Movement and exercise are important at every age, but it seems to be particularly important for seniors who want to maintain their active lifestyle. The CDC reports that each year, one out of four seniors fall, and falling once increases your chances of falling again in the future. Many falls can be linked to a regression of balance and strength and mobility problems from inactivity. So how to improve mobility in elderly people and maximize their independence? Start by working in mobility exercises for seniors such as the ones listed below into your daily routine.
Mobility Exercises for Seniors
These mobility workouts and core exercises for seniors can easily be implemented into your exercise routine. They’ll help you strengthen your muscles, boost agility, and decrease the possibilities of fall-related injuries so you can continue doing the things you love as you age.
1. Quadricep stretches
Your quadriceps in your thighs allow your legs to move and play an important role in knee joint stability. To perform a quadricep stretch, hold onto a chair for balance, then lift your foot and grab it with your hand. Pull it toward your lower back until you feel a stretch – but not so much that it’s painful. Hold that position for 30 seconds and switch to the other leg.
2. Standing hamstring stretches
Your hamstrings help stabilize your body when standing or bending. To help strengthen your hamstring, place your heel on an elevated platform like the seat of a chair. While keeping that leg straight, bend forward at the hip until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
3. Floor hamstring stretches
If you don’t feel comfortable with balancing on one leg for standing hamstring stretches, floor stretches are a good alternative. Lie flat on your back on the floor, lift one leg straight up, grasp the back of your knee and pull it gently toward your body, keeping the knee bent. For a deep stretch, try to keep your foot parallel to the ceiling.
4. Ankle flexes
Your ankles have the tendency to become weaker as you age and can further complicate orthopedic issues. To help strengthen your ankles, place one foot out in front of you with your heel on the floor while you’re sitting. Point your toe forward as far as you can and then back toward the ceiling. Repeat this 20-30 times and then switch feet.
5. Chair squats
Squats are a great way to build both leg and core strength, but you may need to modify them as you get older. A chair squat is the same as a regular squat, but you’ll use a chair to rest on as you reach the lower position.
6. Bridge stretches
Trouble with your lower back can lead to different mobility problems. One way to resolve these issues is to strengthen your core muscles with the bridge stretch. Simply lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet placed flatly on the floor. Raise your hips and hold them for 30 seconds or as long as you can. Repeat this a few times.
Improve Your Mobility at Sedgebrook
Here at Sedgebrook, our team knows all about how to improve mobility in elderly people to maximize their independent lifestyle, because we’ve been doing it for years. We take a personalized, resident-centered approach to care at every level. Sedgebrook’s independent living, complete with in-home care, is designed to put your overall wellness and independence first. If you’d like to learn more about how Sedgebrook residents are continually staying active, healthy and as independent as possible, reach out to us. A member of our team would be happy to answer your questions and tell you more about our rich lifestyle.