Although it can be difficult, or maybe just a challenge, for some elderly people it is very important to get regular exercise. Physical activity is important at any age. Not only does it help keep the body moving, it also can help lift your mood.
Anyone that spends a lot of time sitting, even if it’s just for a job, knows that it can bring on the doldrums. A simple brisk walk can help get the blood pumping and the brain working again. However, not all elderly people can get in a brisk walk, which is why it is important to note that there are other ways you can get exercise, even if you can’t walk very far or do anything strenuous.
Flexibility and Movement
To paraphrase one of Newton’s Laws of Motion, a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion. This can be true for the human body. If you stay sitting or cooped up in bed too long your body stiffens up and you don’t want to move.
The same also goes for flexibility. When the human body isn’t stretched and moved it becomes less flexible. In fact, as we get older, that lack of flexibility can easily lead to sprains, strains and broken bones.
One wonderful way for elderly people to work on staying fit and flexible is through yoga. While yoga may not seem like an easy thing, there are many moves for beginners that can help get you started out. As your body becomes more flexible you will be able to do more.
Not everyone can get up and walk, get out of bed or do things like yoga. That is why it is important to know that there are many exercises that can also be done from a sitting position, or while lounging in bed.
From a sitting position you can do leg exercises, arm exercises and even work your core muscles. Even just doing some leg extending can make a huge different in leg strength and will also help improve circulation.
If you have the strength, you can add in ankle weights or hand weights, start with no more than two and a half pounds, to add some resistance. This can help tone muscle also.
Downfalls of Being Stagnant
There is more than just a risk of poor flexibility and depression when it comes to a sedentary lifestyle where you spend most of your time in bed or in a wheelchair. You can also develop bed sores. Bed sores are a sign of poor circulation and happen when too much time is spent in one spot, from pressure and friction. People who live in East Coast cities prone to more inclement weather may be more likely to develop bed and pressure sores if they are confined indoors from rain or snow. Signs of bed sores include visible sores with redness in spots on arms, legs or buttocks.
Even the smallest amount of movement can help get the blood circulating to prevent bed sores and help you regain some flexibility. Movement will help grease your joints again and remove some of the creeks and aches that come with not moving around enough.
Article Submitted by Derrick Manning (Community Writer).