4 Types of Exercises to Help Older Adults Stay Healthy

Posted By on February 8, 2018

At HarborChase Senior Living, we value health and fitness. We also know that, as we get older, exercising and staying physically active isn’t always easy. There are many exercises that individuals may have done earlier in their lives that they are unable to do now.

Fortunately, every one of our independent and assisted living communities throughout the U.S. focus on exercise and activities meant specifically for older adults. These exercises can vary in difficulty and effectiveness because the capabilities of each person can be different from one another. Although the specific exercises may vary, there are clear categories that each activity falls into.

The four major categories of exercise are aerobic exercises, strength exercises, balance exercises, and flexibility exercises. Although each type is very different from one another, combining all four of these can prove to be a beneficial blend of activities for older adults.

1. Aerobic

According to Medline Plus, aerobic exercises increase your heart and breathing rates. The purpose of doing aerobic exercises is to strengthen the heart and improve one’s endurance. Some examples of aerobic exercises are:

  • Walking, jogging or running

  • Swimming

  • Biking

2. Strength

The second category of exercises that is important for any senior is strength training. As people grow older, it is common for them to lose strength in the bones and muscles. Over time, people with weaker muscles begin to have hardship moving or lifting things that were never a problem before. With the help of a few simple strength training techniques, it’s possible to maintain muscle and mitigate the loss of strength. Some common strength training exercises are:

  • Lifting light weights

  • Using resistance bands

  • Assisted squats, lunges, and rows

3. Balance

Balance exercises can be vital to a senior’s safety. Maintaining balance is important as a senior because it can prevent serious injuries and allow for increased mobility. Many individuals that have weak balance have to use aids to walk, such as canes. While this isn’t always bad, it’s much better to have great balance! There are plenty of useful balance exercises, but here are a few:

  • Assisted leg raises

  • Walking heel to toe

  • Knee marching

4. Flexibility

Increasing one’s flexibility is not always thought of as being of the utmost importance. It turns out; flexibility may be much more critical than many people believe. Improving flexibility can allow individuals to complete daily tasks such as getting dressed, reaching far objects, and bending down much more comfortable. Individuals that are flexible also tend to feel much more limber and healthy than those who have trouble stretching their muscles. Flexibility can improve in a multitude of ways, including doing exercises such as:

  • Neck side stretch

  • Tricep stretch

  • Standing quadriceps stretch

  • Ankle circles

  • Toe touches

Although some exercises can be challenging for older adults, many of the activities listed above are safe for most people to perform. Doing exercise on a daily basis can improve one’s health. Before performing any new exercises or stretches, we recommend consulting your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe.

Once you complete the mentioned exercises over some time, it is common to notice an improved mood, balance, strength, and flexibility. Try out these exercises and start getting active!

At HarborChase Senior Living , we encourage our residents to be active and get moving! We assist in safe and effective exercises, helping our residents to get the most from every activity. 

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