NotRetired.in - 4 Best Exercises for the Retired! For better choice

4 Best Exercises for the Retired! For better choice

"RETIREMENT - now life begins." Catherine Pulsifer 

As Catherine Pulsifer rightly states, Life begins after Retirement!  To enjoy life after retirement you need a healthy diet with right exercise patterns to enhance your life span.

Notretired.in presents the 4 Best Exercises for the Retired.

What benefits do exercises offer the retired?

There are two types of benefits that exercise can provide for a senior. The first is psychological wellbeing and the second is physical. These are totally separate benefits where one effects how the brain operates and the other effects how the body operates.

Seniors should exercise to reduce high blood pressure. High blood pressure by itself isn't bad but the negative effects are the things that end up getting many seniors in the end. Because exercise creates increased oxygen demands, the lungs adapt to this by becoming more efficient and better able to uptake oxygen. Regular exercise is a great way to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis which is a disease that severely weakens the bones. Bones like muscles respond to stress by becoming stronger.

So, what are the best exercises for seniors?

Following are the 4 best exercises for the retired and seniors.

  1. Stretching exercises
  2. Balance exercises
  3. Strength exercises
  4. Endurance exercises

Stretching to increase your flexibility and freedom of movement will help you do more of the activities you enjoy.

STRETCHING EXERCISES:

Here are a few basic stretching exercises

Before you start, follow these safety tips:

  • Check with your doctor to make sure these stretching exercises are safe for you.
  • Always warm up before stretching exercises by doing some easy walking or arm-pumping first, or by doing stretching exercise after endurance or strength exercises.

 

  1. Triceps Stretches: Lengthen muscles in the back of the upper arm. 
  • Hold one end of a towel in your right hand.
  • Raise and bend right arm to drape towel down back. Keep your right arm in this position and continue holding onto the towel.
  • Reach behind your lower back and grasp bottom end of towel with left hand.
  • Climb your left hand progressively higher up towel, which also pulls your right arm down. Continue until your hands touch, or as close as you can comfortably go.
  • Reverse positions.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 times each session. Hold stretch for 10 to 30 seconds

 

 

2. Double Hip Rotation: Stretch the outer muscles of hips and thighs. 

Important: If you have had a hip replacement, do NOT perform double hip rotation exercises without permission from your surgeon.

  • Lie on floor on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep shoulders on floor at all times.
  • Keep knees bent together and gently lower legs to one side as far as possible without forcing them.
  • Hold position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Return legs to upright position.
  • Repeat toward other side.
  • Repeat 3 to 5 times on each side.

 

How Much Should I Stretch, and How Often? 

Stretch after you do your regularly scheduled strength and endurance exercises.

Do each stretching exercise 3 to 5 times at each session.

Slowly stretch into the desired position, as far as possible without pain, and hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.

Relax, then repeat, trying to stretch farther.

If you can't do endurance or strength exercises for any reason, and stretching exercises are the only kind you are able to do, do them at least 3 times a week, for at least 20 minutes each session.

Remember that stretching exercises, by themselves, don't improve endurance or strength.

 

BALANCE EXERCISES

Improving lower body strength will help to improve your balance, and better balance means reduced risk of falls. Before you start your exercise program, read these safety tips for lower body exercise:

 1. Side Leg Raises:  Strengthening the side muscles of your hips and thighs is important for good balance.

 

  • Stand straight, directly behind table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  • Hold table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly lift one leg to side, 6 to 12 inches out to the side.
  • Keep your back and both legs straight.
  • Don't point your toes downward; keep them facing forward during this exercise. Hold this position.
  • Slowly lower leg. Repeat with other leg.
  • Keep back and knees straight throughout exercise.
  • Alternate legs until you repeat exercise 8 to 15 times with each leg.

 2. Hip Flexion: Strengthen thigh and hip muscles

 

  • Strengthening these muscles is important for good balance. Use ankle weights if you are ready.
  • Stand straight; hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly bend one knee toward chest, without bending waist or hips.
  • Hold position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower leg all the way down. Pause.
  • Repeat with other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions. Add weights as you progress

 

 3. Hip Extension: Strengthens buttock and lower-back muscles

 

  • Stand 12 to 18 inches from a table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  • Bend forward at hips at about 45-degree angle; hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  • Slowly lift one leg straight backwards without bending your knee, pointing your toes, or bending your upper body any farther forward.
  • Hold position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower leg. Pause.
  • Repeat with other leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions. Add modifications as you progress.

 

STRENGTH EXERCISES

Don't hold your breath during strength exercises. This could affect your blood pressure.

Use smooth, steady movements to bring weights into position. Avoid jerking or thrusting movements.

Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position. Breathe out as you lift or push a weight and breathe in as you relax.

 1. Arm Raises: Strengthen your shoulder muscles

 

  • Sit in a chair with your back straight.
  • Keep feet flat on the floor even with your shoulders.
  • Hold hand weights straight down at your sides with palms facing inward.
  • Raise both arms to side, shoulder height.
  • Hold the position for 1 second.
  • Slowly lower arms to the sides. Pause. Repeat 8 to 15 times.
  • Rest. Do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.

Note: Start without weights, and as you gain strength you can add weight in increments of 1 or 2 pounds. Cans of soup make a good substitute for weights?

 

 2. Chair Stands: Strengthen stomach and thigh muscles 

 

  • Place pillows against back of chair.
  • Sit in middle or toward front of chair, knees bent, feet flat on floor.
  • Lean back on pillows in half-reclining position, keeping your back and shoulders straight.
  • Raise upper body forward until sitting upright, using hands as little as possible, or not at all if possible. Your back should no longer lean against the pillows.
  • Slowly stand up, using hands as little as possible.
  • Slowly sit back down. Keep back and shoulders straight throughout exercise.
  • Repeat 8 to 15 times. Rest. Then repeat 8 to 15 times more.

 

 3. Bicep Curls: Strengthen upper-arm muscles

 

  • Sit in armless chair. Keep feet flat and even with shoulders.
  • Hold hand weights at sides, arms straight, palms facing toward your body.
  • Slowly bend one elbow, lifting weight toward chest. Be sure to rotate palm to face shoulder while lifting weight.
  • Hold position for 1 second. Slowly lower arm to starting position.
  • Repeat with other arm. Alternate until you have repeated the exercise 8 to 15 times on each side.
  • Rest. Then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions

ENDURANCE EXERCISES

 

 

What are Endurance and Cardio Exercises?

Cardio exercises are activities--like walking, jogging, swimming, and raking the yard--that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time.

Cardio exercises are very good for improving heart health and they also contribute to weight loss by increasing your metabolism.

You can start with as little as 5 minutes of cardio activities at a time. As your endurance improves, add more time.

Cardio Exercise for Beginners: Safety Tips 

If you are new to cardio exercise, or have been inactive for a while, consult with your doctor to make sure that cardio exercise is safe for you.

Stretch after your activities, when your muscles are warm.

Drink water before, during and after exercise. Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.

Dress appropriately for the heat and cold.

Moderate Cardio Exercise Activities for Older Adults 

If you've been inactive for a while, it's best to start with a small amount of cardio exercise, and to limit your exercise to activities that require a moderate amount of endurance.

 1.  Moderate endurance activities for the average older adult:

 

  • Walking briskly on a level surface
  • Swimming
  • Gardening, mowing, or raking the lawn
  • Cycling on a stationary bicycle
  • Bicycling outdoors on a level surface
  • Remember to get your health care provider's approval before beginning any form of exercise.

 

 2. Vigorous Cardio Activities for Older Adults : 

If you have some experience with cardio exercise and have increased your endurance to at least a moderate level, these activities may be safe for you to do.

People who have been inactive for a long time or who have certain health risks should not start with these activities. Remember to get your doctor’s approval before beginning any form of exercise.

  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Brisk bicycling up hills
  • Brisk walking
  • Digging holes

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