Friday, January 26, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts for Elderly Women

People often equate getting older with a decline in physical health. You might even be told to "slow it down" if you're 60 years or older because your body is supposedly not what it used to be.

Avoiding physical activity in old age, however, is bad advice as many age-related health problems actually arise due to lack of exercise. The truth is that the human body, regardless of age, will be healthier, stronger, and happier simply by staying active.

Use It or Lose It

Studies have shown that people normally begin to lose eight percent of muscle mass every 10 years beginning at 40 years old. If you slow down on exercises in middle age then you might just exacerbate muscle loss and bone deterioration especially if you’re a woman.

A woman’s body changes faster than men due to hormonal changes brought on by menopause. Osteoporosis is also common in postmenopausal women, increasing their risk of sustaining fractures from a fall and other musculoskeletal injury caused by direct trauma. Physical fitness, therefore, is crucial during this transition as it can:
  • Prevent weight gain
  • Strengthen the bones and lower fracture risk due to osteoporosis
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Lower the risk for developing lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease
Undergo a Medical Evaluation First

If you haven't exercised in a while, it's best to get a medical evaluation first. If you suffer from pain, discomfort, or difficulty in accomplishing certain activities, you'll need to get a clearance from your physician before enlisting in a fitness regimen. It’s also wise to ask for advice from your doctor on how to manage physical activities in old age.

Best Home Exercises for Elderly Women

Upper Body

Upper body exercises help improve your posture and the flexibility of your back, neck, and shoulders. They can also prevent muscles from tensing up with knots (which can lead to back pain and tension headaches).

  • Head and Neck. Begin with a head roll by tilting your head to the right until it almost touches the shoulder. Hold the position for at least one to two minutes and then do the same on the left side. Alternate directions for 8 to 10 times.
  • Shoulders. To ease shoulder tension, try letting your arms hang loose and then count to 20 while shaking your upper extremities. Slowly stretch your right hand over to your left shoulder and hold the position for a minute. Do the same for the left arm.

Lower Body

Women in general store more fat from the waist down to the hips and thighs, hence it's also important to keep these areas fit and trim. Make sure, however, that you are not currently suffering from back pain before you do these exercises below.

  • Waist and Hips. Set your feet apart while standing and hold your arms to your chest for balance. Slowly twist your waist as far as you can reach and switch directions. Do this at least 20 times. This exercise also helps with the flexibility of the muscles in your lower back and spine.
  • Buttocks. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched to your front. Slowly try to move forward using just your buttocks. Stretch your arms to your front to maintain balance. Do this routine for 20 counts.
  • Buttocks and Thighs. Lie down on the floor with your right ankle crossed over your left. With straight knees, raise your legs to a comfortable distance from the ground and hold the position for 10 seconds. Alternately switch your ankles and do this exercise at least eight times.

Feet and Legs

Keep your legs mobile and flexible to avoid developing health conditions like varicose veins and venous insufficiency.

  • Legs. You can use a platform for this exercise or use the first step on the stairs. With your back straight and your legs slightly apart, begin by stepping your right foot on the platform and then bending your knees to a lunging position. Hold for five seconds. Stretch your arms and then do the same for the left side. Do the routine at least 16 to 20 more times on each side.
  • Knees and Calves. Stand with your feet apart and slowly sit in a squatting position. Hold the position for 10 seconds and go back to starting position. Repeat at least 20 times.
  • Ankles. Sit on a chair with your legs slightly stretched out in front of you. Rotate your ankles clockwise and counter-clockwise to loosen the joints.

Putting an effort into physical fitness is more about managing your retirement years better. You'll notice your muscle power, body endurance, balance, and gait improve over time, allowing you more independent movement and better self-esteem.

This is a guest blog entry.

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