Mobility is the ability to move around, it is also key to maintain independence as we age. Mobility can affect a senior’s psychological, physical, and social health—particularly if they lose stable mobility. If they don’t maintain exercise routines, their joints and muscles may cause pain and they may ache with every move they make—or worse, even injure some parts of their body. Stretching will probably become their new best friend.
It is possible to exercise from the comfort of home. That’s right. you can stay at home and not have to worry about going to the gym. In order to maintain agile and mobile in old age, here are some mobility exercises for senior citizens to do every single day to avoid pain and injuries.
- Neck Stretches
This is one of the most commonly used stretches that can be done every morning for seniors. This type of stretching is very simple and not complicated—even for exercise novices.
- First, you can sit or stand—whatever you’re comfortable with.
- Simply lean your head to your right shoulder to warm up your neck.
- Then, gently lift your right arm and place your palm on the left side of your head for a few seconds.
- Now, slowly pull your head to the left.
- Hold for 15 – 30 seconds.
- Finally, repeat the procedure on the other side.
- Back and Shoulder Stretches
We are all guilty of having a hard time getting up in the morning. For some, even just sitting causes back pain. Most senior citizens end up struggling with sitting or standing straight. This is most likely because of weak bones and could be due to improper sitting postures that make the shoulders and back droop forward. With continued stress on the back and shoulders, a time may come where it will be hard for senior citizens to stand up straight or sit up straight because the muscles are used to being in a hump position.
This back and shoulder stretch will help those muscles to loosen and should ultimately improve spinal flexibility.
- Start by standing properly, with your arms on the side.
- Next, try reaching your both arms behind your back, pull your shoulders back and hold tightly with your fingers together.
- If you feel you’ve stretched enough already, then hold it for a while. Then if you can go further, push your squeezed hands away from the lower back and slowly arc backward to maintain your posture.
- Now return to standing properly and repeat.
- Arm Circles
Arm circles make for a very easy exercise—even your baby can do this exercise! You can do it everywhere, either outdoor or indoor. It requires just a bit of your time and a little concentration, but the benefits and advantages of this exercise are really worth it when you do it regularly. You don’t need any pieces of equipment to do the arm circles at all.
- In standing position, raise both arms at the side of your body to shoulder height—you must keep them straight with your palms facing down. Stand straight to have good posture, and keep your head facing forward.
- From here, rotate your arms forward so that your arms form a circular motion about the size of a ball. With every 10 rotations you make, change the direction of the circles.
- This is also a great way to maintain the flexibility and mobility of the arms and shoulders as you age.
- Back Stretches
Back stretches are good for body posture, and stretching your back every day can prevent sprains in your back and pain when getting up. It can also increase the chance of gaining mobility and flexibility in your spine. Additionally, it can also help the elderly with a hunched back and rounded shoulders. With all the benefits, this type of exercise is somewhat vital, it can even help your blood flow correctly.
- Start by standing straight with both arms on your hips.
- Now, gently bend your body backward, looking up toward your ceiling.
- Hold for a few seconds and return to a standing position.
- Repeat 10 – 15 times every day.
- Ankle Rotation
Painful or stiff ankles makes it so hard to walk and often senior citizens struggle to stand up straight or maintain balance because of having stiff ankles. In this exercise, you improve your chances of increasing your ability to balance—while also preventing accidental falls.
- If you struggle to stand up, you can do this by sitting up in a comfortable, solidly built chair which is disability friendly.
- Extend your right leg in front of you, and lift as high as you can.
- Now, start rotating your right ankle and don’t let it touch the ground.
- Rotate your ankle 15 – 20 rotations clockwise and 15 – 20 rotations counter-clockwise.
- Then, lower your right leg and rest, and repeat the procedure to the opposite leg.
Walking is the most wonderful medicine for many senior citizens around the world—it is like medicine for the elderly! Regular walking has a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to our health. There are many issues that result in lost agility and mobility in old age and regular walking can help.
Every person’s body has its own capabilities and differences and these tips are basic and general enough to provide direction when it comes to exercises not to lose mobility in old age. Some senior citizens may not be able to stand tall anymore, but they can still do some of these exercises—even sitting. Just grab your assistive and mobility devices and sit up tall then follow the tips. Just remember, your age isn’t necessarily a hindrance when it comes to increasing your flexibility and mobility.