5 Exercises That do More Harm than Good for Seniors

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5 Exercises Seniors Should Avoid

By , 11:36 pm on

Staying physically active throughout all stages of life is vital for maintaining flexibility, mobility and balance. Active seniors tend to maintain significantly higher levels of both mental and physical health when compared to elderly individuals who live more sedentary lifestyles. However, not all forms of physical exercise are good for people in their golden years. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of El Dorado Hills home care, presents five exercises that seniors should avoid.

  1. Sit-Ups – Building and maintaining a strong core or abdominal muscles is essential for supporting and protecting the spine. However, the traditional sit-up which involves forward bending or flexion can place a significant amount of stress on the lower spine and back. Standing crunches and side bends are a much better way to engage these muscles.
  1. Full Lunges and Deep Squats – Lunges and squats are often performed incorrectly, which places an extraordinary amount of stress on the knees. Whenever the knees travel beyond a 90 degree angle, also known as hyperextension, it can cause joint discomfort and severe knee injuries. Partial lunges and partial squats are much safer and they are also a great way to enhance balance.
  1. Toe Touches – Stretching is an important part of every exercise plan, however, certain stretches can do more harm than good. Bending over to touch the toes with straight legs can place strain on the back. Seniors should also avoid bouncing while stretching and should instead slowly relax into these positions while breathing deeply.
  1. Running – Long-time joggers can certainly keep up with their running routines if it is not causing joint distress and other forms of discomfort. However, walking at a brisk pace is a great alternative to improve balance, coordination and metabolic functions without placing the joints under any extraordinary amount of stress.
  1. Yoga – Given that yoga provides seniors with a low-impact way to stretch, align, and balance the body, it is often preferred by people who want to stay fit, without risking injury. Aggressive classes, however, can result in muscle strain, slipped discs, joint dysfunction and other issues. Seniors should always start with an entry level class and seek out programs designed specifically with the senior adult in mind.

Interested in learning more about senior fitness? Perhaps you or a senior loved one is thinking about starting a new exercise regimen. Whatever the reason, reach out to Home Care Assistance today. Located in El Dorado Hills, CA we provide hourly and live-in care in El Dorado Hills and the surrounding communities and have a team of highly trained and compassionate caregivers who are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. To request more information or a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411.