Our physical and mental fitness programs at Chelsea Senior Living are a point of pride and we take great care in individually tailoring these programs to the needs of our residents. Regular exercise brings a wealth of benefits including the maintenance of muscle mass, increased bone density, blood flow, mobility and balance, decreased pain and so much more.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that elderly adults who exercise regularly spend 25% less time injured or disabled than those who do not. Exercise also plays a huge role in mental health, and works to help stave off illness and disease like Alzheimer’s.
We also acknowledge that sometimes, no matter our age, people just aren’t in the mood for a group workout or even feeling much like leaving their rooms. Because physical activity is such an important component of overall health and well-being, a simple workout regimen that can be completed without leaving your living room can be a valuable resource for our seniors to use on days when their regular activities are interrupted for any reason. Below are a handful of easy, safe exercises that promote strength, flexibility and balance to keep in the back pocket for that “rainy” day.
*Safety is our first and foremost concern. As always, consult your physician before starting any new exercises. Before engaging in any physical activity, make sure that you have comfortable shoes and attire, and that you warm up your body, even if it’s just walking some laps around your room.
During your activity, be sure to drink plenty of water and consider having someone around, or a way to easily reach help, should you fall or injure yourself. You can always ask our Fitness Experts if you have any questions, and remember – don’t try anything you aren’t comfortable with! Here we go!
Chair Squats (focus: Lower Body)
-Stand in front of a chair by an inch or two with your feet shoulder-width apart
-Bend your knees while keeping shoulder and upper body straight
-Lower your bottom to the seat of the chair, before pushing your body up to standing position again
-Try a set of 5, multiple sets if you are comfortable!
Wall Pushups (focus: Upper Body, arms and chest)
-Stand in front of a sturdy wall with your feet a couple inches to a couple feet away from the wall, depending on your comfortability with the exercise
-Place both hands on the wall, directly in front of your shoulders
-Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and bring your body in toward the wall
-When your face is a few inches from the wall, push your body back up and return to the starting position.
-As with the squats, find an amount of repetitions that works for you
Single Leg Stand (focus: balance)
-Stand behind or beside a sturdy chair that will not slide or move
-With your right hand on the chair for balance, lift your left leg and balance on your right leg for 10 seconds, or as long as comfortable
-Do the same for the other leg, supporting yourself with your left arm
-As you become more comfortable, you can try lifting your support hand off the chair to practice balance on one leg.
Toe Lifts (focus: leg strength and balance)
-Standing beside or behind a chair or counter, place your hands on the counter for support
-Start flat on your feet, pushing up on to your tippy toes, hold for 5 seconds (or as long as comfortable) and return to the starting position. Set goals for yourself, perhaps trying to do 5 of these to start and see how you improve week to week!
Head Rotations (focus: Neck Mobility)
-Stand or sit with good posture, back straight, muscles relaxed
-Turn your head slowly to one side until you feel a slight stretch.
-Hold for a few seconds, and then repeat the motion to the other side.
-Try doing these 5 times on each side
While you should always consult your physician before trying any new exercises, don’t underestimate your potential for achievement on your own. A few minutes of downtime each day could become a perfect opportunity to tune up your physical and mental health!