb the wall, alternating index finger and middle finger to “walk” the hands up and back down.
- Begin seated in a flat, sturdy chair. Sit at the front edge of the chair with feet positioned about hip-width apart. Arms should be crossed across the chest.
- Leaning slightly forward, tighten the stomach muscles and press down through the heels to stand up. Be careful not to tip onto the toes!
- From a standing position, lower slowly back down a seated position at the front of the chair. Repeat ten times, rest for two minutes, then do ten more.
Standing leg curls
- Stand facing a counter or table and rest hands for balance.
- Keeping the knees and thighs together, bend one knee so the foot comes up behind the leg. Go slowly!
- After a pause, straighten the knee to lower the foot slowly back to the ground. Repeat ten times, then switch to the other leg. Rest for two minutes, and repeat both legs.
These exercises are only a sample, but they provide a great start and use a whole variety of important muscles. With this short and simple routine, we’re well on the way to a healthier, more active life. For more information about senior fitness, contact the Scottsdale live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance today. We’re available 24/7 and can answer any questions you may have about senior health and home care. Call 480-448-6215 to speak with a Care Manager.