The benefits of physical exercise are available to everyone, regardless of the ability or inability to move around freely. In limited mobility situations, it’s important to address both the physical and emotional issues involved. Simply stated, if limited mobility seniors don’t think they can participate in physical exercises, they won’t.
To make the process a little easier, try laying the groundwork with one of the best available quad canes. Improved everyday mobility improves confidence. Moreover, physical activity, like walking the dog, is almost as important as concerted exercise.
Many times, instead of reluctance to embark on an exercise program, limited-mobility seniors have the opposite reaction, and try to do too much too fast. If inactivity has become the norm, the body needs time to adjust to increased physical activity. Failure to do so risks serious injury, especially among seniors.
Once the ball starts rolling, continue building momentum by making exercise a daily habit. Except for the occasional day off, seniors should try to exercise every day. Start slow, perhaps with five or ten minutes per day.
Don’t get carried away and forget to stretch. Older people often have sluggish blood flow, especially in the arms and legs, and these muscles need that extra oxygen to perform under strain.
Exercises to Try
People lose up to 40 percent of their muscle mass as they age, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of injuries, especially from accidental falls. Fortunately, retaining and even building muscle mass is not hard to do.
Once again, start slow with a one or two-pound weight. A can of beans from the cupboard will do. Either lift the weight in a curling motion, or place it in an old plastic grocery bag, loop the bag around your ankle, and lift. When it comes to increasing resistance, upping the weight ten percent a month is a good rule of thumb.
Water aerobics are good as well, because they offer a good cardiovascular workout while putting zero pressure on joints. Moreover, balance is usually not much of an issue in about three or four feet of water. Walking through the pool water is often a good place to start, and then move on from there. Many gym pools offer fitness classes for older folks as well.
According to one group, yoga is one of the best available physical exercise routines for people over 50. These basic stretching exercises have tremendous physical benefits, even in areas like pain management. Yoga also reduces stress levels in many people.
Because these classes are so popular among older folks, there are a number of poses that allow practitioners to use the wall or a chair for balance. There are many classes for mobility-impaired people in yoga studios, churches, and elsewhere, or the technologically savvy can do a quick YouTube search.
Physical exercise, and physical activity, are both possible, even with mobility impairments. Such movement is important not only to a longer life, but also to a better quality of life as we age.