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May 25, 2022
Exercise And Fitness

12 Effective Exercise and Stretches for Maximum Health Benefit If You’re a Sedentary Seniors

Exercise and Stretches for Sedentary Seniors

To all sedentary seniors, it’s vital to understand that being sedentary as you age predisposes you to so many health risks and ultimately reduces your lifespan. As you get older, you may find it harder to move around physically. Your knees may begin to ache, your back might feel stiffer, and you may feel unsteady on your feet and worry you might fall.

The pain and worry this brings can lead to an even more sedentary lifestyle. However, this self-preservation may only make the problems experienced now worsen over time.

You need to stay physically active no matter your age. If you’re feeling increased discomfort or pain because you’re ageing, it’s all the more important to get moving, stretch your joints, and improve your balance.

The Benefits of Exercise and Stretching for Sedentary Seniors.

Sitting for long periods of time has been linked with health risks such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer. A sedentary lifestyle can also lead to a decrease in muscle mass and flexibility, which can make it difficult to do everyday activities.

Exercise and stretching can help improve seniors’ health and quality of life. Exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, increase strength and energy, improve mood, and promote better sleep. Stretching can improve flexibility and range of motion. Both exercise and stretching are important for seniors who are inactive or have a sedentary lifestyle.

Impact of Age on Flexibility

Age is often cited as a factor in flexibility. As people age, they may find that their flexibility decreases. While this may be true to some extent, there are many ways to maintain or improve flexibility as one gets older.

In fact, research has shown that many seniors are quite flexible, and that age is not necessarily a predictor of flexibility. The elderly population is growing more and more active each year, but many seniors find it difficult to get up and move around. That’s why effective exercises and stretches are so important for them!

READ ALSO: How to Prevent The Effects of Sedentary Behavior on Your Emotional Health

Exercise and Stretching Guidelines for Sedentary Seniors

Sitting for hours on end is not only bad for our physical health but our mental health as well. Studies have shown that people who are sedentary are at a greater risk for depression and anxiety. The good news is that even a small amount of exercise can help to improve our mood and outlook on life.

If you are a senior who is not very active, start by gradually adding in more movement throughout your day. Try to take a walk around the block, do some stretching exercises, or ride a bike. If you are feeling up for it, you can also try adding in some more strenuous exercises like swimming or hiking.

Aim for at least 10 minutes of stretching twice a week, especially for the elderly. No matter what level of activity you are starting, it is important to always consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your routine.

Precautions When Practicing Exercise and Stretches for Sedentary Seniors

When seniors begin a new exercise routine, it is important to take precautions to prevent injury. Those who are sedentary should start slowly and gradually increase their activity level. When stretching, be sure to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and repeat several times. Warm-up with five minutes of light aerobic activity before starting any strenuous workout. If you experience pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, stop the activity and seek medical attention.

ALSO, READ: Can You Still Lose Weight While Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle? Here’s the Answer!

Exercises and Stretching Sedentary Seniors Can Do At Home

Understandably, it can be difficult to exercise work when you’re already feeling muscle weakness, but don’t despair! If you have been a sedentary senior and want to get moving again, here’s a roundup of exercises you can do in the comfort of your living room.

Seated Knee to Chest For Sedentary Seniors

Seated Knee to Chest For Sedentary Seniors

This is an excellent stretching exercise that you can do. The seated knee to chest exercise aims to improve the mobility in your hips and knees, as well as the flexibility of your lower back.

Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Straighten your back. Lift your right leg and grasp it with your hands, and slowly pull it as far as it is comfortable, towards your chest. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds, then gently put your leg down. Repeat it with the other leg and do so alternately 10 to 20 times, or as many times as you can to start with.

You can also do a knee to chest exercise while standing, which will help improve your balance. Perhaps try this one when your muscles get stronger.

Overhead Side Stretch

Overhead Side Stretch

This exercise aims to loosen up muscles in your back, shoulders, and abdomen. You can do it while standing or sitting, depending on your mobility.

To start, raise your arms above your head, then slowly lean to your left side and hold it for 10 to 30 counts. Repeat on the right side and do it alternately for 10 to 20 repeats.

If raising your arms over your head is difficult, you can put your arms on your hips instead as you lean to your sides.

Shoulder and Triceps Stretch

Shoulder and Triceps Stretch

If you’re experiencing stiff shoulders and muscle pain in the area, this shoulder and triceps stretch can help. It aims to loosen up the joints on your shoulders and improve their mobility. This stretching exercise can help alleviate muscle pain and prevent deterioration.

You can do this exercise while sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Let’s start with the shoulders. Pull your right arm across your chest and below shoulder height. Grab it with your left hand, slowly feeling the stretch on your shoulder. Count 10 to 30 while holding the position, then repeat with your left arm. Do 10 repeats.

Moving to the triceps, which is what is often the flabby underarm area, raise both your arms over your head. Bend your right arm behind your head and hold your right elbow with your left hand. Gently pull your elbow backward as you feel the stretch in your upper arm. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat with your left arm. Do 10 repeats.

READ ALSO: Do You Suffer From Sedentary Behavior? You Might Be at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome!

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Many seniors complain of having lower back pain and weak legs. This hamstring stretch, which is the muscle in the back of the top part of your leg, targets these areas, decreasing stiffness and improving flexibility and mobility.
Sit on the floor, then extend one of your legs out. Lean forward and try to reach your thigh, knee, or ankle slowly, feeling the stretch on your hamstring. Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds while avoiding hyperextension of your hamstring. Repeat with the other side and alternate for 10 reps.

Toe Taps and Heel Raises

Toe Taps and Heel Raises

A sedentary lifestyle can make your feet and ankles feel stiff and weak, and the lower leg muscles even weaker. Toe taps and heel raises loosen up the joints and strengthen the lower legs and upper calves. They also help improve blood circulation in your legs.

Let’s start with toe taps. Sit straight on a chair and keep your heels on the floor. Lift your toes high and feel the stretch on your muscles along your shin, then tap them back on the floor. Repeat 20 times.

With heel raises, you keep your toes and the balls of your feet flat on the floor, then lift your heels. Repeat this 20 times.

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

The standing quadriceps stretch is a basic exercise that is often used to improve flexibility and range of motion in the thigh muscles. The exercise is performed by standing tall and bending one knee while grabbing the ankle or foot of that leg and pulling it towards the buttocks.

You should feel a stretch in the front of the thigh. The stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds and repeated 3-5 times on each leg. Sedentary seniors are at a higher risk for health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

A standing quadriceps stretch can help improve blood flow and keep the muscles in the hips and legs strong. This stretch can be done without any equipment and takes just a few minutes to complete.

Soleus Stretch

Soleus Stretch

The soleus muscle is located on the back of the calf and is responsible for ankle flexion. The muscle can become tight from prolonged periods of sitting or standing, which can lead to discomfort and pain. Standing calf stretch is an effective way to improve flexibility in the lower leg. This simple exercise can be done once or twice a day and helps to loosen up the muscle.

Soleus Stretch Exercise is a simple exercise that can be done to help improve flexibility and range of motion. The exercise can be performed with or without resistance bands. The Soleus Stretch Exercise is a good exercise to do before other exercises to help warm up the muscles.

READ ALSO: The Dangerous Effect of Sedentary Behavior on Your Health That You Can Avoid

Neck Stretches

Do you ever feel stiff and sore after sitting at a computer all day? You’re not alone. Neck stretches are a great way to counteract the negative effects of sitting in one position for too long.

Neck stretches exercise is a type of workout that helps to improve the range of motion in your neck and upper spine. It can also help to relieve tension and stiffness in your neck muscles. Neck stretches are typically easy to do and can be performed anywhere, without any special equipment.

Upper Back Stretches

Upper Back Stretches

Do you ever feel the tension in your upper back? Maybe you sit at a desk all day and your shoulders start to feel stiff. If so, then upper back stretches are for you! Upper back stretches help to release tension in the muscles of the upper back and neck. They can also improve posture and reduce pain.

The Upper back stretches exercise is a great way to improve your posture and relieve tension in your upper back. The exercise involves standing with your feet hip-width apart and reaching your arms up over your head. You then lean to the left and hold the stretch for 30 seconds before repeating it on the other side.

Chest Stretches

Chest Stretches

Chest stretches are a great way to improve flexibility and range of motion in the chest area. They can help to relieve tension and tightness in the chest, and can also help to improve posture. There are a number of different chests stretches that you can do, but all of them involve stretching the muscles and ligaments in the chest area.

One common chest stretch is the shoulder stretch. To do this stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and clasp your hands behind your back. Then, slowly lift your arms up until they are overhead. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release and repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch

As we age, our muscles and joints tend to stiffen up. This is especially true for seniors who are often sedentary. A lack of activity can lead to a number of health problems, including obesity and heart disease. One way to help combat these issues is by doing gentle stretches exercises.

The shoulder stretch helps to lengthen and loosen the muscles in the shoulder, upper back, and neck. It can help to relieve tension and tightness in these areas, which can lead to pain and discomfort. The shoulder stretch is easy to do and can be done just about anywhere.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

The Triangle Pose is a great exercise for sedentary seniors. It strengthens the core, back, and legs while improving balance and flexibility. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and point your toes forward. Extend your arms straight out to the sides and then extend your torso to the right. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.

Summary

If you’re a sedentary senior, it’s important to increase your physical movements to alleviate any joint or muscle pain you’re experiencing. Start with light activities, such as moving around your home, walking slowly, cleaning and dusting, vacuuming, and standing up. Stretching and balancing exercises will help boost your strength, flexibility, and mobility.

Make sure you take long strides too! Don’t take little tiny steps as you will be allowing your muscles to shrink even more, not stretch and extend as they should.

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