Resistance training also known as strength training help build strong muscles and bones, which enable elderly to carry out day-to-day activities of living.
As per MedlinePlus, regular strength training prevents age-related muscle loss.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the resistance training improves seniors’ balancing abilities and reduces symptoms of chronic illness, including arthritis.
Exercise bands for seniors are a great way to become stronger, more flexible, prevent bone loss and ease arthritis pain. They are inexpensive, safe, transportable and offer elderly a convenient way to perform resistance exercises at home or in a park without the hassles of going to a gym.
Resistance bands are large elastic bands that you can use to workout all areas of your body. They are very useful for people with limited mobility, as many of the elastic band exercises can be done while seated.
“Despite the age-defying benefits of getting fit, seniors are the least physically active of all Americans—40 percent of women and 30 percent of men over 70 report that they never exercise.” (Source: U.S. Health News)
And even out of the ones who work out regularly, many of them omit resistance training and their exercise routine remain limited to endurance exercises like walking or swimming.
The best workout routine should incorporate a mix of aerobic activities as well as strength, balance and flexibility exercises. According to Lisa Purcell, physical activity specialist at British Heart Foundation, U.K. – “We should all do muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week.”
With regular resistance training, you’ll find that doing the things we normally take for granted in our younger years, like carrying groceries into the house, lifting weights, gardening or climbing the stairs, becomes easier. You’ll surely start noticing improvements in your physical fitness as you go about your daily activities of living.
Resistance Exercises With Bands For Seniors
We have after lots of research selected the following five resistance exercises that you can do safely with a resistance band in your own home to maintain your strength and mobility as you age.
Overhead Arm Raises With Resistance Bands To Build Strong Shoulders and Arms
Do overhead arm-raises in order to maintain flexibility in your shoulders and arms – so that you are able to reach objects in your kitchen’s overhead-cabinets despite getting old.
(i) Start in a standing position with your feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart so as to help you keep your balance. This exercise is done one side at a time – let’s start with your left side.
(ii) Place one end of the resistance band under the heel of your left foot so as to keep it secure and grasp the other end of the band in your left hand.
(iii) Position your left hand behind your body while bending your left arm at the elbow with your elbow pointing toward the sky.
(iv) Slowly straighten your left arm, extending your left hand toward the sky.
(v) Hold, and slowly lower your left arm so as to return back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of times.
(vi) Repeat with the right side for the same number of times.
Knee Extension Exercises With Resistance Band To Maintain Your Ability To Climb Stairs In Old Age
As you grow old, your joint mobility reduces, which makes it difficult to for you to get up from a seating position or walk up stairs. To maintain your knee joint mobility, we recommend that you incorporate a knee extension exercise in your resistance-workout routine. These exercises strengthen your hamstrings, the back of your upper legs. Here is one knee extension exercise, which you can do while sitting.
(i) Sit on a sturdy chair. This exercise is done one side at a time – let’s start with the left leg.
(ii) Tie one end of the resistance band around the ankle of your left leg and the other end to a secure, heavy object located behind you.
(iii) Start with the knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
(iv) Slowly straighten your knee as high as you comfortably can against resistance of the band.
(v) Slowly return back to the starting position – that is your knee bent at 90-degree. Repeat this movement up to 10 times.
(vi) Repeat for same number of times with your right leg.
Strengthen Neck Muscles To Prevent Stiff Neck As You Grow Old
Incorporate a cervical extension neck exercise in your stretch-bands exercise routine. This exercise recruits your upper back and neck muscles to provide relief from neck stiffness and pain, improve your mobility and lessen symptoms of muscle loss and arthritis. And it makes turning your head pain-less while driving – to see what’s behind you.
You can perform this exercise in a standing or seated position.
Note: Make sure while doing this exercise your head and neck are positioned straight with your chin slightly tucked in.
(i) Wrap your elastic band around the back of your head and hold its ends in front of your face while bending your elbows. This is your starting position
(ii) Slowly and gently, straighten your arms while stretching the band forward – make sure not to bend your neck.
(iii) Slowly return to the starting position, and repeat for desired number of times.
Bicep Curls To Help You Lift Your Grandkids
Try bicep curls to help you lift heavier weight routinely. Though these don’t add bulky muscle to your upper arms, but will make a lot easier to carry your groceries while shopping and you won’t have to look around for help.
(i) Stand with your feet positioned shoulder’s width apart. Place the middle of the resistance band under your feet and hold one end of the band tightly in each hand while your arms fall to your sides. This is your stating position.
(ii) Slowly and gently bend your arms at the elbow (keep your wrist straight) and lift your hands toward your shoulders.
(iii) Slowly return to the starting position.
(iv) Repeat for the desired number of times
Seated Hip Flexion Exercises To Prevent / Relieve Chronic Back Pain
Do you know about 80 percent of North Americans experience lower back pain, and about 85 percent of those report their pain is chronic. Whether you experience occasional or suffer from daily back pain, a research study carried out at the University of Alberta found that resistance training eased participants’ symptoms by about 60 percent in just 16 weeks.
Try this hip flexion exercise to help relieve lower back pain and improve the flexibility of your hip joints.
(i) Sit in a chair, wrap a resistance band around the lower thigh of your left leg. Step on the other end of the band with your right foot to secure it in place. This is your starting position.
(ii) With your knee still bent, slowly lift your left foot off the ground as high as possible, and then hold it for some time. Lower your foot and return to the starting position. Repeat for desired number of times.
(iii) Repeat with the right leg for the same number of times.
Are you doing any resistance exercises to keep you fit? Please share your exercise routine and experience with us.