People over 65 need to exercise just as often as younger folk do. But, seniors need more strength training than they needed in their thirties.
That’s because, as we get older, the years start chipping away at muscle. Past the age of fifty, people need to start guarding against a loss of muscle tone that leads to fragility and increased chances of an injury.
But the kind of training associated with strength has to be undertaken with caution. Your parent or grandparent may not be up for body building exercises or bench pressing fifty pounds. Luckily there is a fool-proof type of strength training that rarely causes injury: working out with exercise bands.
The benefits of exercise bands
Exercise bands are great exercise for everyone, but especially for seniors. They are affordable, lightweight, and easy to transport. With an exercise band, you’re ready for a workout practically anywhere–the park, your back porch, your bedroom, the dentist’s office. You get the idea.
Senior care experts say that exercise bands not only engage the muscles, they also keep the brain active. That’s because the user never does the exact same movement twice. There are constant tiny variations in the muscle groups used and the direction of pulling that keep the brain cells firing during this kind of exercise.
Common types of exercise bands
Thicker and heavier bands offer more resistance, so they are better for working out bigger muscles. Many people will find these bigger bands suitable for working out the legs.
Lighter, thinner bands offer a greater range of motion, and they are ideal for working out smaller muscles, such as those in the hands. Therefore, many users will like these lighter bands for working out the arms.
If you have a parent or grandparent in physical therapy, chances are good, she is working out with a therapy band. Therapy bands are great for seniors who have become seriously out of shape. If your senior has trouble gripping with her hands, there are exercise bands with handles.
Senior care specialists can help your senior pick out the right band. Such professionals can also encourage your loved one to work out for at least a few minutes a day, using an exercise band.
The resistance band chest pull with squat
One particular good exercise that seniors can do with a band is the resistance band chest pull with squat. To do this, the senior sits in a chair, back straight, feet six to eight inches apart, with a relaxed exercise band. One end of the band is in each hand, getting ready to pull.
Rising slowly from the chair, back straight, the senior pulls the arm band wide, moving the arms away from each other at chest level. By the time he is standing, the arms should be straight and extended as far as possible out to the sides. Then, as he sits, he relaxes the band until he is in the seated position again. Doing ten of these is a good preliminary exercise that works out hip, thighs, back, stomach, and arm muscles.
In conclusion, exercise bands can provide a good, therapeutic workout at any age. But they are particularly valuable as affordable and lightweight exercise equipment for seniors. They prevent injuries during exercise, especially for those who need to start out slow. And they can work out every muscle group.
If you or someone you know needs help with Senior Care in Jenison, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.