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Exercise Tips for Senior & Disabled Adults

With every year that we grow older our muscles tighten and range of motion begins to decrease, especially when we are inactive! Senior and disabled adults who engage in exercise and physical activities as they age lead healthier lives with a better overall quality of life. As we grow older, we should focus on four main areas of physical fitness: strength, balance, flexibility and endurance.

Some form of exercise is safe for almost everyone. You can exercise even with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and many more. Participating in physical activity has so many benefits! Here are just a few benefits:

  • Helps to improve mental health.

  • Can provide social interaction.

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness.

  • Helps joint flexibility, strength, and balance.

  • Helps reduce the risk of diabetes.

  • Helps control weight which can help to reduce stroke and other heart health issues.

  • Improves bone density.

  • Can help decrease pain and weakness associated with arthritis.

  • Helps maintain independence.

  • Can help prevent falls.

If an activity doesn't work for all abilities, it can usually be adapted so everyone can participate in some form of physical activity. Always check with your doctor if you aren't use to energetic activity or if you have other health concerns.

Tips for getting started:

Begin slow and increase your activities and endurance level. At first you may only be able to be active for 10 minutes at a time. Do what you can and slowly progress.

When working with strength exercises don't hold your breathe. Holding your breathe can cause changes in your blood pressure. Breathe out as you lift and in as you relax.

Unless you are on a restricted fluid intake, drink plenty of fluids. This is particularly important when engaging in any form of physical activity.

Warm up before you begin.

Bend forward from the hips keeping your back straight instead of bending at the waist.

Don't forget to stretch after your muscles are warmed up.

Aerobic Activities:

  • Walking

  • Swimming

  • Dancing

  • Gardening

  • Climbing stairs

  • Stationary bike

  • Rowing Machine

Strength Activities:

  • Use hand weights standing, lying, or sitting down.

  • Use resistance machines.

  • Use band or tubes for resistance and muscle building.

  • Use a chair to do leg raises.

Balance & Flexibility:

  • Stretch slowly and smoothly.

  • Tai Chi and chair yoga are activities that improve flexibility.

  • Start with the focus on your upper body working your way down to the lower body.

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

To be certain that you are doing exercises or activities correctly, always talk with your doctor, and exercise instructor or physical therapist.

Since 1994 Easy Living Services has partnered with thousands of Atlanta area families in caring for seniors, disabled adults and chronically ill loved ones in the comfort of home. Our team of extensively professionally trained nursing assistants are there providing reliable, skilled, comforting care.

For more information call us today at 770-442-8664


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