For so many seniors today, one of the biggest challenges they face on a day-to-day basis is dealing with declining mobility. As seniors start to become less active, it becomes more difficult for them to get around when they do want to be mobile. While the problem is a common one, it isn’t impossible to combat. In fact, there are several easy, yet effective tips to help improve mobility in seniors and enjoy a better quality of life where getting around is easier than ever.
Here are a few tips to get started:
Walk, Even With Assistance
Walking is such a great activity for seniors, whether they are just walking around their home, or power-walking for several miles. While seniors should ideally be able to walk unassisted, that may not always be possible, especially if they have balance issues. If seniors need a walking aid, they should use it, as long as they are getting up and moving.
If possible, seniors should use an aid that offers the most mobility possible. So, if seniors have the option between a cane and a walker, but can safely use just the cane, they should do it.
When it comes to starting a walking routine, begin with short distances and slowly add a minute to your time every week. So, week 1, you walk for 10 minutes, and week 2 you walk for 11, until seniors are able to get up to 30 minutes per day. This slow progression can help seniors increase their strength, cardiovascular health and most importantly their mobility.
Balance, Balance, Balance
One of the biggest factors that tends to prevent seniors from being as mobile as they want to be has to do with balance issues. If seniors aren’t able to maintain proper balance, then they simply aren’t going to be as mobile as they want. Balance exercises should always be incorporated into any senior’s daily routine. Here are just a few exercises that specifically help build balance:
- Core and abdominal exercisers
- Balancing on one foot (use a wall or bed for support and attempt 10 seconds at a time)
- Walking with one foot directly in front of the other
- Glute and hip exercises
- Gentle yoga moves
- Daily full-body stretching to loosen up and activate muscles
Make Exercise a Social Event
Seniors who want to improve their mobility and change their lives need to start somewhere, but the most important part of improving mobility has to be consistency. An active lifestyle is crucial to long term health. In order to see results, seniors should be doing something every day. In order to keep seniors accountable, joining a senior group, taking classes or having a workout buddy can really help with accountability.
Get in the Water
Any pool exercises, from walking in water to swimming and particularly water aerobics are fantastic ways for seniors to improve mobility. This is because these exercises allow seniors to move freely without any extra weight or pressure on their joints as they exercise in the weightless environment of the water.
Seniors may be surprised how quickly and easily they are able to improve their range of motion, strengthen their muscles and become more mobile when they start practicing in the water first.
Any senior who is sick of feeling restricted with their mobility should give these tips a try and see first-hand what a difference they can make in their overall quality of life.