Aging can take a toll on our agility and flexibility, making everyday activities such as picking things up off the floor, reaching up onto higher grocery store shelves, or even getting up from a seated position more difficult. We’re also at a heightened risk of falls as a result of these changes. But there are steps seniors of all fitness levels can take to become more fit, build strength and endurance, and improve balance and coordination.
Dance expert and choreographer Celeste Carlucci has designed a program just for older adults, helping hundreds of seniors overcome some of the physical challenges of aging. Her goal was to enable them to experience more efficiency and gracefulness in their everyday lives, while at the same time reducing fall risk. She shares some particularly effective senior fitness exercises towards that end:
- Stepping Over The Suitcase
With feet together and hands on hips, lift one foot straight up (with knees lifted high), then to the side, and then down again. Repeat ten times, and then switch to the other foot.
- Pump The Gas
Sitting up straight, raise one leg, point and flex the foot five times. Repeat with the other leg.
- Windshield Wiper
With legs together, sit up straight and place both hands against the outside of the knees, tightening the stomach muscles. Begin to part the legs while pushing against them with the hands to provide resistance. Then place hands on the inside of the knees, and push against them as you bring the knees together. Repeat ten times.
- Strike A Pose
Allow your creativity to flow and have fun with this one! Simply make large, strong movements with your body in any direction and repeat ten times with varied moves.
- Stop It
Especially good to help train the body to prevent a fall, hold onto a chair or counter with one hand, lunge the body forward with one foot and arm reaching forward, and then say aloud, “STOP!” and return to the starting position. Alternate legs and repeat ten times.
Remember that it’s important to check with the senior’s physician before beginning or altering any exercise program. Once you have the doctor’s approval, call on Nightingale Homecare for help in implementing it! Our Arizona home health care experts are skilled in providing the motivation and encouragement to make senior fitness enjoyable. We can also provide transportation to exercise, dance or yoga classes, take walks together, and ensure the home is as fall-resistant as possible to keep seniors safe and thriving. Call us at (602)504-1555 to learn more!