15 Easy Exercises at Home for The Elderly
Speak to one of our experts
Our friendly experts are here to help from 9am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Exercise has been shown to help improve physical and mental wellbeing. There is strong evidence to suggest that exercising can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and dementia. As people age, exercising can become more challenging but incorporating age-appropriate exercises, in other words, a workout for the elderly, into daily lives can help older people maintain their independence and health. The following list provides some examples of exercises for seniors to do at home.
For more health advice for those with dementia, you can read our detailed guide on the ideal diet for people with dementia here.
Walking is a great way to incorporate exercise into everyday life. It can help strengthen muscles, keep weight stable, improve balance and reduce the risk of depression. Walking can be done alone, with a friend/carer or even as a group activity. If someone is getting back into exercising after a period of inactivity, then that person can start off walking shorter distances at a slower pace. For those that are more active, walking can be faster and for a longer distance. Just ensure that the person is well-hydrated and they are aware of their surroundings in order to reduce the likelihood of falling or getting lost.
Yoga has known benefits for mental well-being, but it can also be a great way to maintain or improve flexibility and balance. There are lots of different types of yoga, such as hatha and vinyasa, so choosing a style that is appropriate is important. Unless the person is more inclined to do one style than another, the key point is that the level is age-appropriate. Classes can be taken in-person or at home through the internet. If doing home classes is more preferable then yoga tutorials and videos can easily be found online.
Tai Chi is also known as meditation in motion and similarly to yoga it can benefit the mind and body. It is particularly good for elderly people due to the low impact of the exercises and it can be adaptable to suit the needs of the person. Again you can use Youtube to find videos such as this one. Alternatively, you can look for local Tai Chi classes to attend.
- Sit with your feet flat on the ground.
- Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, and slowly rotate your shoulders in a circle—back, down, forward, and back to the top.
- When you reach the top, reverse the movement. Roll your shoulders forward, down, back, and to the top again.
- Perform ten repetitions in each direction.
Seated Forward Bend
- Sit on a chair and widen your legs with your feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly lean forward, dropping your torso toward your thighs.
- Relax your neck, and lower your hands towards your feet.
- When you feel a stretch, hold the position for thirty seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat three times.
Knee to Chest
- Sit up straight in a chair with your left foot firmly on the ground.
- Grasp the back of your right knee, and slowly pull it toward your chest until you feel a stretch.
- Hold the position for thirty seconds, and then repeat with your left leg.
- Perform three repetitions per side.
Standing knee flexions
- Stand gripping the back of a chair to balance yourself.
- Bend your right knee backward as high as you can.
- Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Continue with the left leg.
- Stand at the bottom of your staircase like you were about to go upstairs. Hold onto the railing.
- Put your right foot on the first step, and then step up, bringing the left foot up to that same step.
- Now step down with your right foot first and then the left.
Right Up – Left Up – Right Down – Left Down
- Repeat 10-15 times and then do it again with the left foot going up first.
Left Up – Right Up – Left Down – Right Down
- Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level.
- Place your palms against the wall so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders. Your fingertips should be pointing up.
- Move your feet a couple away from the wall so that your elbows are bent as you lean at an angle into the wall.
- Bend your elbow and begin to lean your body toward the wall as far as you can go. Ensure that your back stays straight and your hips don’t sag.
- Push back to the starting position and complete as many reps as possible
Wall snow angels
- Stand up against a wall
- Keep your low back, mid back, and the back of your head in contact with the wall.
- Engage your core by drawing your belly button inward.
- Slowly raise your arms while keeping them in contact with the wall.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds before bringing your arms back down by your side.
- Hold on to the back of a chair with both hands.
- Lift one leg off the ground, slowly.
- Maintain your balance while standing on one leg for 5 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat 5 times. Try to increase the time spent standing on one leg. The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.
- Perform with opposite leg.
- Begin at one wall with your heels touching the wall.
- Put one foot in front of the other foot so that your heel touches the toes of the opposite foot. Move the foot that is against the wall in front of the other foot, putting your weight on your heel.
- Walk like this for 20 steps.
These are workouts where a chair is used to modify an exercise into one that is more appropriate to elderly people. Some of these can also be performed by people who use a wheelchair.
- Place a chair behind you.
- Stand up straight with a tight core and flat back.
- Fold your arms in front. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your toes should be pointing forward.
- Slowly descend by bending your knees and driving your hips back. Keep your chest and head up.
- Touch the chair with your butt then slowly rise back to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times if you can.
Seated tummy twist
- Sit up straight with your abs engaged and your feet flat on the ground.
- Hold both your arms at a 90-degree angle, with forearms extended in front of you and elbows at your sides.
- Rotate your upper torso to the left, twisting at the waist, for as far as you can comfortably go.
- Twist back to the centre and repeat the motion to the right.
- Remember to keep your lower body still and suck your belly button towards your spine.
- Sit with your legs extended, toes pointed, and arms by your sides.
- Lean back slightly and gently lift your feet from the floor.
- Pull one knee toward you while the other is extended, and then switch, mimicking a running motion.
- If necessary, grip the armrests or sides of your seat for balance.
Exercise and the mind
Elderly exercises can be really beneficial in helping to encourage a routine where exercise is part of a daily schedule. By using these exercises for the elderly at home, you can help promote healthier mental health and cognitive health for a senior person. Research suggests that keeping active helps to combat depression and anxiety and promote better cognitive performance, all of which help contribute to a better quality of life.
Elderly live-in care can be helpful when it comes to motivating and guiding an elderly person with their workouts. They can also ensure that the exercises are done safely and appropriately to avoid injury. A live-in carer can offer companionship during these workouts and join in with the elderly person to make it more enjoyable for them. If the elderly person wants to go for a walk outside then a carer can be incredibly helpful in helping loved ones feel reassured that, if something were to happen, they would have support, on hand, to manage the situation.
How we can help
The Live in Care Company has a friendly team of specialists who can provide elderly live-in care, personal care, and other types of care for you or a loved one. Contact our team today to find out more about how we can find you the perfect carer to tailor to your specific needs.