Falling can have serious consequences for seniors, which means they should try to do everything in their power to prevent such incidents. Exercising has proven to be effective in helping the elderly maintain muscle strength and balance skills, and Mississauga, ON, senior care experts discuss a few of the specific exercises that are most likely to be beneficial.
1. Knee Curls
Much of the strength in the legs comes from the buttocks and lower back. However, these two areas of the body are prone to injuries as people grow older and become less active. Bringing a heel up to the buttocks and then holding the position for 10 or 15 seconds helps strengthen the lower back, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
2. Toe Stands
Throughout the calves and ankles are thousands of muscle fibers that constantly adjust to movements and help us balance. Toe stands are one of the most effective ways to strengthen these areas of the body without putting too much pressure on the joints. For seniors who already have difficulty with balance, this exercise can be done while holding a chair for support.
3. Leg Stretches
In addition to strengthening the muscles, it is also important to keep them as flexible as possible. Sitting leg stretches can help loosen all of the muscles that run from the lower back to the knees. Adding weight to a leg stretch turns it into a leg extension, which strengthens the hip flexors and gives them more stability when standing on uneven ground.
4. Leg Extensions
An imbalance in any of the major muscle groups increases a senior’s risk of becoming injured. Much like the arms and shoulders, it is very easy to overwork one leg while the other becomes weaker due to a lack of use. Single leg extensions ensure both legs are equally strong and flexible.
5. Walking in Sand
As seniors grow stronger and the exercises become easier, they should try to challenge their bodies by walking in sand. This is known as a proprioceptive movement because it increases the ability to know where our feet are without looking at them. Walking on the sand is also an excellent option for seniors who want to limit the pressure placed on their ankles, knees, and hips.
If your senior loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with general mobility, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized post-stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Mississauga, ON, seniors can count on. For more information on our at-home care services, please call (905) 337-1200 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.