Mobility exercises for seniors are so important because mobility is vital for seniors to maintain independence. More so, if a senior has poor mobility, it would have profound physical, social, and psychological consequences.
If as you age, you don’t properly maintain your muscles and joints, you might lose the ability to perform basic movements. These basic movements might even cause pain and, in some cases, injury.
We think it’s the normal thing for seniors to eventually lose mobility. But this negative progression of immobility can be limited or even prevented. All you need is constant physical activities with certain mobility exercises.
Many people know about the profound benefits they can get from strength exercises. But not many people know about the benefits of mobility exercises. These exercises are often overlooked.
Loss of mobility means that you won’t be able to move well both inside and outside. It also means that you will no longer be able to do any form of exercise. So the time to do mobility exercise is now that you can still do something to save your mobility.
We know that exercise and physical fitness are not exactly easy for seniors. Aging naturally increases the risks of joint problems and injuries. So you might be tempted to avoid all forms of physical activity. But this only makes matters worse and increases the risks.
The best thing to do is to perform exercises that will help you retain mobility. You should also never stop physical activities as you age. As you read on, we will show you exercises you can do for mobility as a senior or older adult.
Basic Mobility Exercises for Seniors and Older Adults
Before we talk about any form of workout or exercise, there are a few basic ones you should know about. But if you have been inactive for some time, you should consult your doctor before you start any routine.
This can be as simple as brisk walking around your neighborhood. This simple activity can be quite challenging and risky if you have not been physically active for a long time.
Also, for simple physical activities, you should properly stretch and warm-up beforehand. This would prevent injuries, as well as maximize the physical benefits you would get.
Furthermore, you should put on appropriate shoes. The shoe should be comfortable and have adequate support. Your clothing should also be properly fitting.
Let’s talk about the basic, low impact exercises you can perform as an older adult or senior. They have profound health benefits and little to no injury risk. They are, therefore highly effective and very safe. Plus they could be fun too.
Examples of such basic exercises are as follows:
- Walking or hiking
- Ballroom dancing
- Light jogging
In addition to these, also note that your emotional and mental state might also affect your motivation for mobility as a senior. So pay attention to these aspects of your wellbeing too.
Deal with common problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. These are becoming common among seniors these days. One way to deal with them is to add relaxation exercises to your routine.
More Mobility Exercises for Older Adults and Seniors
1. Quadriceps stretch
Your quads are the muscles that keep you mobile. You need them for activities like walking and riding a bike. It is, therefore, important to stretch them to maintain mobility and improve balance in old age.
To stretch your quads, use a chair to get a proper balance. Now grasp one of your feet and pull the foot toward your bums until your thigh stretches. Once you feel the stretch, hold in for thirty seconds. Then, repeat with your other leg.
2. Hamstring Stretch (standing)
Your hamstring muscles ensure your stability while moving around or performing different activities. And it’s quite simple to perform. All you need is a chair,
To perform this exercise, place one heel on the chair’s seat. Make sure the leg remains straight. Then bend forward gradually until your leg stretches at the back.
Once you feel the stretch, hold in that position for thirty seconds. Then repeat the procedure with your other leg.
8. Hamstring stretch (on the floor)
If you find it difficult to stand on a leg well, this variation of hamstring stretch would be good for you. The principle is the same. It’s just that you’ll be performing the exercise close to the floor, lying down.
9. Ankle flexion
Seniors commonly struggle with weak ankles. You might want to flex them to strengthen and improve your mobility. Do 20 to 30 reps of this each day.
10. Single-leg stands
Standing on one leg will improve your balance and strengthen your mobility. All you need do is to stand on a leg and stay like that for 1 minute. Change to the other leg and do the same.
11. Chair squats
This exercise will build your leg’s strength and improve your mobility. Just sit close to a chair’s edge and keep your feet at shoulder-width distance. Your knees should be at 90 degrees angle. Then perform a few squats in this position.
12. Leg raises
Leg lifts would strengthen your hip flexors which are important for mobility and balance. They will also strengthen your groin and lower abs. These are also involved in mobility and balance.
To perform this exercise, lie with your back on the floor. Then put your hands beneath the lower back area for stability. Now, raise one of your legs slowly to about 6 to 10 inches away from the ground.
Hold your leg in that position for thirty (30) seconds. Then shift to the second leg and repeat the same procedure.
You should spend your old age enjoying vacations and adventures. It should be a time that you would explore new interests and hobbies. But limitations on your mobility can rob you of these. That’s why we suggest the aforementioned mobility exercises for seniors and older adults. You should try them out and probably add relaxation exercises too.