Getting regular exercise helps improve mobility, maintain muscle mass, and increase bone density. These three factors alone help protect you from injuries as you age. Our senior respite care team in Gloucester County has put together 5 exercises to improve senior mobility that can be performed with minimal equipment and even at home (no fancy gym required).
Safety note: Please consult with your physician or physical therapist before performing any new exercises that could impact current health conditions.
#1 – Wall exercises are great for strengthening mobility in the arms, shoulders, and back. This exercise can also help improve your posture and raise your heart and breathing rate if performed more vigorously.
- First, stand with your back to the wall. Your feet should be placed a few inches from the wall, but your head and lower back should lean against the wall.
- Next, have the back of your hands touch the wall on either side of your body, making sure to maintain contact between your hands and the wall at all times throughout the exercise routine.
- While keeping your arms straight, raise your hands as high as you can over your head and then lower them back to the starting position at your sides. Similar to a jumping jack or snow angel motion.
- Repeat the exercise 10 more times.
#2 – The Upper Body Clam Shell promotes mobility and flexibility in the shoulders. This exercise is also beneficial to the back, chest, and arms.
- Grab a stable chair and sit in an upright position with your feet flat on the floor.
- Once you are comfortable, make a “goal post” with your arms (form 90 degree angles with both arms, with your upper arm and elbows parallel to the floor)
- Close your forearms together in front of you, the motion should be similar to a clamshell closing.
- Return to the starting position and repeat this motion 10 more times.
#3 – Chair Squats are a safe way to strengthen muscles in the knees, allowing more blood to flow around the joints. Like the exercise above, this one also requires a sturdy chair.
- Stand with your back facing the chair. Your feet should be hip-width apart from one another.
- Flex your core abdominal muscles.
- Next, slowly bend your knees and lower your body to the chair as if you’re going to sit.
- Touch the chair slightly and then slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 more times.
#4 – Standing on one foot helps improve your overall balance by strengthening each leg. Keeping your legs strong and stable will in turn promote better mobility.
- Grab a sturdy chair and hold onto the back to steady yourself
- Raise your right leg forward and try to balance on your left leg without relying on the chair too much
- Hold this position for as long as you can comfortably (aim for 30-60 seconds if possible).
- Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the left leg.
#5 – The Seated Abdominal Press is an ideal way to strengthen core muscles that are essential for overall stability and mobility.
- Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on your knees, making sure your elbows are locked.
- Press your palms into your knees and flex your core muscles
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then repeat the exercise 5-10 more times.
Exercising safely at UMC in Pitman, NJ
At Pitman, we offer every assisted living resident the opportunity to exercise safely. With industry-leading health and safety protocols in effect, there’s no reason why we can’t hold fun fitness classes with our senior residents!
Some of our favorite fitness classes include dance and chair yoga. We understand that everyone has different levels of mobility and that they need to find what routine works best for their unique situation. That’s why we make an active effort to offer multiple programs and have trained professionals on-site to support each residents’ exercise goals to the fullest.
For more information about our senior exercise programs in Gloucester County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://pitman.umcommunities.org/
Original blog posted on https://pitman.umcommunities.org/2021/12/20/5-exercises-to-improve-senior-mobility/