Staying healthy and active is one of the keys to getting the most out of life in your assisted living community. At Collinwood assisted living in Fort Collins, we offer a regular schedule of events and exercise classes to help residents enjoy a vibrant lifestyle. But you can supplement that with a few simple home exercises in your assisted living apartment to stay strong and flexible and ensure that your sense of balance prevents falls and injuries.
These fundamentals of fitness can be easier to maintain than you might think. Try the exercises listed below for yourself to see the difference they can make, and learn about what the different types of exercise can contribute to your health.
Strength training twice a week is excellent for reinforcing mobility and independence and alleviates some of the symptoms of chronic conditions. It doesn't have to mean lifting weights. Start strengthening your muscles with low-impact exercises that leverage your body weight while being kind to your joints.
Wall push-ups work the upper body, especially the arms and chest, with less strain than floor push-ups. Simply find a sturdy wall and stand about two feet away from it (or as close as you need). Put your hands on the wall in front of your shoulders, keep your body straight and bend your elbows to lean into the wall. Straighten your arms again and you have one complete wall push-up. It's recommended to start with doing one set of ten, take a half-minute break and finish with a second set of ten.
Chair squats provide a full workout for the lower body and can be done on an exercise bench, a stool or simply a standard chair. Take up station in front of the chair with your feet as wide as your hips. Bend your knees and sit down slowly while you keep your torso upright. Then, stand back up again and you've completed a single chair squat.
A regular stretching program helps keep your muscles and tendons limber, improves your posture and circulation and enables greater joint mobility. Seniors who engage in flexibility experience less pain and improved well-being. A range of seated or low-impact stretching exercises exists for every muscle group; what's mentioned below is just a sampling.
The wall angel is a low-impact stretching exercise you can do daily. It's done by standing about three inches away from a wall and leaning back against it, put your hands against the wall with palms facing away from it — the same way you'd do when lying down and making a snow angel — and raise your arms as high as you comfortably can. Repeat as many times as possible without straining yourself.
A wide variety of possible neck stretches can help alleviate shoulder tension and neck pain. One of the fundamentals is the simple head turn, which is executed by sitting with your torso straight and shoulders relaxed and turning your head gently to the right until you feel a mild stretch. Hold that position for a few seconds and then turn back in the other direction. Repeat this five times and try combining it with some of the other neck stretches in the linked video.
Balance decline in later life is one of the major reasons that falls are common among elderly people. Balance training can be affected by factors ranging from blood pressure to hip, leg and ankle strength. The exercises below can help address some of the joint and muscle factors that can cause falls. Always get medical advice before starting a balance training regimen to make sure that your activities are at a challenge level you can handle.
You can use a standard chair for this exercise. Stand behind it, looking straight ahead, and, with your feet slightly separated, slowly raise one leg to the side while keeping the toe forward. Lower the leg. Repeat this up to fifteen times for each leg.
Simply stand in one place or, if you need to, brace yourself on a counter. Standing straight, lift a knee as high as you can, then lower it and lift the other knee. Repeat the process 20 times for a complete set.
This can be done with a cane or a broomstick with the head removed. While you're seated in a chair, hold the bottom of the stick level in your palm and try to keep the stick upright as long as you can. Do this with both hands so that it trains balancing skills and instincts on both sides.
These and many other home exercises you can do in the comfort of your assisted living apartment can improve your quality of life, bolstering your confidence and sense of independence and making it possible to get involved in a wider range of activities. If you're in the early stages of trying to get more active, be sure to consult with the dedicated medical professionals in the Collinwood community to make sure that a specific exercise is right for you. Carry out these exercises safely, don't try to push yourself too hard and enjoy the benefits of regular flexibility, balance and strength training.