May has so many things to celebrate and honor: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations, and the official kickoff to summer. However, there’s something else that we at Nightingale Homecare keep in mind each May: National Senior Fitness Day! Celebrated on May 25, this year’s theme is “Improve Your Health for a Better Self!” More than 100,000 seniors are expected to participate this year at over 1,000 locations throughout the country, where the focus will be on the importance of staying active and educating on local resources that offer health and fitness programs.
Since we wholeheartedly believe in and encourage physical activity in our senior clients, we’d like to share some simple strength building exercises that can be done right in the comfort of home to enhance muscle strength and stamina in the upper and lower body. Make sure it’s ok with the doctor first, and then try some of these with your senior loved ones:
- To strengthen the upper body
- Wrist curls: With palm facing up and forearm resting on the arm of a chair, bend the wrist slowly upward and then downward. Use a small weight if able, and repeat 10 – 15 times with each arm.
- Arm curls: Similar to wrist curls but performed in a standing position, face palms forward and bend elbows up towards chest. Again, use a small weight if able, and repeat 10 – 15 times with each arm.
- Side arm raises: From either a sitting or standing position, rest arms at sides and slowly lift arms to shoulder height. Use a small weight if able, and repeat 10 – 15 times with each arm.
- To strengthen the lower body
- Back leg raises: Holding onto the back of a sturdy chair, lift one leg straight back behind you without bending the knee. Slowly lower leg, and repeat with other leg for 10 – 15 repetitions.
- Knee curls: Similar to back leg raises, knee curls are performed while holding onto the back of a chair, only this time slowly bending at the knee, 10 – 15 repetitions for each leg.
- Leg straightening exercises: Performed in a seated position with heels lifted so that only the toes and balls of the feet are on the floor, slowly raise one leg at a time, keeping it as straight as possible and pointing toes upward. Repeat 10-15 times with each leg.
We love engaging seniors in strength-building and endurance exercises and seeing the joy and sense of accomplishment they experience as a result. Our Arizona in-home senior care professionals are friendly, compassionate, and fully trained and experienced in restoring purpose and meaning to seniors through enhancing independence and quality of life. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about how we can help your senior loved ones, and will provide a free in-home assessment to set some goals and then work towards achieving them together. Call us any time to learn more about our Phoenix home care services at 602-504-1555.