For someone in their senior years, a gym workout will look a lot different than a workout for someone decades younger by including much more than just lifting weights. In addition to general strength and endurance, including functional exercises can help improve daily life.
Basic movements and functional exercises for everyday life
Restoring and improving basic movements are important for an optimal quality of life as you age. Based on personal activity levels, this could mean a simple task such as being able to climb stairs. For those with an active lifestyle, being able to perform hobbies like a strenuous hike or bike ride is crucial to maintaining a high quality of life. Being able to step, squat, bend (hinging effectively), pull, push, and balance will make everyday tasks easier and reduce fatigue at the end of the day. These exercises will also improve performance for athletic hobbies.
Squats: Are great for improving leg strength, which is essential for tasks like getting in and out of chairs, picking up objects from the floor, and maintaining balance while walking.
Stepping: Step-up or stepping exercises can help improve leg strength and balance. These exercises are particularly useful for seniors who need to navigate stairs or uneven terrain.
Bending (Hinging Effectively): Hip hinges, such as kettlebell deadlifts, can strengthen the lower back and legs reducing lower back injury. This is essential for activities like gardening or simply bending to tie shoelaces.
Pressing: Push-ups or chest presses can strengthen the chest, shoulders, and arms, which are crucial for pushing objects or their own body weight from a seated position.
Pulling: Exercises like rows or resistance band pulls can enhance upper back strength, making it easier to perform tasks like pulling a heavy door open or carrying groceries.
Full body band exercises: Examples include step/pull, step/chop, and press with rotation. These help improve overall movement and coordination.
Balancing: Balancing exercises like single-leg stands or modified lunges can help seniors maintain stability and reduce the risk of falls.
Regular exercise is proven to be one of the top(if not #1) contributors to longevity. Contact us to get started on a safe and effective senior fitness program for yourself or a loved one.
Jerry Yuhara, CPT, CSCS, CMT #75123
299 California Ave, Suite 120
Palo Alto, CA 94306
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