Aging Gracefully: Fitness Tips for Seniors with Limited Mobility (guest post) – Conclusion

Thanks to Kaki for last week’s guest post and today’s conclusion to what she shared last week.

Kaki is the Vice President and co-owner of Ames Walker.  After graduating from Virginia Tech she went on to work for Pepsi for several years before joining the family business.  When she is not working she enjoys running, hiking, traveling, Virginia Tech football & spending time with family & friends.

 

Aging Gracefully: Fitness Tips for Seniors with Limited Mobility

 

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise has many benefits, both mental and physical, for older adults. Here are just a few of the things that can happen as you start to exercise.

  • Exercise reduces the risk of:
    • falling and fracturing bones
    • dying from coronary heart disease
    • developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes
  • Exercise can help improve:
    • blood pressure in some people with hypertension
    • stamina and muscle strength
    • symptoms of anxiety and depression
    • physical signs of stress
    • joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis
    • thinking and memory skills, especially verbal

Tips for Exercising as a Senior

It can be hard to build a fitness habit at any age, but it’s far from impossible. Plus, it’s never too late to start. Follow these three tips to help kickstart your new fitness routine:

  • Start slow: If you’ve never exercised before, don’t try to do too much too soon, especially if your mobility is really limited or you’re contending with chronic conditions. Even just five minutes of movement a day can be a good place to start, and then build on that as you are able.
  • Do it daily: Trying to be active every day, even if it’s not an official workout, will help you build the habit faster. The sooner you build the routine, the less likely you will be to stop exercising. Many seniors like to exercise in the morning, before the day can get away from them, in order to stay on track with their daily goal.
  • Listen to your body: It’s normal to feel a little soreness and discomfort as you begin a new exercise routine. However, stabbing or joint pain isn’t normal, so if you start feeling that, stop exercising immediately to avoid exacerbating it. As always, you should consult your doctor before beginning any fitness routine, and check in with him or her if you feel any pain.

Exercising as a senior comes with certain considerations, but there are a wide range of activities you can try, no matter your level of mobility. Seniors of any age and fitness background can start with as little as five minutes of stretching a day and then build up from there, even if they are currently wheelchair-bound. Follow these tips and exercise ideas to start your fitness journey today.

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I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Aging Gracefully: Fitness Tips for Seniors with Limited Mobility (guest post)

Thanks to Kaki for today’s guest post; part two will be posted next Sunday.

Kaki is the Vice President and co-owner of Ames Walker.  After graduating from Virginia Tech she went on to work for Pepsi for several years before joining the family business.  When she is not working she enjoys running, hiking, traveling, Virginia Tech football & spending time with family & friends.

 

Aging Gracefully: Fitness Tips for Seniors with Limited Mobility

Sitting for extended periods is a major contributing factor to a variety of health issues, even if an individual is young, fit and otherwise healthy. As you age, your mobility naturally becomes more limited, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on moving entirely — indeed, staying active can actually increase your mobility or maintain it for a longer period of time.

However, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with ideas to be active if you have limited mobility, especially if you’re bound to a wheelchair. We’ve outlined five activities seniors of various mobility levels can engage in to stay fit and age gracefully. We’ll then discuss the mental and physical benefits of exercise and offer tips for starting your fitness journey later in life.

Gentle Stretches

If you exercise regularly, stretching should be part of both your warm up and cool down routine — and if you don’t work out a lot yet, stretching is an easy way to start being active. Stretching eases stiff joints and tight muscles, making it easier to work up to a more involved activity. Common “problem” areas that will loosen up from stretching include the neck, chest, back, lower back, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and ankles.

Try to stretch at least once daily to build the habit, but you can always do it more often if your muscles feel tight. However, if you feel pain during a static stretch, back off — that’s a sign you’ve pushed yourself too hard.

Restorative Yoga

Yoga might make you think of twisting yourself into a pretzel, but there are many types of yoga classes at a variety of intensity levels. Restorative yoga is a gentle version that focuses on overall wellness, relaxation and improving balance, coordination and flexibility.

It’s a great way to start recovering from an injury or addressing a chronic health issue such as arthritis. You’ll move through the poses at a slow, meditative pace, concentrating on your breathing throughout the exercise. You may use props such as blocks or blankets to help you hold the poses. Consider signing up for a few restorative yoga classes first before you try anything at home, so an instructor can walk you through the poses.

Core Strength Exercises

Your core is far more than just your abs. It engages in just about everything you do, from sitting to walking to picking up an object. Deliberately building your core with exercises can make it easier to get around — and may even help with back pain.

Exercises that seniors can use to target their core include planks, bridge lifts, leg lifts, seated side bends and the Superman. You should also try to engage your core in other scenarios, such as sitting up straight or walking around the neighborhood.

Chair Exercises

Even if you’re wheelchair-bound, you can still work on improving your activity levels. Numerous strength-training exercises — using a resistance band, small weights or even your own body weight — can be done while seated. Many flexibility exercises can be modified for a seated individual, including stretches, yoga and Tai Chi. Even certain forms of cardiovascular activity, such as aerobics, can be adapted for those in a chair.

Supportive Therapies

Of course, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your body during and after your exercise, especially as you age. Compression socks with graduated compression improve circulation and provide extra padding for your foot as you stay active. Therapeutic shoes with Velcro closures give your feet the proper support they need, plus they’re easy to take on and off. Elevating your legs using a leg rest after being on your feet awhile can take the pressure off your veins and discourage the blood from pooling there.

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 I’ll be back again next Sunday with Part Two of this interesting and informative guest post.

If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Guest Post: Key Car Driving Technologies to Assist with Seniors (part one)

I’d like to thank Craig Hammontree of Healthmax360.com for sharing this fascinating article, the remainder of which will appear here next Sunday.

Everyone wants their freedom, none more so than the people who raised us and still want active lifestyles as they get older. Just because someone is aging, that shouldn’t mean they can’t have their mobility. Plus, the automotive industry has heard the cry for better technologies in cars. Today’s cars are safer, more aware of their environments and take convenience and ease of movement into account more than ever before.

You may already have a great car caddy to help you get in and out of a deep, soft seat, but how about knowing what’s behind you or getting a warning about speed changes? These and more are all on the horizon for drivers of all ages, standing to benefit senior drivers immensely.

Help with changing lanes
There are some great accessories you can add to a new car that makes sure you don’t stray out of your lane as you drive, helps your car keep centered between hard-to-see markings and even does some minimal steering for you, though you have to keep your hands on the wheel.

Many cities don’t take driving safety for those with poor vision into account as lines fade on the street or rain falls. This new technology steps in to keep you safe as you go along at night or in a storm. While it hasn’t been perfected yet and some versions rely on a camera to keep you centered, it’s worth considering. Staying centered in your lane will prevent accidents and minor fender benders and help everyone in the car feel that much safer.

Smarter headlights
This technology you can put in your car will make you wonder how you ever drove without it. Newer, more aware headlights are the next step in driver safety and help ensure that as the sun goes down, your lights go up to make everything clearer and safer for you and everyone else on the road. Some lights are even designed to move their beams around as the road changes and have special settings for curves and hills. Once you have them, you will never go back to manual.

Better brakes
You may have already heard about Autonomous Emergency Braking or AEB, as it’s something that many car manufacturers have committed to putting in all their new models. Essentially, the brakes help your car know when it’s about to have a collision and stops the car for the driver.

If your reaction time has slowed or if you just want the reassurance of knowing your car can help you out when danger is on the road, these brakes are a must.

A wake-up call
Many of us get relaxed as we drive, but some of us get far too relaxed. A drowsy driver alert system is designed to monitor the blinking patterns of the person at the wheel through a camera or take into account a lot of swerving or drifting. The Drowsy Driver Alert System kicks on and either wakes the driver up with sounds, vibrations or suggestions to the driver that it’s time to take a break.

Sleeping behind the wheel is extremely dangerous and one of the leading causes of accidents. If you know you tend to nod off as you drive, this could be a great addition to your vehicle. 

That’s the end of part one. How about leaving a comment to thank Mr. Hammontree for his willingness to guest post with this article. I don’t know about any of you, but as a seventy-year-old driver, I find this information to be greatly encouraging.

 


 

    

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger