last updated July 12, 2020
Elderly exercise? Really?
By the time us seniors are 80 or 90, isn’t it time to just relax, rest, take it easy and forget about exercising?
We don’t want to just sit and rot. Do we?
Of course not.
But, exercising just seems too hard now. Like too much uncomfortable effort.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you! Exercise for elderly men and women can be very enjoyable and refreshing.
Elderly exercise can be a lot more fun and a lot easier than you’re probably imagining right now. If you do it right.
Let me show you how:
Elderly exercise is important. Exercise is important at every age. Kids, adults, and senior citizens all need the right kinds of exercising. We all know this.
And, exercise is just as important for elderly men and women as working out is for younger men and women. But, we have to learn the right kind to do.
The fact is, exercising may be even more important now as elderly seniors.
Because when we are in the very later years of our lives, everything inside has slowed down a bit. Maybe more than a bit. So, everything needs a little more help to get going. And, keep moving nicely.
Just like an older automobile, or a prized antique wrist watch, we need a bit more lubrication and attention.
This is so obvious to ALL of us who are a bit older already.
We don’t just jump out of bed in the morning ready to go anymore. Do we? We don’t jump out of anything anymore. Am I right?
It takes a few more moments to get moving when we get up out of our chairs. Even getting out of the chair is not quite as quick.
Things have slowed down inside. And, that’s OK. It’s normal. It’s the natural order of things.
Everything we do now is a bit slower than it was 40 or 50 years ago. Right? So what? Life is still good. Very good. And, we want to enjoy it some more. Not suffer through it. Am I right?
This is where Elderly Exercise comes in.
It doesn’t just add years to our lives. Exercise adds life to our years.
Now, please don’t panic. I’m not going to be sending you to a gym or trying sell you some equipment that you will never use.
Forget those things unless they really appeal to you.
We’re just going to get ourselves moving again so that we can keep moving. Comfortably. Easily.
That’s what exercise for elderly men and women is all about.
If we’re 70 or 80 or 90, we just want to keep moving. Comfortably. Enjoyably. Like we did before. Right?
For some of us, all these things are still easy enough. For many others of us, these things are a daily challenge. Am I right?
So, for the ones who are breezing through the day the way they did when they were 30 or 40, God Bless You, and, keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.
For, those who find these things getting a bit challenging, or less than a pleasure, let’s start making them easier.
That’s what some elderly exercise can do for us.
Exercising each day is essential if we’re going to keep moving comfortably.
Just doing the little things throughout the day, like dusting, washing some dishes, a little vacuuming, will give us a lovely sense of accomplishment. And, these things will help keep our bodies strong and able.
And, this type of elderly exercise is very pleasurable. It’s not like going to a gym to do a lot of mindless movement. It’s productive movement. Good for our bodies and our souls.
Our bodies were designed to move. They require movement to work properly. And, all movement counts!
Did you know our bodies actually crave movement? It’s true. Movement brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to our muscles and internal organs. That refreshes us!
Don’t you always feel a bit brighter and a bit refreshed after doing something physical? Anything physical?
So, let’s get moving again. Each day. In any way we can. It all adds to our strength and our well being.
Hard awful boring workouts are not for us.
Straining and all kinds of profuse sweating is not going to do us any real good anyway. So, don’t think that’s the direction we’re going in here.
Exercise for elderly people needs to be more gentle than that. Our bodies can’t take that kind of punishment any more. And, who wants to do that anymore anyway. Right?
We just need regular movement for our elderly muscles. Movement that feels good. Movement that is pleasurable to do.
So, what are we going to be doing?
Simple enjoyable movement.
Sounding better? Getting a little excited?
I hope so.
Now, let's see what this movement is:
We’re going to concentrate on simple, yet effective, movements that are pleasurable to us.
These movements refresh us. And, these movement help us keep well lubricated and fit. Able. Capable. Alive. Vital.
Exercise for elderly men and women just means using our muscles in a way that makes them a little bit stronger so that all the normal stuff we do each day is easier.
Does that sound good?
Regular movement enables us to do more and enjoy more each day.
Remember learning to drive a car? It was a challenge. But, one of the most fun things ever. Right?
And, we were excited about learning to drive. Right?
How many of us went on to become race car drivers? None that I know. But, we all still drove. Took road trips. Went to the market, etc…. Drove hundreds of thousands of miles over the years.
Exercise for elderly men and women is the same thing.
Most of us, by 80 or 90, have long since given up exercising of any kind. Mostly because it becomes too hard to do all those “exercise routines”. And, most were never any fun anyway.
Likewise, we’re on a new adventure here. Just like when we were learning to drive. Only even easier!
Our elderly exercise is going to be simple. And, very practical. And, it will greatly increase “our mileage”.
You know, the automobile that is driven every year runs better than the one that just sits in the garage and rots each year.
Same with us seniors and those who are now our amazing elderly seniors.
So, what are these elderly exercises?
Let’s take a look. I think you’re going to be very surprised at what good elderly exercise can be:
1) Getting up and making a cup of tea
2) Making the bed
3) Vacuuming (use both hands, one at a time)
4) Sweeping the floor (like vacuuming, alternate sides)
5) Standing up and sitting down three times in row
6) Moving around the house and looking at things
7) Walking outside at a slow comfortable pace (even just down the driveway and back up)
8) Cleaning and dusting (yes, really)
9) Washing the dishes
10) Taking a nice hot shower
We never considered those things “exercise” did we? Well they are. And, don’t you feel a bit refreshed after doing any of these things?
See how easy elderly exercise can be?
all these things are all the elderly need as exercise. All these simple
things keep our blood and joints moving and lubricated.
And, equally, they are productive. They refresh our spirits!
At every opportunity: Get out of your chair and move around. Do something physical. Anything. It all counts. It all works to keep us strong and able.
Just sitting around all day and doing nothing physical is the absolute worst thing you can do to yourself.
That is just begging for trouble. Terrible miserable old age. And, disaster at every turn in the road.
It doesn't matter how weak you are right now. If you start moving every day, to the best of your ability, you will get stronger.
“After doing specific training for 12 weeks, people over the age of 90 improved their strength, power and muscle mass. This was reflected in an increase in their walking speed, a greater capacity to get out of their chairs, an improvement in their balance, a significant reduction in the incidence of falls, a significant improvement in muscle power, and mass in the lower limbs.” reference: science daily.com
We all know after sitting too long we feel kind of stiff when we get up. Maybe grumpy too. That even happens to young people. It’s just not as bad for them…..
Regular movement, throughout the day, is what keeps movement easier. Regular movement (exercise) keeps us refreshed both physically and mentally.
Do you remember the old slogan: “Use it or lose it.”?
Here’s another one for you: “Keep moving so you can keep moving.”
This is all too true for seniors and elderly men and women. No, we’re not working up to lifting the sofa. Forget about that. We’re working up to being comfortable and moving through our day easily and pleasurably. Being able to do normal every day task with ease and confidence.
And, this is the trick: Just by doing these tasks, each day, we become more and more able to do them comfortably.
This is what elderly exercise is all about.
For many elderly seniors, those exercises above are going to be all you want to concentrate on in the beginning. They are enough to get started.
Things like vacuuming, sweeping the floor, dusting, will make you use your big muscles. These are your legs and back.
Those big muscles pump the blood throughout your body the most.
Remember: The idea is to keep moving. Movement of any kind exercises your muscles. The more of your big muscles that you can use, the better.
If you’re confined to a wheelchair, or, bed, do movements that involve
your arms and shoulders. Not just your hands. Use the biggest muscles
you are able to.
If you need a walker, that’s OK. Just keep walking.
Get the idea?
No. Not really. But, these can be fun too if you enjoy them. They just need to be tailored to our abilities.
Once you get more comfortable with the exercise listed above you may want to try some exercise routines.
You don’t have to. But, you may really enjoy having a regular exercise schedule. Routines and rituals are very good for us.
Now, if you’ve been sitting around for most of the last years, those "elderly exercises" you read above will have you worn out by the end of the day.
That’s great! Good exercise gives us good sleep!
Remember: You don’t have to do them all. Just keep doing what you can. And, do only as much as you can comfortably. Just keep doing. That's the trick! Get it?
All this movement gets easier day by day. Month by month you’ll find you become more and more capable. And, everything gets easier to do.
Now, if you decide you’d like even more strengthening, and maybe some better balance exercises, or, you’d just like a regular exercise time each day, here are some videos you may enjoy and you may want to follow along with:
Ok, we're going to start with this one because it is just plain FUN!:
Now, if you’re thinking you’re too old to be exercising, take a look at this wonderful exercise for elderly Video.
Your teacher here is 99 years old! Yes, she’s 99 years old.
What about some YOGA for elderly exercise? Yes, this is yoga especially put together for elderly men and women and led by Registered Yoga Teacher: Sherry Zak Morris. Most of this one can be done sitting down.
AEROBICS for elderly men and women? You bet! You didn't think this one was possible. Right? Don't get scared. I'm not going to let anyone overwhelm you here.
These aerobics exercises are made especially for elderly men and women and are just great. So refreshing. Again, you do these while seated in a chair.
Let's not forget about Elderly Dancing. Yes, there is dancing for elderly seniors. Even if you can not stand up.
Take a look:
Simple Hawaiian Dancing while seated. Even if standing and walking are easy for you, this one is just pure pleasure!
For those who are getting substantially stronger, here’s a Video by Go4Life fitness instructor Sandy Magrath. In this video Sandy leads you through a workout featuring a warm up; strength, flexibility, and balance exercises; and a cool down.
This Video is definitely Not For The Beginners. I just want you to know, we can get stronger and stronger. Even after 90.
Elderly exercise is not what you thought it was. Right?
Remember: ALL physical movement counts. Especially when your legs and back and shoulders are involved (the big muscles in your body).
And, I hope you’re excited about getting started now.
Even a little elderly exercise, 10 minutes a day, pays huge rewards.
We just need to “keep moving - To Keep Moving".
Start with only a few minutes each day. Just get started. Sweep. Vacuum. Dust. Wash some dishes. Walk around the house or apartment. And, keep doing. Every day.
Remember: You don’t need a whole lot. You don't need to sweat and get sore. You just need to keep moving. Enjoying the physical things you choose to do. Doing lots of things throughout each day. That’s the key to effective elderly exercise.
For a Happy and More Independent Tomorrow ~ William