Published on March 6, 2019
Staying active plays a fundamental role in quality of life as we age. Unfortunately, many older adults face challenges to mobility from age related health problems to fears of falling. However, it is possible for individuals of any age to enjoy the benefits of fitness and exercise.
The perfect place to start is with the following five tips for adults with limited mobility.
It is very easy for individuals to get carried away when starting a new exercise program. However, rushing can be a recipe for injury as sedentary bodies need to adjust to movement again.
If an injury was to occur this would lead to even less mobility!
Older adults can avoid taking on too much by starting slowly with their limited mobility fitness plans. Even small steps can make a big change.
P.S. It is essential for older adults to check in with their healthcare providers before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Do It Every Day
For the benefits of physical exercise to take plact it is best to do it every day! According to the Mayo Clinic, “committing to regular exercise has a number of benefits, including improving energy levels, enhancing your mood, weight control, better sleep, and decreased risk of everything from hypertension to cardiovascular disease.”
Just 30 minutes of walking a day can cause vast benefits, but if you can manage just five minutes of strategic movement and fitness, daily efforts will lead to growth over time.
Experts recommend establishing a ritual; starting small; and focusing on developing the habit first before worrying about results.
Flexibility is highly important to physical health. NIHSeniorHealth recommends 12 flexibility exercises aimed at helping seniors improve their flexibility and enjoy more freedom of movement. These can be done easily at home, just make sure you warm up beforehand!
Top Three Exercises
Balance and strength are also significant for strengthening mobility.
Muscle strength is vital to preserving quality of life. The NHS advise that older adults should start with weights of 2lbs and gradually increasing the amount of weight used.
You should aim to exercise major muscle groups at least two days every week for around 30 mins!
Aquatic exercise offers many health benefits without exerting pressure on bones, muscles, and joints. Exercises can range from walking in water to water aerobics classes or swimming, there’s something suitable for all abilities!
The American Senior Fitness Association (ASFA) claims that yoga is “a tremendous tool for combating the concerns of an aging population”. Yoga is known to help manage arthritis pain, reduce anxiety levels, as well as improve fitness.
Be Aware of Your Body
Minor aches and discomfort are typical when starting a new fitness plan. However, you should reduce any movement that causes sharp pains or joint pain.
Joints should always be slightly bent (avoid “locking” them) and movements should be slow and controlled. It’s quality over quantity.
It’s never to late to begin a new fitness plan and reap the benefits exercise brings!