last updated January 1, 2021
Physical exercise for elderly seniors, is easier and more fun than you may be imagining right now.
Let’s take a look.
First of all: We’re not just talking about exercise for senior citizens. That starts at age 60. We’re long past that. We are talking about physical exercise for elderly seniors.
So, let’s see what is right for those of us who are in very advanced years.
Physical exercise for elderly seniors, both men and women, is simply about getting up regularly throughout the day, and moving. All your muscles.
And, this is very easy if you have nice activities to do like:
OK. When us seniors are lucky enough to reach the place in life we call “elderly”, we’re not looking to win marathons. Right?
You’d just like to get up, go outside, get the mail, grab a snack in the kitchen and sit back down. COMFORTABLY. And, EASILY. Right?
We want to keep moving COMFORTABLY. We’re not looking to win races. We just want to enjoy going where ever we want when ever we want. Right? And, we want to do it easily. Like we used to.
There is only one way to achieve this: We have to KEEP MOVING.
That is what physical exercise for elderly seniors is all about. It's not the same as when we merely became seniors. We're further along. And, we have to honor our limitations more. Nothing wrong with that.
Yes, it may be a bit painful and uncomfortable right now. But, the more you move each day, the easier it becomes. That is the entire trick to comfortable movement for elderly me and women.
As a Side Note: Stay away from any movements that hurt. Those movements may be good for other people. But, they are not for you. A little discomfort is nothing to shy away from. Just stay away from anything that really hurts. There are loads of other movements you can do.
standing up, walking, bending over....
can be much easier than it is today,
if we just learn to “Keep Moving”.
Any, physical movement can be considered exercise if is uses the major muscle groups in our bodies.
Physical exercise for elderly seniors is unique in that all we have to do is move. Our whole body.
Do you know what one of the very best physical exercise for elderly men and women is?
Yes, Vacuuming the carpets, with both your right and left hands, engages almost ALL you muscles. 10-15 minutes a day a vacuuming a day can be life changing. (And, your home will always looks great!)
If you don’t have carpets or rugs, sweep with a mop or broom. Same thing. Both right side and left side.
There is almost nothing better for engaging ALL of your major muscle groups.
Let’s take a look at what other easy and pleasurable activities are good physical exercise for elderly seniors. Both men and women.
Once we reach advanced age, beyond being just seniors at 60, doing push
ups, and lifting weights is nice. If you like it. It’s just not
necessary any more.
Some kind of normal natural movement, with all your large muscles (legs and back) is all that you need each day to keep yourself nicely fit.
The First Key to being able to move comfortably is: keep moving. The concept is almost too simple to see.
Yes. Sometimes we’re in no mood to get up and do any kind of real moving around. Once we became seniors, we usually began sitting around way too much. It's easy. Right? So, often in the beginning, we must force ourselves to get moving.
Never think about how uncomfortable it may be to get up. Think about how great you feel after you do some activity. Something with real movement. Think about how much easier it is once you are actually up and moving.
Getting started is the hard part. So, just get past that, and you’re on your way!
The Second Key is: Every Day.
You're going to hear me say this a lot: You can’t do this once a week. Or, twice a week. This kind of physical exercise for elderly seniors, men and women, needs to be done every day.
Don’t exhaust yourself. That won’t help you. Just keep moving again and again throughout your day.
Daily movement is vital for seniors AND elderly seniors as well. Let me tell you about my aunt Helen.
My aunt Helen lived to be 92. Up until the last two years of her life, she could out walk both me and my sister. And, everyone else win the neighborhood.
She LOVED to walk!
We thought she was going to live to 120. Unfortunately, she got cancer at 92 and passes rather quickly. BUT, up until the she was a dynamo! Walking 2 - 3 miles a day was nothing for her.
Here’s the thing: She took a few days off from her walking a few years back (yes, just 3 days) because she had some legal paper work to take care of with her investments. When she went back to her walking she was absolutely flabbergasted by how suddenly difficult it seemed to walk 2 miles (she was 88 at the time).
But, in a few more days she was back to her old self. She told me, sitting around all day really slowed her down. And, that she would not be doing that again.
Now, let me ask you: How many days a week are you walking outside? Or, vacuuming the carpets? Or, doing any kind of exercise?
As seniors, and especially as elderly people, it is so important to keep moving every day. At different times throughout the day.
Movement keeps things moving. Stagnation makes us weak.
No. You don’t have to be a super walker like my aunt. Just get up every couple of hours and: Do something, anything, that makes your whole body move. Even if it just means taking a small walk around the inside of your home.
I do a lot of research on age and longevity.
I have always been
interested in the lifestyles of peoples around the world who live long productive active lives. In all these cultures, seniors are honored and revered for their age and wisdom. Especially the very old.
There is one common denominator in all these cultures.
It's not the food. It's not the religion. It's not if they live in the mountains, or on the plains, or on islands in the South Pacific.
The one thing ALL these peoples have in common is: They are always doing something physical during the day.
Yes, the type of activity changes as old age comes on. But, daily activities, that require moving their whole body, continue.
A man may no longer be out hunting, building houses, or farming the fields. But, he may be home chopping wood, sweeping the steps, raking the garden, painting the home.... A woman may no longer be caring children around. But, she may be keeping the home clean and neat, sweeping the kitchen floor, ironing clothes, carrying bread back from the market.
Their seniors have regular simple daily physical activities. Every day. These are their "physical exercise for elderly men and women."
Here are the two main reasons:
1) We remember how hard it used to be and we are not going to subject ourselves to that.
2) And, it’s so easy to watch TV.
It’s true. Elderly people need more rest. It takes longer to recuperate. From anything. So:
See what happens? Sound familiar? And, it’s BORING…. Right?
We stop moving. That’s the kiss of death. Truly.
The less we move:
When we just sit all the time, we rot. Muscles atrophy (become smaller and weaker). At any age. And, it’s especially true in our advanced years. Life is not as kind to elderly people as it is to youngsters.
We have to keep on top of things so much more.
The thing is, when we are old, there’s not a lot for most of us to do. Right? And, watching TV, Looking out of the window is easy. No strain.
Here’s some news for you:
Some physical and mental challenge each day keeps us young and alive. Happy and Interested.
Take a peek at my friend Phyllis Sues. She just turned 97. I met her 10 years ago when we were dancing Tango. Yes, at 87 we were dancing Tango together.
Here’s a TV clip of my friend Phyllis when she was 92:
Now, here’s another phenomenon: Take a look at Tao Porchon Lynch, yoga teacher at 96. I've never met her. But, I certainly would like to:
Here Pao is STILL TEACHING at 100. Look at the light in her eyes!
Yes, these ladies are exceptional. But, do you know what they, and ALL very old people in the longest lives societies, have in common?
They keep moving their bodies throughout the day.
I N S P I R A T I O N S!!
Probably none of the rest of us are going to be like these two lovely ladies.
BUT, this shows us what can happen if we just keep active each day with some Physical Exercise for Elderly Seniors. Yes. Our special kind of physical exercise.
We feel good!
Yes you can.
NO. It's not comfortable to get up and start moving. But, that's why you need to do it! The more you move, the easier it becomes.
Nobody expects you to do a lot. Not today. Maybe not ever.
If you get moving today. And, every day for the rest of your life, you’re definitely going to be more able than you are right now. It gets easier, the more you do it. And, you're going to feel a whole lot better than you do today if you will just get up and move around more.
Does that sound good? Does that sound like it’s worth a little extra effort?
Here’s The Thing: It’s Not Hard. If you do it right.
Take a look:
Now you are going to be surprised. I think, very surprised. All these ordinary activities are wonderful exercise for elderly seniors.
Why? Because they Keep us moving!
Take a look:
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, around the yard, or if you are stronger around the block, 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
Yes! That's some of the very best physical exercise for elderly seniors that you will find. Do you think you could do some of those things? Even a few? Each day?
Great! Let’s start doing them. EVERY DAY!
You’re on your way!
“Dancing? Don’t be silly. At my age?”
“I’m too old for that.”
“In my dreams.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m 90 now.”
I’ve heard ALL the reasons why not.
Now let me tell you why you can. Even if you’re confined to a chair or your bed:
Dancing is nothing more than moving your body to music. It doesn’t have to be ballet. It doesn’t mean ballroom dancing, social dancing,Tango, or anything else we may have done before.
Dancing just means moving to the music. Standing or sitting. Anyway you like.
Put on some of you favorite music. Move your hands. Move your head side to side. Gently swing your arms. Take a few small steps if you can. Just forward and back. Side to side. Nothing fancy. Hold on to your walker or the back of a chair if you need to.
Are you moving to the music?
Guess what? YOU’RE DANCING.
That’s right! That’s dancing too. And, it feels really good.
Do it alone. Do it with a friend. Anyway you like. Dancing this way is the single best physical exercise for elderly people. And, now you can do it too!
Take a look at this VIDEO of dancing being used as physical exercise for elderly men and women. These seniors are no older than you. No matter how old you are.
See how much fun AND how possible it is to enjoy dancing no matter how old we get.
Did that look like something you could do? Well, that’s dancing too!
Remember: We’re old. We’re not dead. FEEL your favorite music music. Move to the music. Any way you can. Enjoy yourself. Have some FUN!
Now, take a look at this great article from Seniors Matter .com. You'll see that not only is dancing Great physical exercise for elderly seniors, dancing (the way you just learned) also has many wonderful and fantastic benefits. "Dancing Benefits the Elderly"
Here is a great excerpt from an article entitled:
It will help explain what physical exercise for elderly seniors is all about:
"As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your vitality. It can prevent many of the problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.
Keep in mind, some physical activity is better than none at all. Your physical benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.
Older adults with persistent conditions should understand how their situation affects their ability to do regular physical activity safely. When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) because of their state, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.”
Again: We need to be as physically active as our own personal abilities and conditions allow.
We’re not going to go crazy and try to all kinds of things we couldn’t even do 20 years ago. No. But, there is so much we are capable of doing that we are just not doing.
Today. Right now!
No. We’re not all going to be like my friend Phyllis or Tao Portion (the 96 year old yoga instructor). In fact, most of us will never be as super as they are.
BUT, we can achieve these Benefits:
And, we can do this just by keeping active with activities like the ones you just saw above.
Remember: The most important thing is to (and, I’ll repeat this often): Keep Moving. Every Day.
Not once a week. Not twice a week.
Every day. OK? OK. You can have Sundays off….
Yes, you are elderly.
But: You are still able. Not as able as you were 40 years ago. NO ONE is. Not even Phyllis or Tao.
But, you can greatly improve, every day, if you’ll just make up your mind to do it. And, AS A BONUS: You'll have some extra Fun!
Physical exercise for elderly is not like it was for young adults, or, even middle age adults and seniors. As elderly people, we are more fragile. More delicate. And, recuperation takes longer. I personally hate that part so much.
BUT, we are still human beings. The most wonderful and magnificent ones, I must say. We still need to eat and sleep. And, WE STILL NEED TO MOVE OUR BODIES EACH DAY to stay well and happy.
Having fun doing physically active things we enjoy makes physical exercise for elderly all so easy. And, lots of FUN!
For a Happy and More Independent Tomorrow ~ William
* Remember: Check with your doctor before you begin any kind of physical exercise or exercise programs.