The Importance of Exercise for Seniors

When it comes to managing arthritis, improving balance, feeling lighter both mentally and physically, and minimising the risk of disease, the best thing anyone can do, at any age, is exercise!  Exercise has been shown to improve immune and digestive functioning, blood pressure and bone density, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, certain cancers. It also enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance therefore reducing the risk of falls.

The benefits are clear, but often the hardest part of exercise can be getting started!  It is important to start small and slow, doing everything in moderation, without strain. Doing a little each day, in the comfort and safety of your own home will soon have you reaping the benefits and feeling able to do more. If you need some extra care and support to get started, you might find working with someone who has been trained in the Home Care Assistance Balanced Care Method™ might be just the thing for you.   The Balanced Care Method™ focuses on healthy nutrition, physical and mental exercise, social engagement and a purposeful and calm lifestyle. Click here to find out more about our Balanced Care Method™.

Getting started with Chair Exercises

You don’t have to necessarily get up and jump around for exercise to be effective. You can simply sit in a chair to exercise. From gently flexing your neck, to stretching your feet with heel raises, you can effectively warm up and do some serious good for your body!

Among the many chair exercises that you can do are:

  • Neck Stretch
  • Shoulder Curls
  • Arm Strengthening
  • Leg Strengthening
  • Ankle and Foot Flexibility
  • Core Strengthening

Example chair neck stretch exercise: This exercise will warm up your neck and group of muscles at the top of your back.

  1. In a sturdy chair, sit up straight and slowly and gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder until you begin to feel the stretch. Breathe.
  2. While in this position, gradually extend your left arm down like you are reaching for something on the floor. You will feel a stretch on the left side of your neck.
  3. Release, breathe, and repeat on the other side. Do two to five repetitions per side.

Example core exercise (Isometric Contractions): This exercise works deep abdominals and the pelvic floor, which are the foundation of the core. By doing this, you protect your spine and maximise strength, agility, and power.

  1. While sitting up in a chair, slowly suck in your stomach, engaging the abdominal muscles. Depending on preference, you can breathe in between 1 second and 20 seconds per inhale. The objective is to inhale and engage your stomach muscles, and to do this slowly.
  2. Exhale slowly and repeat. Begin with 5 and work your way up to 10 or 15.

You can findmore chair exercise videos including chair yoga available online and through public libraries.

Balance Exercises for Seniors

According to the Australian & New Zealand Falls Prevention Society, around one in three people age 65 and older fall each year. Each fall doubles a senior’s risk of falling again and increases the likelihood of an early death. By practicing a few gentle exercises at home on a regular basis, you can gain strength and improve your balance and coordination which decreases the risk of falling.

Exercises that improve balance include:

  • Clock Reach
  • Heel Toe Walk
  • Tightrope Walk
  • Eye Tracking
  • Knee Marching
  • Body Circles

Example balance exercise: Clock Reach: This balance exercise helps stabilise and coordinate movement while improving balance.

  1. Hold onto a chair with your left hand. Visualise a clock with 12 in front of you and 6 behind you.
  2. Stand on your left leg only and raise your arm to 12 o’clock, then 3 o’clock, then 6 o’clock. Repeat one to five times.
  3. Then move to the other side of the chair and stand on your right leg and bring your arm to 12 o’clock, then 3 o’clock, then 6 o’clock.
  4. Repeat one to five times.

Exercise classes for Seniors

There are countless exercise classes out there, and you will find that some are designed specifically for older people.  A comprehensive exercise program should include stretching, strengthening/ resistance training and some form of cardio workout.

If you are not sure what to look for that cover these key types of exercise, you might want to consider:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • Water Aerobics
  • Cycling Classes

Yoga: There are many different types of yoga. There is a class for everyone regardless of ability. Yoga incorporates using the breath to stretch, strengthen, and improve flexibility. It is a practice that can work for anyone.

Pilates: This is a wonderful exercise that concentrates on the core and strengthening and is low impact. It helps make the body more flexible, improve balance, and improve strength. Exercises can be modified to meet different needs. Pilates is gaining popularity among seniors.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a Chinese tradition that is deceptively effective in improving balance, flexibility, and strength. It involves learning slow, focused movements matched to deep breathing. Each posture moves to the next ensuring constant motion.

Water Aerobics:  This type of workout focuses on endurance, resistance training, and creating an enjoyable atmosphere. It is conducted in the pool, but run as an aerobics class, not a swim class.Cycling Classes: A cycling class, also known as a spin class, uses stationary bikes in a group setting with an instructor to guide you through your ride. It focuses on intervals of intensity and can build endurance and strength.

What about Walking?

One of the best forms of exercise that can be done on your own or with a friend is walking!  While there are not many walking classes, you may be able to walk to yoga to warm up the body before class.  Just 30 minutes every day can increase your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

Let us help you

Home Care Assistance can help. Call Your Local Team today for your complimentary in-home assessment.

Find A Local Team

DEDICATED TO AGEING WELL
Thanks to the team at Home Care Assistance Melbourne team for taking such care and compassion. The team genuinely cares and are there to support our family. Thank you.
As a former employee of this company working in the office and as a Carer, I cannot recommend this company enough. They genuinely care for their clients and employees. I loved working there with... Jeremy and his staff, but unfortunately had to leave due to relocation. I would not hesitate to recommend HCA Syd East to all clients who are aged and/or with disabilities to engage this service provider for all their vital services to enable you to live and enjoy staying in your own home and to be as independent as possible. Jeremy and his staff really listen to your needs, goals and aspirations and do their very best to match you up with a compatible and suitably qualified Carer. Nothing is too much trouble.read more
I have recommended Home Care Assistance Newcastle to a few friends now. After having a bad experience with another service provider, Kerrie went above and beyond to help my mother, who has dementia,... with new services. Kerrie, Mark and their team are compassionate, professional and genuinely care about their clients.read more
Great service helpful staff that can't do enough for you and very reasonable fees
Dave and the team go above and beyond to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care
Really appreciate you guys helping my grandpa. Great service and staff.
Great team
Our family has benefited from the excellent support and services from David, Meg and the team at Home Care Assistance North Coast for the past couple of years. I had an extensive list of questions... when we were deciding which provider to go with. David answered promptly, and impressed me with his empathy, accessibility (available after hours, weekends), and ability to tailor a package to meet our particular needs. Add to that the best value for package dollars, and it was an easy decision to go with HCA North Coast.The staff employed by HCA North Coast have been excellent. David was able to source staff who were a good match for my Dad’s personality. As our needs evolved, it was easy to change any aspect of the care provided.I am very happy to recommend Home Care Assistance North Coast, for anyone looking for quality care for their loved one.read more
The carers who looked after my elderly mother were without exception highly motivated, caring and compassionate. Not only was Mum looked after supremely well, she was provided with wonderful... companionship, a level of independence that would have been impossible without the help of her special carers, and a lot of fun. It is difficult to put into words how much this meant to her entire family! Keep up the good work.read more
highly recommend the team at Home Care Newcastle - Thank you again team.
Best Home Care Agency in South East Melbourne!Friendly ,Reliable, trusting in looking after your loved one.
Home Care Assistance run by Jeremy and Samantha, a lovely couple with a caring attitude and a family themselves. After bringing my Mum to Sydney and needing expert help immediately I found HCA online... and liked their story. As soon as they walked in our door, we knew we were safe. I liked the fact that there was direct contact with the owners and nothing was too much trouble. The carers selected for Mum were perfect for her and very capable. Unfortunately Mum has had to move to a nursing home now but I would happily recommend this wonderful business to anyone with aged care needs.read more
We have been with Home Care assistance for last three years. I am impressed by the diversity of the services, they provide.I had few carers but the carer, Shweta, has been coming to us for last two... years, has been a Godsend. She pushes him to do the things which i am unable to. It’s a compliment to Homecare assistance to employ professionals of that standard.No matter what problem I incur, all I have to do is to ring the agency..The eagerness and understanding towards the need of the client is amazing.I would recommend Homecare assistance to anyone and everyone, who requires assistance in all aspects of life.In my case i am grateful of the help i am getting to look after my husband.read more
Home Care Assistance are always available to help Mum and Dad. The carers are always lovely and polite. I feel very confident in recommending them to anyone looking for care for their loved ones.
High quality, unique approach with a customised care plan to promote independence and client satisfaction.
I looked long and thoroughly before I selected a care provider for my husband who has dementia. Being with Home Care Assistance for almost a year, has confirmed all my expectations. And more.As a... carer I feel very supported by David and Meg. They are always available by phone or email, and this means a lot. But perhaps the best quality of their organisation is the high calibre and personalised choice of all the care givers they have provided for us - whether it be someone to spend time with my husband or someone to slash our overgrown yard.I have no hesitation in recommending Home Care Assistance - and, indeed, have already done so.Pamela Payneread more
Great service looking after my nan. Thanks so much guys.
Home Care Assistance North Coast has really put the CARE back into my aged care experience for my mother.Right from the beginning communication with management (David and Meg) has been excellent... with all of my requests and questions answered patiently, promptly and cheerfully.Due to Home Care Assistance's policy of tender care my mother has had hand massages, foot baths and massages, diversional therapy involving music and art, poetry and encouraging Mum to interact positively.Domestic tasks are attended to cheerfully.Blue ribbon service and red carpet treatment for their valued clients. Highly recommended!read more
We were very happy with Home Care Assistance's and dealing with staff was a pleasure. Highly recommend.
I can't thank the team at Home Care Assistance North Coast enough for their help with my Dad. David led us through the Home Care Package details with honesty and integrity, and they were able to... organise a lawn mowing service as well as a carer to visit Dad.My only regret is that we didn't get to spend more time with the team as Dad has now moved into an Aged Care Facility. Thank you again.read more
Jeremy is a really good man, he has fantastic family values and cares for everyone. I would definitely recommend Health Care Assistance to help you and your family
The most helpful, caring, supportive and flexible team of people to assist with our elderly loved ones.I am so grateful for all you had done for my Mum.... ❤️❤️❤️read more
So blessed. Such a wonderful team to take care of me, keeping my life simple and enabling the very best I could wish for. Thank you, Meg and Dave!
Highly recommend the team at Home Care North Coast. Thank you for your attention and care. A+ advice and support.

Industry Leader

We're committed to elevating In-Home Care, Sharing Our Expertise, and Supporting Care Workers which is why we are Internationally recognised as an Industry Leader