Seven Exercises to Keep Older People Physically Active
Staying active can be difficult for elderly people, particularly if they have been ill or are less mobile than they used to be. However, exercising has large benefits for older people, helping to improve overall health, mobility, balance, mood and brain function. Regularly exercising can also help older people retain their independence for longer.
Here, we have some gentle, simple-to-follow exercises that are recommended for elderly people by the NHS. These are easy to do at home, requiring only a chair, and should be tried at least twice a week for the best results. Remember to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and drink lots of water.
Sitting Exercise: Chest Stretch
- Sit upright and keep your back away from the back of the chair. Push your shoulders back and down whilst extending your arms out to either side.
- Gently pull your chest forward and upwards – when far enough, you should feel the stretch across your chest.
Sitting Exercise: Upper Body Twist
- Sit upright and place your feet flat on the floor with your arms crossed. Reach across your body to the opposite shoulder.
- Keep your hips still and twist your upper body to the left as far as possible and hold this pose for five seconds.
- Repeat this stretch for the right side.
Sitting Exercise: Hip Marching
- Sit upright, holding onto the sides of the chair, and keep your back away from the back of the chair.
- Lift up your left leg with your knee bent as far as possible. Then slowly return your foot to the floor.
- Repeat this exercise with your right leg.
Sitting Exercise: Arm Raises
- Sit upright on a chair, keeping your arms down by your sides.
- Raise your arms out to either side with your palms facing forward, holding them up as far as possible.
- Slowly return your arms back to your sides.
Sit to Stand Exercise
- Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet apart in-line with your hips.
- Slowly stand up using your legs, ensuring you keep looking forwards.
- Once you are stood up, slowly sit down again. You can use your arms to guide you if you need.
- Place your hands flat against a wall in line with your chest, ensuring that your fingers are pointing towards the ceiling.
- Slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows by your side and your back straight. Lean as close to the wall as you can.
- Slowly push back to your starting position.
Wall Calf Stretch
- Holding the wall to keep your balance, bend your left leg and move your right leg a foot backwards, keeping both feet on the floor.
- You should feel a stretch in your right calf muscle when your left leg is kept as straight as possible.
- Repeat this with the other leg.
If you’d like to discuss the needs of an elderly loved one and are considering hiring professional care, get in touch with the Wessex Care team today.