Exercise plays a significant part maintaining health and physical fitness. Regular exercise can fight obesity and improve your heart and lungs. As you get older, it becomes especially important to be physically active in order to maintain health and independence. Setting the the four S’s of exercise as daily and weekly goals can yield valuable fitness and longevity benefits.
As individuals age, muscle rigidity may occur, as well as loss of muscle tone and even muscle tissue. Strength exercises help rebuild muscle mass. Additionally, they accelerate your metabolism, warding off obesity and diabetes – significant health issues for the elderly. To strengthen upper arm muscles, try biceps curls using light dumbbells. Sit in an armless chair, slowly bend one elbow and lift the dumbbell toward your chest. Alternate arms for 10 to 15 repetitions. For stronger thigh and hip muscles, simply hold on to the back of a sturdy chair, and march in place.
Balance is key to remaining safe and active. Simple coordination and stability exercises can help prevent falls among older adults. Standing on one foot without wobbling, walking heel to toe across the room or along a line, and standing up from a sitting position without the use of your hands can all improve balance.
As you get older, you lose flexibility and elasticity in your skin and connective tissue. Your muscles tighten, and your joints lose range of motion. Flexible joints and muscles are critical to maintaining an independent lifestyle as you age. To keep your body limber, spine straighter and lungs working at full capacity, bouncing toe touches, shoulder rolls and stationary jumping jacks may be recommended.
And finally, exercises that increase your stamina support the health of your respiratory and circulatory systems. They help you accomplish your daily tasks – climbing stairs, lifting objects and housecleaning – as well as aiding in the prevention of such diseases as diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and stroke. Any activity that increases your heart rate – brisk walking, swimming, dancing – can increase your stamina. Start slowly and increase the intensity of your activity and the length of time you exercise as you become stronger. And always check with your healthcare provider before adding any new exercise to your fitness regimen.
Maintaining overall fitness and wellness is absolutely essential for everyone, including the elderly, and it just might be the key to a fulfilling quality life. For seniors, health can be achieved by remaining active and this can be achieved with several, basic exercises, specially designed for the aging human body. As with any other work-out routine, however, be sure to consult a professional for further instructions. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.