Senior Fitness at Home

Senior Fitness at Home

                        Senior Fitness at Home

Getting out to a gym is sometimes an impossible feat. Of course, there are ways to get fit without a gym, who could not figure that out? Senior fitness at home better than ever.

 

There are many things that can be done at home

With no or very little equipment. You can even use common household items as weights or other aids in some exercises.

Such as a chair to aid in balance exercises. Senior fitness can be obtained with many implements.

If you have a disability or have been sedentary for a long time there will be things you can do to get better, get fit.

 

As with any increase in activity or the beginning of a senior fitness plan or even a diet plan, you need to consult with your physician. Go over your plans and follow the Doctors recommendation for senior fitness.

You should be setting goals, long and short-term goals, but first you need to see where you are starting.

You will need to do a Fitness test.

Now don’t get worried, you need to know how much you can lift and how many times. You will need to know how many minutes it takes to walk a certain distance. You can understand that- don’t you?

Physical activity falls into basically Balance, strength, endurance and flexibility. If you have access to a gym, a trainer will give you a test of these items and set up a plan for you.

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If this is not the case you will have to do it yourself, right?

Balance exercises strengthen muscles used for balance and every day life.

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To check your fitness level:

See and record how many arm curls you can do in 2 minutes

See and record how far: sit on the edge of a sturdy chair stretch out one leg heel to floor and toes up. Put the other legs foot flat on the floor. Stretch out and try to touch your toes. Measure how far you get and record.

See and record how long it takes to complete a premeasured course RE: around block, walk or running.

See and record how many chair stands you can safely perform in 2 minutes—

(Picture below)

Chair Stand
Balance exercise, Chair stand

Flexibility exercises When muscles are stretched can help you remain limber longer

Strength exercises increase muscles, get you stronger. Small increases in strength training can make a large difference in your everyday.

Endurance exercises raise you heat rate and get you breathing hard (not gasping) These improve lungs, heart and circulatory systems, making easy work of everyday a real thing. Would that be nice? You agree?

Balance exercises would include lower body strength exercises, standing on one foot. Heel to toe walk.

Senior Fitness Flexibility exercises

Would be stretches, upper arm and shoulder stretch, calf stretch and yoga. These will help keep your body limber.

Senior Fitness Strength exercises

Called resistance or strength training also. Including lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight.

Senior Fitness Endurance exercise

One of my personal favorites. Brisk walking or jogging. Also qualifying is yard work (digging, raking and mowing) and dancing. Who knew?

 

Seniors Fitness Get Great Benefits

Seniors like anyone else get great benefits from regular exercise. Beside improving your ability to do the stuff you do every day, you will maintain, or improve your physical abilities.

Gains in strength and in general, could lead to your being independent longer. I could agree to that- how about you?

Another benefit is that diseases, where being and staying fit can help. Particularly  with diabetes, osteoporosis and of course heart disease. Feeling better mentally, help with depression and overall mood.

This I can attest to, when I do my endurance and strength work and regularly, my mood and general physical feeling are improved. You would like that for yourself- wouldn’t you?

Fitness Band for Senior Fitness

If walking, jogging or running is going to be part of your plan, I would suggest a fitness band. A pedometer will count your steps. A fitness band will do so much more.         I would recommend a Polar fitness tracker or watch, having an A360 model, that performs beautifully.

It  measures my heart rate right on my wrist while I am briskly walking.  Or anytime I push the screen icon for heart rate.  When I am at a brisk walk, with the watch set in the activity mode, all I must do is raise my arm like checking my watch, there is my time and my heart rate. It can be set for various activities.

When I am done, press button and the walk is totaled. You can also pause the clock, while in the activity section for running, walking any of the activities you set up to time.

Shows me time, distance, heart rate zones attained, speed (minutes per mile) and calories burned. There is a “day” button that is recording when you are not using the activities.

Proper Footwear

Lets talk shoes,  they are very important, especially when walking, running, but also when doing other fitness moves.

Shoes that are made for what you will be doing, you will be wearing them a lot. If laces are hard for you, look for Velcro, not too hard to find. You will need shoes with flat soles and an arch inside, but not so high an arch as to cause problems.

Correct size of course, most feet change when we get older. Your feet should be measured before buying shoes. Best time to have feet measured? It  is later in the day, you have been on your feet and your feet will be larger

Be sure that your shoes fit and are comfortable before leaving the store. Knowing that is not always easy.

Buying online, just be prepared to return for size adjustment and fit or comfort. I had to return a pair due to a squeak, thought a mouse was following me!

 

Before you start each session of exercise, you must, must warm up and stretch. This will help reduce/prevent injuries. Stretch with a smooth steady motion. Bouncing or jerking can cause an injury. Locking you joints is also not a good thing.

Recommended to be done 3-5 times per session.10-30 second hold time. As you progress and get more limber, you can go further in your stretches, reach further. Remember Pain means Stop.

Stretching

Below we have pictures of stretches.

First is a Thigh muscle, stand behind a sturdy chair, feet shoulder width. Grasp chair back to keep balance. bend left leg and grasp your ankle and pull up. If you cannot grasp ankle securely, use a belt, towel or resistance band to wrap around and hold both ends. Hold stretch 10-30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 each.

Stretching Thigh
Stretching thigh, standing position

Second is a thigh muscle stretch fro a laying position. Lay on your side put your head on you arm. Both legs together. Bend top leg and grasp foot. Pull and hold stretch for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 3-5 each side.

floor thigh stretch
Stretching thigh while on floor

 

 

Third is Shoulder, standing back against the wall, arms bent at shoulder height, fingers pointed at ceiling. Touch to wall with your back of hands. Hold stretch for about 10-30 seconds. Lower arms as shown and press on wall, again hold 10-30. perform 3-5  each up and down.

Shoulder Stretch
Shoulder stretch prior to exercise

Upper body stretch Stand facing the wall just a little further away than arms length. Hold your arms straight out from the shoulder. Lean into contact the wall, walk you hand up the wall. Feel the stretch, hold for 10-30 seconds. perform 3-5 reps.

Prior to work out, stretching upper body
Stretching upper body

 

 

 

Hip and inner Thigh stretch. Lie on you back, Legs together, knees up. Keep your shoulder down, lay one leg off to the side, knee up lay over. As in the picture. hold 10-30 seconds and perform 3-5 with each leg.

Inner thigh and hip stretches
stretching inner thigh and hip

 

For stretching the neck. Keep feet flat on floor and

Neck muscles
stretching neck muscles

shoulder width apart. Slowly turn head side to side, feeling a slight stretch. Do NOT tip your head forward or side. Hold stretch 10-20 seconds repeat for 3-5 times each side.

 

I will be writing more about fitness in the very near future. If you have any ideas subjects you would like covered. Or anything you want clarified. Please leave a comment below.

 

Walking for Fitness

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6 thoughts on “Senior Fitness at Home

  1. Hey James!
    What an inspiration you are! You show that it is never to late to change.
    I had a wake up call moment and since then I have taken care of my health.
    I think you need to keep posting inspirational content, to help others who are in a self destructive pattern, and have been for years, finding themselves in their 50’s.
    what was the hardest change you had to make, and what kept you going?

    1. Thank you Marcie and thank you for the comment. What has kept me going is a deep burning desire to live, to dance with my granddaughter at her wedding (she is 12). I’m 63. Other than that I want to help people, help them see what they can be, what they see inside themselves. Thank you again Marcie. Hurry back!

  2. Thanks for the easy and efficient exercises you provided here. I also think that if fitness can make someone stay autonomous longer then it should become our first priority to stay in shape. I was thinking about getting a fitness watch and this Polar fitness tracker seems to have all take to keep my motivation high. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Carolyn.  Staying in shape has so much to offer, Hoping to get more on board.

      The Polar fitness watch is great and also works to “keep me honest”  if you know what I mean.  No more “that was 1.5 miles”  Now it is 1.3 miles.  Thank for your comments.

  3. love the information here. I am a senior and need to start getting more exerise.
    will be looking forward to future articles on this.

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