Every year, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience a fall. For seniors, even minor falls may have long lasting consequences on their quality of life, with injuries tending to be more serious due to lower bone density and slower rate of recovery.
Regular strength-building exercises for seniors can reduce the risk of falls by:
Misconceptions of Exercise and the Elderly
#1: “I am too old or too weak to start exercising”
Many have the impression that exercising has to be an intense, all-out effort, this is simply not true. If you have not exercised for a long time, you can still begin at any age. Start with gentle exercises that just slightly elevates the heart rate, with enough resistance for it to be a new challenge.
#2: “Avoiding activity is the best way to prevent a fall”
Very often, it is due to this fear of falling that can cause the senior to avoid activity and lose confidence in their physical ability. Exercising in a controlled and safe environment, and starting with a comfortable intensity is the best way to build confidence and be resistant to falls.
#3: “I cannot exercise as I have too many aches and pains”
Physical activity may actually help you manage your pain. Sometimes, the aches can be a result of a body part over-compensating for weakness in another part of the body. Start gradually at a manageable intensity, or go to a qualified professional for guidance. If you’re suffering from joint pain, you can try starting with swimming or yoga as it has relatively low impact on your joints.
Simple Strength-Building Exercises for Seniors
Strength-Building Exercise 1: Sit-Stand
Single Leg Hip Extension
This exercise primarily works on the butt muscles which helps in stabilising your posture and maintaining balance.
This helps to improve your ankle strength and reduce chance of a sprain when you encounter uneven floors.
This is another important exercise to help strengthen major muscles of the butt and back of the leg. It also helps reduce your risk of injury by simulating the correct way to pick up items from the floor.
- pushing your hips back,
- bending the knees, and
- keeping your back straight