Olympic Inspirations: Exercise for the Elderly

Elderly Exercise

Olympic Inspirations: Exercise for the Elderly

The 2021 Summer Olympics are drawing to a close, and we have had the pleasure of watching some of our country’s greatest athletes exercise on a world stage alongside their peers from all over the globe. This year, the US has 613 athletes competing in the Olympics who so far have earned 77 medals: 25 Gold, 30 Silver, and 22 Bronze! 

Watching the Olympic games is both entertaining and inspiring — it is a joy to see the amazing feats that the human body can accomplish, and every athlete competing is truly top of their field. For us regular folks watching, it can be motivation to keep our own bodies in the best shape we can so that we can stay healthy. This extends to our senior loved ones — exercise is a fantastic way to improve mental and physical well-being. It can reduce pain and fall risks, and improve sleep, circulation, and flexibility. In patients with dementia, it can also help manage sundowning, disrupted sleep, and agitation. 

We’ve put together a list of different types of activities to consider regularly incorporating into your elderly loved ones’ or patients’ routines. Depending on their mobility and health, there are a variety of different options to consider. Make sure these are done with supervision to prevent strains or falls. 

Seated Exercises

  • Marching
  • Turning the upper body from side to side
  • Raising the heels and toes
  • Raising the arms towards the ceiling
  • Raising the opposite arm and leg
  • Bending the legs
  • Clapping under the legs
  • Bicycling the legs
  • Making circles with the arms
  • Practicing moving from sitting to standing
  • Sitting unsupported for 3-5 minutes 

Standing Exercises

  • The sit to stand exercise – strengthens muscles needed for essential activities like using the toilet
  • Stay balanced in a standing position (hold on to a support when needed) – improves balance and posture, can be a standalone exercise or part of an everyday activity like washing dishes
  • Marching in place
  • Dance party! Put on some of their favorite tunes and boogey. 

Activities 

  • Household chores – basic chores can be great exercise, like folding laundry, dusting, light vacuuming, or washing the car
  • Gardening – something simple like raking or pulling weeds gives a sense of accomplishment and is a great workout
  • Walking  – Walking suits all abilities. It is free, does not need specialist equipment, and can be done anywhere. The distance and time spent walking can be varied to suit fitness levels

As always, Abundant Home Health Care is here for you. Our certified nursing assistants and aides are excellent resources for at-home exercise and activities — don’t hesitate to reach out or call us at  617-795-2171 for any support you need.

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