“Use it or Loss it”. This is the dictum for any aspect of seniors fitness including muscle mass/strength. Deterioration is evident with disuse and sedentary living. A senior fitness exercise program that targets the major muscle groups can improve leg and hip extensor strength. This senior exercise improves ability to walk easier, climb stairs, arise from a seated position in a seated position in a chair or on the floor or bend to pick up something from the floor.
Senior Fitness Exercise: Upper body strength (Which tends to diminish rapidly due to neglect) is required to perform simple tasks like lifting, reaching and carrying. Senior fitness exercise can be performed using resistance bands that are color coded to differentiate levels of strength, or with other forms of external weights like ankle weights, wrists bands or even dumbbells under guidance.
Senior Fitness Exercise To Improve and Maintain Balance:
- Stand on one foot for as long as possible
- Stand with feet as close together as possible, with heel to toe
- Put on pants while standing
- Walk on a straight line
- Get up from a chair and walk forward
- Turn and come back to sit in the chair as fast as possible
Senior Fitness Exercise – Same Common Causes:
- The immediate physical environment
- Poor fitness levels to terms of strength, balance, gait, agility and speed and reaction time
- Intake of sedatives, medication or anything that alters cognition
- Middle ear imbalance leading to vertigo and dizziness
- Vision problems
- Other medical problems like Parkinson’s, diabetes, multiple sclerosis
- Improper footwear
- Is muscle strength related directly to balance? Not necessarily so, according to some studies.
- Large bulky muscle and enormous strength do not directly translate to great physical balance.
Senior Fitness Maintain Balance: However, weak muscles definitely render an individual more prone to falling down as a result of poor balance and the inability to support ones own body weight properly. Movements of the body mandate a certain level of equilibrium and the ability to accommodate this shift in centre of gravity.
For instance, getting up from a seated position changes the center of gravity from a lower to a higher level from the floor, thereby decreasing stability. Adequate balance and strength of leg muscles will ensure that one doesn’t tip over during the process.
In order to improve balance, ensure good vision, absence of a vestibular problems and an optimum somato sensory system. This system enables the body to understand its position in relation to its environment through a sophisticated neuromuscular network. The body is constantly kept informed of its position and contact with other objects like the floor or a chair. If there is any compromise in this mechanism (and it has been found that the sensory system diminishes with age), balance may be affected.
Senior Fitness Exercise – Simple Moves
Simple tasks like standing on one foot for as long as possible, standing with feet as close together as possible, with heel to toe, putting on pants while standing up, from a chair and walking forward, turning and coming back to sit in the chair as fasts as possible can be practiced to improve balance.
Specific tests are available to assess balance, strength and proprioception. Some examples of the tests include one leg balance test, “get up and go” test. These act as guidelines to structure the routine for the individual client. Please note that older adults with poor balance should never be allowed to fitness exercise or perform any of these moves unsupervised.