Home Exercises in Old Age: People Over 70
Doing exercises in old age is just as important as in any other age. Old age is a stage that combines joys and challenges. Thus, overall wear and tear tends to be the main cause of ailments, which reduces the quality of life. However, good fitness habits, which result in active aging, can optimize well-being. A good option to start with are the exercises we have for you today for the over 70s.
Clearly, the practices for older adults are oriented to the work of various muscle groups, but using low intensity as the main conditioning factor. Also, a care factor is added for those who have reduced mobility or require alternatives.
We invite you to discover below the main exercises for the over 70s, both dependent and independent. In addition to that, we’ll tell you about general benefits and certain care that you shouldn’t overlook.
Benefits of exercises in old age
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for older adults to improve physical, mental and social health; three elements that change the perception of aging.
In that sense, the reasons why specialists place so much importance on physical activity lie in the following benefits:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced bone density loss
- Greater mobility due to muscle strengthening and pain mitigation
- Decrease in the probability of suffering depressive disorders and anxiety attacks
- Better response of the immune system
- Social integration
- Increased flexibility
- Prevention of type II diabetes
- Better coordination
Home exercises in old age for people with independence
Exercises for the over 70s with autonomy offer two modalities: individual and circuits. The choice of one model or the other is made according to the condition of each person.
The person should perform the movements listed below with repetitions ranging from 8 to 15 times. As for the series, specialists recommend a gradual increase when evaluating each routine.
Without further ado, the exercises available are as follows:
- Chair Lift: any chair in the house that allows you to rest your feet on the floor is good. The exercise consists of standing up and sitting down without using your hands to help.
- Low intensity bridge: lie on your back on the floor and slightly raise your hips with both feet as support.
- Obstacle walking: can be performed indoors and is a variation of straight walking. It only requires establishing a fixed route and positioning objects as obstacles for the route.
- Wall push-ups: placing both hands on a wall and keeping the distance marked by the shoulders, bend your elbows and return to the starting position.
- Front raises: take an object with each hand and raise forwards (without passing the shoulders) slowly.
- Balance practice: stand on one foot (for 20 to 30 seconds), bend the knee in elevation and use the wall for support.
In turn, for the circuits, 2 or 3 laps are performed with 6 consecutive exercises, applying between 5 and 10 repetitions of each one. The rest between activities is 1 minute. After mastering a circuit, you can change the order and vary the repetitions.
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Home exercises in old age with limited autonomy
In the case of older adults who have mobility difficulties, causing limitations in their autonomy, we put together the following useful options for them to enjoy the benefits of exercise:
- Individual hug: this movement is based on opening the arms with lateral extensions and closing them as if we were hugging ourselves.
- Leg circles: while seated, lift one foot and do circles clockwise. Vary the leg and the direction.
- Twisting a towel: apply force on a towel and wring it out, counterclockwise with each hand. This is the classic drying movement.
- Biceps work: select any object with a maximum of 1 kilogram, flex the elbow with subtlety and return to the base position.
- Leg extension: sitting on a chair or wall, raise one foot, extend the leg and flex again.
- Lateral tilt: on a chair, lean sideways with the intention of touching your nearest foot, but avoiding any action that causes discomfort.
Essential care during the routines
In order to put the described exercises into practice, you shouldn’t forget about the necessary measures to avoid injuries or major complications. They must begin each physical activity slowly, measuring the body’s response and gaining confidence.
In addition, harmonious inhalations and exhalations are important, not holding your breath when you’re exerting yourself, as it could have harmful effects on blood pressure.
They must drink enough water before starting the routine because dehydration is more difficult to perceive in older adults.
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Exercises for people over 70 years old must be medically endorsed
It’s ideal to consult a doctor before doing any recommended exercise, so that it doesn’t interfere with any treatment, conditions or pre-existing health problems. Also, if you feel discomfort with any movement, it’s best to lower the intensity or stop. Other options that can be adapted to the elderly are tai chi, pilates, and yoga.
Finally, specialists recommend finishing with a round of arm and leg stretches. In short, with all the exercises for the over 70s and the appropriate care, active aging will transform your life.