Exercise Routine For Seniors

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photograph exercise routine for seniors 1

Exercise Routine For Seniors

Exercise Plan for Seniors Ideally, you should be able to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity a week. This would include walking, swimming, cycling, and a little bit of time every day to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. The 150 minutes is the prescribed amount of moderate-intensity exercise that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest for generally fit Americans aged 65 and older. Even though this sounds like a lot, the good news is that you can break it down into 10- or 15-minute chunks of exercise two or more times a day. Here is an example of what a week might look like, along with suggestions for some exercises you can do to get started: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 15-minute walk x 2 15-minute walk x 2 30 minute cycling, swimming, water aerobics, Zumba, etc. Rest 30 minute walk (or 15-minute walk x 2) 30 minute cycling, swimming, water aerobics, Zumba, etc. Rest Strength Strength Strength Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Balance Flexibility Flexibility Flexibility Flexibility Flexibility Flexibility Flexibility Advertisement Advertisement Six-Minute Strength Routine Six-Minute Strength Routine There are dozens of exercises you can do to build strength without having to set foot in a gym. Here are a few examples for people who are just getting started. Abdominal Contractions To increase strength in abdominal muscles Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for three breaths and then release the contraction. Repeat 10 times. Wall Push-Ups To increase strength in chest and shoulders Stand about three feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall, in line with your shoulders. Your body should be in “plank” position, with your spine in straight, not sagging or arched. Lower your body toward the wall and then push back. Repeat 10 times. Pelvic Tilts To strengthen and stretch muscles in the lower back Take a deep breath, tighten your buttocks, and tilt your hips slightly forward. Hold for a three-count. Now tilt your hips back, and hold for three seconds. It’s a very subtle movement. Repeat eight to 12 times. Shoulder Blade Squeeze To strengthen postural muscles and stretch the chest Sit up straight in your seat, rest your hands in your lap, and squeeze your shoulder blades toward one another. Focus on keeping your shoulders down, not hunched up toward your ears, and hold for three seconds. Release and repeat eight to 12 times. Toe Taps To strengthen lower legs Sitting in a chair and keeping your heels on the floor, lift your toes high enough that you can feel the muscles along your shin working. This helps keep blood circulating in your legs and also strengthens the lower leg. Repeat 20 times. Heel Raises To strengthen upper calves Sitting in a chair, keep your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor and lift your heels. Repeat 20 times. Knee Lifts To strengthen thighs Seated in a chair, with your arms resting but not pressing on the armrests, contract your right quadriceps muscles and lift your leg. Your knee and the back of your thigh should be two or three inches off the seat. Pause for three seconds and slowly lower your leg. Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite leg. Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch To stretch the shoulders and back Bend your right arm, raising it so your elbow is chest level and your right fist is near your left shoulder. Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm across your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm. Ankle Rotations To strengthen calves Seated in a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and slowly rotate your foot five times to the right and then five times to the left. Repeat with the left foot. Advertisement Stretches Stretch it Out Getting into the habit of stretching every day will improve your range of motion and make every activity — including reaching for a dish from a cupboard — more comfortable. Here are two basic stretches to start with. Neck Stretch To relieve tension in the neck and upper back Stand with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Keep your hands relaxed at your sides. Don’t tip your head forward or backward as you turn your head slowly to the right. Stop when you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Now turn to the left. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times. Upper Back To relieve tension in the shoulders and upper back Sit in a firm chair. Place your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms up and out in front at shoulder height, palms facing outward (backs of your hands pressed together). Relax your shoulders so they are not scrunched up near your ears. Reach your fingertips out until you feel a stretch – your back will move away from the back of the chair. Stop and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times. Advertisement Advertisement Balance Balance Boosters Since accidental falls are a significant source of injury for many seniors, including balance exercises in your exercise regimen is essential. Doing balance exercises, such as the ones described here, or an activity like tai chi or yoga, makes it easier to walk on uneven surfaces without losing balance. You can do these exercises every day, several times a day — even when you’re standing in line at the bank or the grocery store. Shifting Weight Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Relax your hands at your sides (you can also do this exercise with a sturdy chair in front of you in case you need to grab it for balance). Shift your weight on to your right side, then lift your left foot a few inches off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat three times. Single Leg Balance Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on hips (or on the back of a sturdy chair if you need support). Lift your left foot off the floor, bending at the knee and lifting your heel halfway between the floor and your buttocks. Hold for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat three times.
exercise routine for seniors 1

Exercise Routine For Seniors

Moving through our days gets harder as we age. Bending and stretching, stepping off curbs, even navigating the furnishings in a room – many of us don’t perform these movements as efficiently or gracefully when we’re older, and some of us end up hurting ourselves. We might even fall. But with the right exercises, you can protect your body and enjoy moving more. “It isn’t just about getting in shape. It’s about issues of vitality and survival,” Dancer-fitness expert Celeste Carlucci says. Carlucci was running a fitness program for young moms when she decided to offer the tagalong grandparents a class of their own.  She quickly discovered that routines geared to the issues dancers are most concerned about – alignment, strength, balance and coordination – can open up a whole new world of movement for people over 60 and also help prevent falls later. Choreographing Your Everyday Life Carlucci’s older students were having some movement issues; their old ways of doing things no longer worked. They needed to learn new sequences for everyday challenges like getting up off of the ground after playing with their grandkids or picking up something that had fallen on the floor and putting it on a high shelf. Some had trouble with arthritis in their shoulders or knees. “I had to figure out how my movement background could make them more graceful and efficient in their daily lives,” said Carlucci. She enlisted the help of an occupational therapist friend, and together they designed targeted exercises and movements that use a dancer’s formula for choreographing life’s routine movements, as well as building the strength, alignment, coordination and balance to prevent falls. Ten years later, Carlucci works with about 200 students a week in her program Fall Stop…MOVE STRONG in New York City. Younger students in their 50s join the class as a preventative method so that by the time they’re in their 90s they’re at less risk for falling. We asked Carlucci to show us some of the exercises she teaches in her program. 6 Move Strong Exercises  All of these exercises are great for alignment, strength, coordination and balance. If you’re concerned about your balance, start the standing exercises while holding on to a sturdy chair or counter. Talk to your physician before beginning any other exercise program. Stepping Over The Suitcase A strength, balance and coordination exercise. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides and do 10 reps with you left foot. Be sure to lift your knees up high. Stand with your feet together, hands on hips. Lift your right foot up, to the side, and… down – as if you’re stepping over a large suitcase. (Move slowly to maintain your balance!) Windshield Wiper A seated leg-strengthening exercise for the adductors and abductors. Repeat each movement 10 times. Sit tall with your buttocks on the edge of the chair, legs together, hands on the outside of your knees. Pull your navel toward the spine to engage your abdominal muscles. Open your knees and legs to the sides, resisting with your hands. Move your hands to the inside of your knees and squeeze knees close together while resisting with hands. Reach Down and Reach High   A placement and coordination exercise. Use this balletic movement every time you have to bend down and pick something up or reach up to a high shelf. Put one foot behind the other and reach down to pick something off the floor. This provides a strong stance. The front foot will keep you from losing your balance and the back foot will catch you to prevent a dangerous fall. Bend both knees as you bend down. Now reach high to place something in a cupboard: Place one foot behind the other when reaching up with straight legs to provide balance. Pump The Gas Try this when you get up in the middle of the night or when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Sit up tall on the edge of your bed or chair. Point and flex your feet 5 times to get your blood flowing to prevent dizziness and possibly fainting. Stop it A sharp staccato lunge forward with a mental picture of stopping activates muscles that help to stop a fall. Repeat 10 times, alternating legs. Each time you stop, say “STOP” out loud. This trains your muscles and mind to catch you if you trip. Hold onto a firm surface for support with one hand (a kitchen counter or sturdy chair works). Lunge forward with one foot and arm extended forward.. STOP, return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Strike a Pose If it’s good enough for Madonna, it’s good enough for us! Do 10 sharp and strong freestyle moves in different directions. Anything you want to do is fine. Make them big to allow you to move with expression and regain confidence. Have fun! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THE EXERCISES Click here to visit Carlucci’s Move Strong website. Enjoy the exercises and in the comments below, let us know how they work for you. SHARE & PRINT!

Exercise Routine For Seniors

Exercise Routine For Seniors
Exercise Routine For Seniors
Exercise Routine For Seniors
Exercise Routine For Seniors
Exercise Routine For Seniors

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