5 Indoor Exercises for Seniors
January 29, 2018 | Tom Peterson
It’s hard to find the motivation to work out when snow is on the ground and the winter blues have set in. Regular exercise can boost serotonin and endorphins to help you fight those winter blues.
These gentle indoor exercises from Utah Mom Click are perfect for senior or any age group looking to boost their exercise:
Yes, the old reliable rarely disappoints. With walking being the most popular form of exercise for people over 50, it seems natural to transition to a treadmill during inclement weather. A treadmill provides all of the advantages of walking while reducing the risk of falls. The handrail enables users to walk confidently at a pace that best fits their walking ability, and users can select an incline that best meets their fitness level.
2. Elliptical machine
For a low-impact machine that packs a healthy dose of aerobic exercise, the elliptical may be a great alternative to the treadmill. “The elliptical offers a lower-impact workout than the treadmill. For older adults suffering from arthritis and joint pain it is the better option,” wrote health contributor Erin Zeggert. The design places less stress on the back, knees and hips while increasing heart rate to levels necessary to sustain good health.
3. Weight training
Strength-training is an important part of maintaining flexibility, building muscle and improving blood circulation, but free weights can be unpredictable. “It is important to find just the right intensity when exercising for strength,” said Doug Schrift, PT. “You must find a balance between increasing how much you are lifting and preventing injury.” Schrift said people could increase the lift weight after about two weeks from the onset of strength exercises.
Proper form is essential with free weights. Using poor form while lifting can do more harm than good to muscles and joints and some exercises can knock the user off-balance. Fortunately, most gyms have a variety of weight-training equipment that is designed to encourage proper form when using the machine and reduces the risks of falling or other hazards sometimes associated with free weights.
“Strength training is an important part of rehab and recovery for our residents,” said Clay Gardner, executive director of Vista Knoll Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. “Our staff makes sure each patient is using the equipment correctly to prevent further injury, and we offer alternative moves that promote a quick recovery without pain.”
4. Recumbent bike
“Biking rates among people between the ages of 60 and 79 are soaring,” wrote Michael Anderson, a writer for the Green Lane Project. “New trips by seniors account for 22 percent of the nation’s growth in adult biking.” But for those recovering from hip or back surgery or arthritis pain, the position of a cycle, even a stationary bike, is uncomfortable. The recumbent bike is designed with a backrest for support and places users at an angle where the legs are out in front of the cycle instead of on the sides of the machine. This position places less stress on fragile hips or joints yet offers a tremendous aerobic workout.
5. Chair yoga
Seniors love their yoga. The popularity of yoga and Pilates among people over 50 is growing faster than you can say Bhekasana. But, some poses present painful challenges even to the most dedicated of yoga enthusiasts. For those recovering from injury or suffering from limited mobility, chair yoga provides all of the benefits of traditional yoga without the gravity-defying poses that sometimes risk pulling a muscle or damaging joints. It also benefits those who have limited time but want to relax or reinvigorate their day with a quick pick-me-up without having to leave the office.
For more health tips, check out the full blog post on Utah Mom Click’s website.