Senior-Friendly Physical Activities: Avoiding Inactivity in One’s Golden Years

It is believed that adequate fitness is most important for people over the age of 65, especially in senior care facilities in Boynton Beach. The right fitness levels help this group recover or reduce the risk of illness and stay independent. What is more, it is never too late to get fit. Regardless of one’s age, the human body responds to exercise and there is an abundance of health benefits to reap.

According to data of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost a third of the U.S. population over the age of 50 are not active. This is quite regrettable given that 80% of the most limiting health conditions could be prevented or managed through senior-friendly physical activity. With age, arteries and the heart muscle become stiffer. As a result, the ligaments lose elasticity. You can gain weight faster because your body begins metabolizing (processing) food at a lower rate.

Strength Training for Seniors

Stronger muscles help seniors keep doing everything they need to do in a day, from getting up to sitting down on a chair. High-quality senior care facilities in Boynton Beach employ qualified physical therapists who can help with a suitable strength training regime. Below are some examples of senior-friendly exercises.

Wall Push-Ups

Stand in front of a solid wall, as close to the wall as you feel comfortable. Place your hands on the wall on shoulder level. Bend your elbows and lean in, keeping your body straight. When your face is close to the wall, stop and start pushing your body away from the wall, slowly straightening your arms.

Chair Squats

With your feet as far apart as your hips, stand in front of a chair. Keep your chest and shoulders upright. Slowly bend your knees and lower your bottom until you’re almost seated. After that, push your body back up.

Balancing Exercises

Each year, approximately 30% of seniors over 65 fall. Falls are one of the main causes of ER visits. At this age, they can lead to fractures and other complications. This is why it is critical for seniors to work on their balance.

One exercise that always helps for better balance is the so-called single foot stand. To do it, stand behind a heavy chair that’s unlikely to slip. Hold onto the back. Pick up one foot and balance on it for as long as you feel comfortable, ideally around a minute. Then, switch to the other foot.

Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Insufficient activity accounts for about half of the physical decline that experts typically connect to aging. People over the age of 50 experience a number of health issues, such as reduced balance and coordination, reduced strength, muscle mass, and physical endurance, and reduced mobility and joint flexibility. Unfortunately, that’s not all. Common health problems at this age also include lowered respiratory and cardiovascular function, high or increased blood pressure, weight gain, and limited bone strength.

Seniors can have problems with mobility due to atrophied muscles, which in turn cause untreatable physical changes. These are an additional hindrance to flexibility. Assisted living communities in Boynton Beach employ physical therapists who create individual training programs to help patients avoid further complications.