Safe & Easy Home Exercises For Elderly Men
We’re all aware of how regular exercise or physical activities can be beneficial to our health. However, most people believe that they need to be less active as they age. If you think so too, you’re wrong!
Ask any health expert and they all tell you that regular exercise offers incredible health benefits for the elderly, including increased lifespan. But alarmingly, 28% of people in their 50s or older aren’t physically active.1 This is sad given the fact that most chronic health diseases could be prevented or managed with physical activity.2
Each year, around 3.2 million deaths worldwide have been associated with physical inactivity. According to the WHO, physical inactivity is one of the leading contributors to death and disability.3
All of these facts prove that exercise is crucial for everyone’s health, including older men. If you’re an elderly man, staying active and exercising regularly can actually help you live a healthier and longer life.
In this guide, we’ll be talking about whether it’s safe for older men to workout, its benefits, and recommend a few safe and easy workouts for elderly men.
Is It Safe For Older Men To Exercise?
As a senior, you might have some safety concerns about trying new exercises at home, which is quite understandable and a valid concern. However, we can assure you that it’s totally safe for older men to exercise. In fact, most experts suggest that older adults need to be physically active.
Even if you’re 65 and older, it’d be totally safe for you to exercise. Even patients with chronic conditions can workout safely. These include high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. To tell the truth, exercise can help improve most of these conditions.4
Exercise is meant for improving your health, not to get you hurt. That said, always make sure you consult your physician before you try any new workout programs.
How Does Exercise Benefit Older Men?
There are several reasons for slowing down and becoming more inactive as we age. It could be due to weight or pain problems, concerns about falling, or other health issues. Or perhaps, you simply think that working out isn’t for you. However, as you age, leading an active lifestyle is of utmost importance.
Even performing gentle exercises regularly can help prolong your life by about 3-5 years.5 If you still think exercising isn’t for you, here are a few benefits of exercising that might help change your mind:
- Prevent Disease: Regular exercise can be an effective way to improve various chronic health conditions.6 Studies have found that regular activity can benefit people with diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis.7
- Prevent Falls: Exercise help improve your muscle strength as well as your bone density, which in turn improves your coordination and balance, thereby minimizing your risks of falling.8
- Improve Mental Health: Exercise also offers several mental health benefits.9 It produces endorphins, which is a type of hormone that helps relieve stress, leaving you feeling satisfied and happy. Additionally, exercise has been associated with better sleep, which is of great importance for older men with disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia.10
Safe & Easy Exercises For Elderly Men
Now let’s focus on the exercises that you can easily try at home. We have curated different exercises that are safe and easy for elderly men. These exercises focus on 4 core areas, namely, endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.
Exercise For Endurance
Endurance exercises help in improving the health of your lungs, heart, and circulatory system.11 Some of the safest endurance exercises for elderly men include:
Exercise For Strength
Performing strength exercises will make your muscles stronger.13 This will allow you to continue doing all the basic things that need to be done in a day, like getting off a chair or simply walking upstairs. Chair squat is an effective and safe exercise for building strength. To do this workout, you need to:
- Get a chair and stand in front of it with your hips and knees equally apart.
- Next, keep your chest and shoulders upright and bend your knees.
- Lower your bottom and sit on the chair.
- Finally, get your body up to the initial position and repeat a few times.
Exercise For Flexibility
As you age, simple tasks like trying to reach something high up or pulling your socks up can become quite difficult to do because your muscles become rigid and sore.14 One way to improve this is by doing flexibility exercises. By improving your flexibility, you’ll be able to move more freely and maintain good posture.
According to the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Older adults who did stretching for 10 weeks for 2-3 times per week experienced better spinal mobility, a more stable gait, and more flexibility to move their hips.15
The head turn is one of the easiest and simplest stretches to do. This exercise is basically a movement you make when you move your head to say “no.” To perform this workout, start by:
- Standing or sitting with your shoulders relaxed and back straight.
- Next, slowly turn your head towards the right till you feel a slight stretch.
- Finally, hold that position and slowly turn towards your left. You can then repeat it a few times.
Exercise For Balance
Falls are a major cause of both non-fatal and fatal injuries.16 Every year, about 30% of seniors who are 65 and older falls.17 Oftentimes, a fall can lead to declining health and fractures. Improving your balance can help prevent falls and exercises like the single foot stand is a great exercise to do that. This exercise involves a position where you stand like a flamingo. To do this exercise, you need to:
- Stand behind a stable, unmovable chair & hold its back.
- Next, try to keep your balance using your right foot while lifting your left foot. Hold this position for as long as you feel comfortable.
- You can then put your left leg down and follow the same process but this time with your right foot up.
The aim here is to improve your balance to stand on a single foot without the help of a chair for at least a minute.
Now that you know how exercising and simply leading an active life can do wonders for your health, even if you’re an elderly man, why not make it a habit and a priority in your everyday life.
Regardless of what your age might be, we hope this guide will encourage you to be physically active in your life.