Exercising is most effective when you do it every day. Staying active on a regular basis is the key to healthy living and independency for seniors. The four exercises listed below can help increase core strength and stability when added to your daily routine.
Exercise #1: Sit-to-Stand
The ability to get up from a chair or toilet is one of the biggest factors when it comes to seniors being able to live at home independently versus being in a nursing home or having to hire a full-time resident assistant. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your upper legs.
How to do it: Stand in front of a chair with your feet apart and your arms straight out in front of your shoulders. Holding your arms out will help you stay balanced as you complete repetitions. Bend your knees and push your hips down toward the base of the chair. After a slight pause, press your body upward and stand up to complete the rep. Two to three sets of 10 reps a day are recommended.
Exercise #2: Tandem Stance
The tandem stance is mostly used as a way to test your balance, but it is also a good exercise for seniors to perform every day. It can help decrease the risk of falls by improving your balance and stability.
How to do it: Stand with your feet together and your arms straight out to your sides. Then put one foot in front of the other in a straight line and hold this position for 30 seconds. Switch the position of your feet and repeat. Holding your arms out to your sides will help you stay balanced.
Exercise #3: Farmer’s Walk
This exercise works out your upper body and promotes core strength. Perfecting it can enhance your ability to do any exercise or activity that you need to do on a daily basis.
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and a weight in each hand down by your sides. From here, slowly walk forward for 30 seconds then repeat in the opposite direction.
Exercise #4: Single-Leg Stand
This exercise helps improve your ability to perform everyday activities that you have to support yourself on one leg at a time like walking and climbing stairs.
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet together. Then, lift one of your feet off of the floor so that you are standing on one foot. Make sure your core is not leaning toward one side of your body. Hold this position for 30 seconds and switch feet. You can use a wall, counter or sturdy chair for balance if needed.
You can do all of these exercises at home or a gym. If you want to start going to the gym but can’t afford to pay for a gym membership, your health plan may offer the SilverSneakers benefit. SilverSneakers allows you free access to over 14,000 participating locations. You also have access to a number of amenities like pools and workout classes. You can check your eligibility at silversneakers.com
You can participate in SilverSneakers Flex classes in many Iora Primary Care locations across the country. Iora also offers additional classes designed to meet the needs of seniors. To learn more, contact your local Iora team or if you’re a patient, visit your practice’s class calendar.
Meet the Author
SilverSneakers is a free fitness program for seniors that’s helping millions of people on Medicare defy the odds, shatter stereotypes and answer every challenge with, “I can do this!” SilverSneakers includes unlimited access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. That’s a gym membership at more than 14,000 locations with unrestricted access to EVERY location. Weights, treadmills, pools and other amenities are included. We also offer fitness classes for all abilities led by our certified instructors at gyms and other locations. The gyms are yours. The amenities are yours. The classes are yours. Now go get ’em!