In the United States, 28% to 34% of adults aged 65 to 74 take part in physical activities.
Being active as a senior can improve mental and physical wellbeing in many ways and, ultimately, it may extend life expectancy.
That’s why the World Health Organization advises people who are 65 or older to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
If you’re not active, it might be time to join this healthy trend.
Don’t know where to start? Give these five strength exercises for older adults a try.
1. Wall Push-Ups
Push-ups are a classic. But as you grow older, it becomes trickier to do them on the floor.
Wall push-ups are an easier version of push-ups and they strengthen both your arms and chest.
- Stand 1 foot away from a wall (or 2 feet if you want to increase difficulty).
- Place your hands on the wall, making sure they align with your shoulders.
- Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, so that your chest comes closer to the wall.
- Go back to the initial position and repeat 10 times.
Note: Your body should always be in a straight line, so remember to activate your abs and glutes.
Deadbugs are a great exercise to work on your core and improve your balance, which can be very useful for seniors, as it reduces the risk of falling.
- Lie on your back with your arms up.
- Lift your arms and legs. Your elbows should be above your shoulders and your knees right above your hips. This is your initial position.
- As you exhale, lower your left arm and right leg until they’re about to touch the floor.
- As you inhale, bring them up again.
- Do the same with the opposite side and repeat 10 times.
Note: Use a yoga mat, if you have one. You can also place a folded towel under your shoulders for greater support.
3. Chair Squats
Squats take might some time to get the hang of, but once you do, your glutes and thighs will certainly thank you.
- Stand in front of a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees, sending your hips back. For balance, keep your arms extended in front of you.
- Go down as if you were about to sit then stand back up once you touch the chair.
- Repeat 10 times.
4. Side Leg Lifts
While you have the chair with you, try doing side leg lifts in an effort to strengthen your hips and glutes.
- Stand sideways to the chair.
- Put your weight on your right leg, lifting the left one to the side. Your leg should be completely straight and your upper body should be held upright.
- Lower your leg and repeat 10 times on each leg.
Note: If this is too easy, use a resistance band around your ankles.
5. Toe Stands
Toe stands are a great exercise to improve your balance and build muscle mass.
- Stand behind your chair and put your hands on it for support.
- Get on your tiptoes, slowly.
- Hold the position for a few seconds and get back down, slowly.
- Repeat 10 times.
Strength Exercises for Older Adults: Stay Active and Have Fun.
Yes, exercising can be fun. As it becomes a part of your routine, you’ll find even more strength exercises for older adults that will help you become healthier every day.
So why not start today?
If you’re unsure if you should start an exercise routine please check with your doctor and consider hiring a trainer to teach you proper form initially.