Getting older and being stuck inside your home more often is no fun. More so during current circumstances with the movement control order being enforced to stem the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
But seniors need to keep active and try to exercise at least a few times every week.
Whether an elderly loved one is still active or has more limited mobility, there are a range of exercises they can do at home. Obviously, these aren’t for everyone, but here are a few suggestions:
1. Weight training
Even the lightest of weight training can help the elderly build muscle mass and retain bone density without stressing out their muscles.
Seniors can use one kilogram weights to do shoulder presses and arm raises. If they don’t have weights, they can use objects around the house like water bottles or cans of food. Even small bricks work.
Aerobic exercises can be done at home. If they want to follow a particular routine, they can use an exercise DVD, or follow along with an online video.
Do a simple internet search or go onto YouTube for all kinds of ideas for aerobic routines. Jumping jacks, knee lifts, and stretching can work as alternatives. Aerobic exercises are important for seniors, because they get the heart pumping and promote cardiovascular health.
Yoga is one of the best ways for seniors to keep their bodies limber because yoga emphasises balance, flexibility and strength.
Seniors can do classic yoga poses like downward facing dog, seated forward bend, and warrior.
Older adults with limited mobility can try chair yoga a well. Again, the internet offers a wide variety of resources for doing yoga at home.
You don’t need to leave the house to take a walk. Seniors can put on a pedometer, turn on their favourite music, and walk throughout their home. Make sure to lift the knees with each step, and walk as briskly as able without overextending yourself.
5. Sit ups
Seniors can do simple sit ups to increase their core muscle strength. Start by lying on their back with knees bent at an angle.
They should then place their hands behind their head and gently lift their head upward, all the while engaging the stomach muscles.
Being at home and keeping in shape can be fun. Do what you can. It’ll benefit you for years to come.
Andrew Mastrandonas is an elderly care/home care and health tech executive based in Kuala Lumpur. For additional information on finding a caregiver or other care services at home see https://hello.pillarcare.com/ or call/text/WhatsApp the Care Hotline: +60 17-805 9677 for immediate assistance.