Simple Indoor Exercises for Seniors Living in a House or Retirement Community
Published on June 12, 2020
After being cooped up indoors during the long winter months, many people need a reprieve that involves outdoor activity and lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, spending quality time outdoors for activity and exercise has been more difficult this year thanks to the rise of the pandemic.
Being stuck indoors can be difficult for anyone, but particularly tough on older adults who may depend on local walking paths or mall-walking groups for regular exercise. Most retirement communities offer senior-friendly exercise programs, including video options during times when physical distancing is required. But for individuals living on their own, alternatives are more difficult to find.
Here are a few easy and effective indoor exercises for the elderly that can help them stay physically active and mentally stimulated during the pandemic.
Stretching on a regular basis is an important indoor exercise that can help keep seniors limber, making it easier for them to move around without pain or discomfort. It can be done as a standalone exercise or in combination with other exercises such as walking, jogging, and even some light weightlifting.
In fact, itis important for seniors to stretch before engaging in any form of physical activity to help their muscles loosen up and prevent potential injury such as muscle spasms. Stretching is also a great way to start and end the day.
Morning stretches can help seniors feel refreshed and more awake, while nighttime stretches can help them prepare for a good night’s sleep without having to worry about getting painful muscle cramps in their sleep.
Balancing exercises such as tree and eagle pose in yoga can also effectively help improve mobility in seniors. One of the biggest benefits of doing balancing exercises for seniors is that it can also help improve their flexibility, range of motion, and help reduce the chances of falling.
Falls are among the most common and dangerous physical hazards that seniors experience; working to improve their stability and balance can help keep them safe and prevent injury.
Strength Exercises and Light Resistance Training
Depending on their physical capabilities, strength exercises and a light resistance training can be a great way to get seniors moving while staying indoors. Squats, gentle push-ups, easy planks with the knees on the ground for support, and lightweight lifting are all easy and convenient strength-building exercises that require minimal to no equipment. Lunges are also effective strength training exercises that don’t require any equipment.
Just be weary of any physical limitations or issues your elderly loved ones may have and try to discourage them from doing too much all at once. Taking frequent breaks when feeling tired, lightheaded, or out of breath is extremely important to maintaining good physical health.
Yoga and Tai-Chi
Yoga and Tai-Chi are ancient stretching and strengthening exercises that can be done virtually anywhere and anytime. Dating back thousands of years, yoga and Tai-Chi culminate numerous exercises that are ideal for people of all physical health levels. The great thing about these forms of movement is that they can all be modified to suit individual capabilities.
Many aspects of yoga and Tai-Chi also promote physical, emotional, and mental unity, promoting clarity of the mind and body. Yoga and Tai-Chi have both active and soothing qualities that can help seniors build physical and mental strength, flexibility, and ease of movement while also soothing or stimulating their mental and physical capacities. Both of these exercises can be done at a slow, medium, or fast pace depending on the preferences and the skill level of each individual.
Since it is not entirely safe and somewhat difficult for seniors to get outside during the pandemic, indoor walking is an excellent alternative. Seniors can move at their own pace by either speed walking or walking at a moderate speed depending on their level of mobility. Various movements such as kicks, sidesteps, and fist pumps in the air can also be added in to enhance the exercise and add in a little more cardio.
Whether seniors are taking an exercise class or simply taking a stroll around the premises of their retirement communities, indoor walking also provides excellent opportunities to socialize. For seniors who prefer a little alone time, indoor walking can also be quite cathartic and relaxing.
Nowadays, there are tons of virtual exercise resources available at our fingertips. Whether you’re looking for pointers on how to modify certain exercises or if you’re just looking for fun pandemic exercises for your elderly loved one, the options are endless.
No matter what type of exercise you’re interested in, there’s sure to be a fitness app available to help your elderly loved one learn how to do different exercises and help them stay on track with their activity goals. Some apps may charge for premium accounts, but in the midst of the pandemic, there are also a lot of free high-quality apps available.
YouTube is also an excellent resource for free exercise content for seniors and people of all ages. Regardless of fitness level and mobility capabilities, you’re bound to find virtual exercise videos that suit the needs of your elderly loved one.
Looking for exercises for seniors in retirement communities? V!VA Retirement Communities is committed to helping our Community Members stay physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic and beyond. To learn more about our retirement communities and how we’re keeping seniors active, contact us today.