Exercise for seniors

It’s never too late to start. Exercise can and will slow down the deteriorating effects associated with the aging process, help prevent falls and improve the quality of your life. The benefits are multi-layered. The sooner you start, the better! Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:

1. Try doing “Sit-to-Stand” exercises. This involves a squatting motion (eg. getting out of a chair), where the hips are extended, and you straighten up to a standing position. It builds strength and improves mobility and balance.

2. Adopt a short routine that can be done every other day. Try building your fitness routine into your daily schedule. It can become part of your morning ritual.

3. Expect a little soreness, but your muscles should never feel hurt or injured. As you get used to the routine, the soreness will vanish.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do

Eat within one hour after you finish your exercise routine. This will help fuel your muscles and help increase your strength at a faster rate.

Give your large muscle groups priority before working smaller muscles (eg. legs, hips, back and chest first)

Have rest days. It is an important part of recovery and fitness improvement.

Don’t

Don’t lift weights that are too heavy for you. You should be able to complete 8-12 repetitions.

Don’t lift too light. You won’t get much benefit.

Pace yourself. Try not to do too much too soon.

A Success Story

Mrs. B was an avid walker for many years, doing three miles a day at one point. But walking became difficult for her over time, especially if hills were involved. Once moving into her PARC residence, Mrs. B. embarked on a twice-a-week schedule of strength training in the gym, and after just five weeks, she noted a marked improvement in her walking ability. Her balance improved, her walking speed quickened and she found hills were no longer difficult!