“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” —George Bernard Shaw
Movement and exercise are important at every age, but it seems to be particularly important for seniors. The CDC reports that each year, one out of four seniors fall, and falling once increases your chances of falling again in the future. Many falls can be linked to a regression of balance, strength and mobility from inactivity. But the possibility of these accidents can be prevented with mobility exercises such as the ones listed below.
6 Mobility Exercises for Seniors
These simple core exercises and mobility workouts can help you strengthen your muscles to boost agility and decrease the possibilities of fall-related injuries.
- Quadricep stretches. Your quadriceps in your thighs allow your legs to move and play an important role in knee joint stability. To perform a quadricep stretch, hold onto a chair for balance, then lift your foot and grab it with your hand. Pull it toward your lower back until you feel a stretch – but not so much that it is painful. Hold that position for 30 seconds and switch to the other leg.
- Standing hamstring stretches. Your hamstrings help to stabilize your body when standing or bending. To help strengthen your hamstring, place your heel on an elevated platform like the seat of a chair. While keeping that leg straight, bend forward at the hip until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
- Floor hamstring stretches. If you don’t feel comfortable with balancing on one leg for standing hamstring stretches, floor stretches are a good alternative. Lay flat on your back on the floor, lift one leg straight up, grasp the back of your knee and pull it gently toward your body, keeping the knee bent. For a deep stretch, try to keep your foot parallel to the ceiling.
- Ankle flexes. Your ankles have the tendency to become weaker as you age and can further complicate orthopedic issues. To help strengthen your ankles, place one foot out in front of you with your heel on the floor while you’re sitting. Point your toe forward as far as you can and then back toward the ceiling. Repeat this 20-30 times and then switch feet.
- Chair squats. Squats are a great way to build both leg and core strength, but you may need to modify them as you get older. A chair squat is the same as a regular squat, but you’ll use a chair to rest on as you reach the lower position.
- Bridge stretches. Trouble with your lower back can lead to different mobility problems. One way to resolve these issues is to strengthen your core muscles with the bridge stretch. Simply lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet placed flatly on the floor. Raise your hips and hold them for 30 seconds or as long as you can. Repeat this a few times.
Enjoy a Vibrant Life, Doing What You Love at Garden Plaza of Florissant
At Garden Plaza of Florissant, we understand the importance of improving and maintaining your physical health at every age. Getting up and moving is a critical part of your health — that’s why we offer a dynamic schedule of activities that keep your body moving. We have a variety of exercise classes that change monthly to help you get up and move, so be sure to check our activity calendar regularly!
Contact Garden Plaza today to see how we can help you live a vibrant, mobile lifestyle!