senior citizen exercise

5 ways Senior Citizen can stay active during COVID-19 Social Distancing

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | April 29th, 2020

It is important for older adults to protect their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also vital they stay physically and mentally active.

There are many benefits of physical activity for older adults. It not only helps maintain the ability to live independently and decreases the risk of falling, it reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes.

Exercise also reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood, which are welcome benefits during a time of limited social interaction.

However, it can be challenging to find appropriate social distancing activities for seniors.

Here are five ways seniors can stay active while following social distancing guidelines:

1)     Walking:

In the house or terrace or simply in the room.

Going down the building for a stroll

Maintain social distancing

2) Exercise and strength training

Exercises You Can Do While Lying Down 
 
Total Hip – Abduction Exercises:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat, on your back with your kneecaps and toes pointed up. 
2.  Place a pillow or rolled towel between your legs. 
3.  Gently slide your right leg to the right side. 
4.  Keep your kneecaps and toes pointed up, then gently slide your right leg back to the pillow – which is up against your left leg. 
5.  Repeat this exercise with your left leg By gently sliding your left leg to the left side. 
6.  Keep your kneecaps and toes pointed up, then gently slide your left leg back to the pillow or rolled towel – which is up against your right leg. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Quad Sets Exercises:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat, on your back with your left leg straightly located firmly on the bed or mat and tighten your thigh muscle. Hold this position for a count of 5. 
2.  Repeat the same exercise reversing your legs. 
3.  Lie on your back with your right leg straight on the bed or mat and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. 
4.  Push your right knee down into the bed and tighten your thigh muscle. Hold this position to a count of 5. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Heal Slides Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your back with your legs out straight on your bed and relaxed. 
2.  Slide your left leg toward your buttocks by bending your left knee and hip. 
3.  Slowly straighten your left leg. 
4.  Repeat the same exercise, only reversing your legs. 
5.  Lie on your back with your legs straight out on your bed or mat, and relaxed. 
6.  Slide your right leg towards your buttocks by bending your right knee and hip. 
7.  Slowly straighten your right leg. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg.

Hamstring Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat. 
2.  Sit straight, with your hands on your bed or mat supporting you. 
3.  Then, sit with your left leg bent at the knee. 
4.  Sit with your right leg straight on your bed, and your toes pointed the ceiling. 
5.  Tighten the bottom of your thigh muscles by digging your heel. Hold for a count of 10. 
6.  Repeat the same exercise, only reversing your legs. 
7.  Sit with your left leg straight on your bed or mat and have your toes pointed toward the ceiling. 
8.  Tighten the bottom of your tight muscles by digging your heel. Hold for a count of 10. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg.

Quadriceps Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat. 
2.  Sit straight with your arms supporting you on your bed or mat. 
3.  Then, sit with your left leg straight on your bed or mat. 
4.  Point your toes toward the ceiling. 
5.  Tighten the top of your thigh muscle, and push your heel down into the bed or mat. Hold for a count of 10. 
6.  Repeat the same exercise only reversing your legs. 
7.  Sit with your right leg straight on your bed or mat. 
8.  Point your toes toward the ceiling. 
9.  Tighten the top of your thigh muscles, and push your heel down into the bed or mat. Hold for a count of 10. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the 
exercise with the other leg.

Straight Leg Raise Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat with your left leg bent at the knee. 
2.  Keep your right leg straight on your bed or met and raise it to the height of your opposite knee. 
3.  Keep your toes of your raised leg pointed toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10. 
4.  Return to starting position and then change legs. 
5.  Do the same exercise, only reversing your legs. 
6.  Bend your right leg at the knee and keep your left leg straight on your bed or mat. 
7.  Raise your left leg to the height of your right knee. 
8.  Keep the toes of your raised leg pointed toward the ceiling. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
9.  Return to starting position. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Hip Abduction Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your left side. 
2.  Hold your head up with your left arm and hand. 
3.  Raise your right leg up towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10. 
4.  Return to starting position. 
5.  Keep your right leg in line with your body and your toes pointed forward. 
6.  Do the same exercise – only reverse legs and position. 
7.  Lie on your right side and hold your head up with your right arm and hand. 
8.  Raise your left leg up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for a count of 10. 
9.  Return to the starting position. 
10.Keep your left leg in line with your body and your toes pointed forward. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Hip Extension Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your stomach. 
2.  Raise a straight, right leg up toward the ceiling. Do not arch your back. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
3.  Return to the start position. 
4.  Reverse legs and raise a straight, left leg up toward the ceiling. Do not arch your back. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
5.  Return to the start position. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Knee Flexion Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your stomach. 
2.  Bend your right knee. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
3.  Return to the start position. 
4.  Reverse legs and bend your left knee. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
5.  Return to the start position. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to 15 with each leg. First, with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other.

Short Arch Quad Exercise:

1.  Lie on your bed or mat on your back with pillow rolled up under your right knee. 
2.  Straighten your right knee. Hold this position to a count of 10. 
3.  Slowly lower your right leg. 
4.  Return to the start position. 
5.  Reverse legs. 
6.  Lie on your back with a pillow rolled up under your left knee. 
7.  Straighten your left knee. Hold this position to the count of 10. 
8.  Slowly lower your left leg. 
9.  Return to the start position. 
Do this exercise 5 times with each leg. Work your way up to doing this exercise 15 times with each leg. First with one leg, then repeat the exercise with the other leg.

3)Dancing 
Known for its cardiovascular benefits, dancing is a fun, low-impact way to exercise and stamina building during long days of social distancing.

As an added benefit, listening to some favourite music may even encourage your loved one to exercise their mind by taking a pleasant “walk” down memory lane.

4) Arts and crafts 
Older adults who have limited mobility can stay active at home by participating in arts and crafts.

Activities like knitting, crocheting, painting, coloring, or working with clay, arts and crafts can help older adults maintain their dexterity and cognitive skills.

5) Safety Tips for Seniors During Social Distancing Activities:

Before engaging in any type of exercise, older adults need to check with their doctor to make sure activities they plan are safe and appropriate. Ask the doctor if your senior loved one should avoid any specific exercises or movements.

Here are a few other safety tips to remember:

Reduce the risk of falls in the elderly 
Exercise on flat surfaces that are free of tripping hazards while wearing proper footwear.

Don’t overdo it 
If an older adult is new to exercise, ramping up a fitness routine too quickly can lead to injury. Remind seniors to start with beginner-level exercises and take it slow and steady.

Stay hydrated 
Older adults can become dehydrated quickly, so seniors need to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.

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