Age Active - Simple Exercise Sets For Seniors To Do At Home Part I

Age Active - Simple Exercise Sets For Seniors To Do At Home Part I

08 Apr 2020
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A key factor in active ageing is regular exercise, which is beneficial for seniors in various ways. 

Besides managing weight and body fat levels, engaging in regular physical activity can also improve cognitive functions, immunity, bone density, and joint health. 

All of these benefits help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and infections (i.e. influenza, inflammations etc) 

With the growing global concerns of COVID-19, many group and outdoor activities in Singapore have been suspended. Seniors may find it challenging to find a space to exercise. But it’s not all that bleak!  You can easily turn your home into a simple “home gym” using everyday items like sturdy chairs or the walls at home.  

Note: Caregivers for seniors should monitor their physical conditions and tailor the physical exercises accordingly. For seniors who are unsteady or lack mobility, caregivers should check with their doctors first before proceeding with the exercise routines. Caregivers can also assist them in their routines.

We’ve identified three sets of simple exercises that seniors can do in a home setting. Each exercise set will cover two aspects: flexibility and strengthening. 

 

Neck Exercises

Neck pains are a common, well, pain in the neck for seniors. Stretches and strengthening exercises can alleviate these aches by improving the flexibility and range of motion of your neck. 

Flexibility: Side-to-Side Neck Tilt 

  1. Starting from a comfortable position, place your right hand on your hip.
  2. Slowly tilt your head to the left and gently hold it with your left hand for two to five seconds. (Stop if you’re experiencing any pain) Move your head back to the front.
  3. Place your left hand on your hip and tilt your head to the right. Use your right hand to gently hold it for two to five seconds. Move your head back to the front.
  4. Repeat step two and three for two more times. 

Tip: You can do this stretch during TV commercial breaks. 

 

Strengthen: Neck Turn 

  1. Starting with your head facing the front, slowly turn your head to the right and hold it for two seconds. Turn your head back to the front.
  2. Turn your head to the left and hold it for two seconds. Turn your head back to the front.
  3. Tilt your head upwards facing the ceiling and hold it for two seconds. Turn your head back to the front.
  4. Tilt your head downwards facing the floor and hold it for two seconds. Turn your head back to the front.
  5. Repeat step one to four for two more times.

Arms Exercises

To strengthen and improve daily functional movements, here’s a stretch and exercise for your upper limbs:

Flexibility: Upwards Reach 

  1. Starting with a comfortable position, interlace your fingers on your lap. 
  2. Keeping your fingers interlocked, raise your arms upwards till they are above your head and hold it for three to five seconds. 
  3. Bring your arms back to your lap. 
  4. Repeat step two and three for two more times. 

Strengthen: Wall Push-ups 

  1. Facing the wall, stand one arm length away from a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your palms flat against the wall and slowly lean forward.
  3. Bend your elbows and gently lower your body weight towards the wall while keeping your back straight.
  4. Push your body weight back with your arms until your elbows are straightened.
  5. Repeat step three and four for 10 times.

Core Exercises

Stretching and strengthening your abdominal muscles reduce stress on your back. 

Flexibility: Backward Stretch 

  1. Starting with a comfortable position, interlace your fingers on your lap. 
  2. Keeping your fingers interlocked, raise your arms upwards till they’re behind your head and hold for three to five seconds. You should feel a stretch in your abdomen.
  3. Bring your arms back to your lap. 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for two more times.

 

Stay tuned for our next post that will cover simple exercises for your back, thighs, hamstrings and calves!