Exercises For Elderly

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 17, 2012

Regular exercise helps to strengthen the body muscles and allows one to stay fit. These are especially important for the elderly as many problems begin to occur as an individual advances in age. Many elderly individuals tend to avoid performing exercises for fear of hurting themselves. However regular exercise will help them to deal with age-related problems and also improve their flexibility.

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It is important to note that before beginning any exercise program it is vital to consult a doctor. This will help to prevent any bodily overuse or damage from taking place.

In elderly individuals, there often arises a problem of balance and coordination of the body.


This can be taken care of by performing some simple balance exercises such as getting up from a sitting position without using any support. One of the easiest exercises for elderly people is chair exercises. These are especially beneficial for those who have trouble in moving their bodies. One can perform these exercises while sitting on a chair at home or on a park bench outdoors. Simple movements of the hands, fingers, legs and toes are involved here. For the hands, open and close your hands as quickly as you can. When you open them, attempt to stretch the fingers and when closing the hands, curl the fingers into tight fists. Do ten repetitions of this exercise. Then relax the hands by shaking both of them at the same time. For exercising the feet, raise both feet a few inches above the floor and move the toes around randomly. Then place the feet back on the floor. You can also exercise the legs by lifting both of them as much as possible. In case the knee joints lock up, stop lifting and bring the legs down. One should not overstretch the body.

Elderly individuals should perform yoga exercises only under supervision. Some of the beneficial yoga exercises for elderly persons include Savasana (Corpse Pose) and Bidalasana (Cat Pose). To perform the corpse pose, lie on your back with your arms and legs in a relaxed state and some inches away from the body. The back must be flat against the yoga mat. Then slowly bring your knee towards the chest, allowing the back muscles to stretch. Hold for a few seconds and resume starting position. The cat pose involves going down on all fours. The arms must be straight and the hips and knees should be aligned. Keep your head down low and inhale. As you do this your chest will rise up. Exhale and slowly lower the chest. This may repeated once again.

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