5 Exercises to help with senior mobility

10/19/2016

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Having a routine of activity in our elderly loved one’s life can be very beneficial in keeping and maintaining their strength and balance. It can also help in maintaining their memory. In Baltimore County there are a lot of different places in your area that you can take your elderly loved ones to in order to keep them active and change up their scenery. There are fitness centers where they could walk on the treadmill, lift some weights or ride the bicycle. You can also find exercise classes with activities such as yoga, aerobics and water exercises. Whatever the activity is that you decide to do, it is very important that you know their limit. One of the most common ways our seniors get hurt is by being overly active.

What exercise you do with your loved one also depends on their level of movement. If you are unable to take them to a center there are also a lot of at home activities you can do. One of the most common type of at home exercises is walking. It may not seem like a lot but being able to get up and stretch out the body can be very beneficial. If your loved one cannot walk you can do some seated or chair exercise. If y they are unable to move their body on their own you can always do range of motion exercises with them. Range of motion is defined as how far you can move your joints in different directions. These types of exercises help you move each joint through its full range of motion. Doing the various types of movements can help keep your joints flexible, reduce pain, and improve balance and strength. Some range of motion exercises that you could try with your loved one are:

  • Head tilts: Start by slowly bowing the head and try to touch the chin to your chest. Then slowly pick your chin up to the starting position. Next tilt the head back as far as possible so you are looking up at the ceiling. Finally slowly return your head to the starting position.
  • Shoulder movement, up and down: Start out by raising the arm forward slowly and then up over the head. Try to raise the arm that way the inner arm touches your ear. Next bring your arm slowly back down to rest by your side. Then bring the arm back as far as possible so that it is behind your body. Finally slowly return the arm to the starting position.
  • Wrist bends: Start by bending your hand back toward your wrist so that your fingers are pointing toward the ceiling. Following by slowly bending your hand down so that your fingers point toward the floor.
  • Hip and knee bends: Start by pointing your toes. Next slowly bend your knee up as far as you can so that it is as close to your chest as possible. Finally slowly straighten the leg and return it to a flat position on the bed.
  • Ankle rotation: Start by slowly raising your foot slightly off the floor. Follow by slowly rolling your ankle in circles. Then finish off by roll the ankle in circles in the other direction.

No matter what the exercise is, just make sure your loved one is safe and that you don’t over do it. Take it slow and know their limits. Remember that it’s not about them gaining muscle, it’s about retaining and maintaining the muscle that they currently have.

Fun Fact: Did you know that there are 20 senior centers in Baltimore County which offer exercise classes? Check them out by clicking here.

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