4.18.18: 4 Types of Exercise for Seniors
Exercise is one of the most important factors in keeping seniors healthy in an assisted living community. The National Institutes of Health recommends four types of exercises: strength, balance, flexibility and endurance for optimum senior health and well being.
Strength exercises build muscle, strengthen bones and increase metabolism as well as fending of chronic disease. These movements can also help keep seniors independent – assisting them in carrying groceries, picking up grandkids and getting up easily from a seated position.
Aging causes muscles to become shorter and less elastic and decreases our range of motion in our joints. Stretching exercises give seniors more fluidity of movement and promote flexibility. This will make it easier to pick items up off the floor, from high shelves, or bend to tie shoes. The National Institute on Aging recommends regularly stretching the neck, shoulders, upper arms, upper body, chest, back, legs, ankles, knees, hips and calves. Start small and build up to all areas.
Balance is crucial for quality of life. Building this skill helps to strengthen leg muscles and are critical in preventing falls. According to the National Institute of Health, U.S. hospitals have over 300,000 admissions annually for broken hips. And, falling is often the cause of these fractures. Balance exercises help seniors avoid more serious problems that might result from an injury.
Activities that increase heart rate and elevate breathing for extended periods of time are considered endurance exercises. These can include walking and swimming or even daily-life activities like mopping the floor and raking leaves. Seniors should gradually build endurance, working toward 30 minutes per day, 5-7 days per week.
Hit your 30 minutes of activity per day and stay connected with our fun-to-use Flashfit app that provides aerobic and strength-building exercises in one-minute bursts. No special equipment needed – just your phone and positive vibes. www.flash.fit
Sources: National Institute of Health, National Institute on Aging