Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

Physical Activities Worth Trying

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Exercise will always be a big part of our physical health and fitness. The importance of exercising only increases if you’re over the age of 60. Regular exercise and activity can help deter a number of common ailments that affect seniors. Here are a few fun but simple ways to stay fit and active. Just do us one favor and speak to your doctor before adding them to your routine.

Take a walk

Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much walking to have a positive impact on your overall heart health. Walking has been known to improve your blood flow, build your strength, and help increase your vitality.

Ride a bike

Bike riding is a great way to exercise because it has many of the same benefits as walking. However, the impact on the knees, hips, ankles, and other joints are greatly reduced. Not only is it exercise, but you can use it as a means of transportation as well. Bike Safety Rule #1 – Always wear a helmet!

Take up yoga

Yoga is an exercise that has been around for thousands of years. People who participate claim that its effects are more than just physical; it also has a positive impact on your mind as well. Yoga is gaining in popularity amongst seniors mostly because it’s one of the more gentle ways to remain physically active. Studies have shown that yoga can help improve anything from flexibility and depression to reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Go for a swim

Swimming is not only a great way to beat the heat, but it’s yet another cardio workout that helps strengthen your heart and lungs, and overall level of fitness. If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, swimming can be a particularly helpful workout for you. If you haven’t swam in a while, start off slow and never swim alone or without wearing your medical alert help button, if you have one.


Stay Active For a Longer and Happier Life

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Elderly people who are active in both mental and physical activities live longer and with a higher quality of life. To ensure your loved ones are staying both mentally and physically stimulated this summer, we’ve compiled some resources that provide mental and physical activities that seniors can do without leaving their home.

This broad overview gives a variety of different actives that elderly parents can do indoors. The next resource highlights the most popular indoor summer activities for senior citizens.

The National Institute of Aging also found that mental exercise helps maintain some seniors thinking skills. Here is a great resource for mind games that can help keep your elderly parents’ mental skills sharp.

However you do it, be sure to keep your elderly loved ones active and mentally stimulated to help them they remain healthy and happy for a long time.

Staying Healthy and Active: An Exercise Guide for Seniors

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

As you age, staying active is more important than ever. Regular exercise can have many positive effects on seniors as it can help increase energy, maintain independence, improve memory and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Whether you are healthy or sick, there are many ways to get active and improve both body and mind.

Be sure to get medical clearance from your doctor before you begin a workout routine, as different conditions and medications can affect the way you should conduct your workout. It is also important to start slow and remain extremely hydrated, especially during the summer heat.

Here are four types of exercises that seniors can include in their work out routine.

Stretching exercises: Increase freedom of movement

Balance exercises: Enhance stability

Strengthening exercises: Build muscles

Endurance exercises: Improve heart health and the circulatory system

Adding an exercise program to your weekly schedule is important for all seniors as it can vastly increase health and independence so long as you do it safely and responsibly.

These Seniors Still Have All the Right Moves

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Our guess is that this couple has been working on their dance routine since Whitney Houston first released the song in 1986.

Save on LifeStation during American Heart Month

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Valentine’s Day isn’t the only event in February that focuses on the heart. In fact, the whole month has been designated as American Heart Month by the President, as it has been every year since Congress passed a Joint Resolution in 1963.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States. American Heart Month is meant to bring attention to how we can all maintain a strong, healthy heart. A lot of research is going into understanding and curing heart disease, but for most of us, the path to a healthy heart is based on very common sense principles:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is a huge problem in the US…no pun intended. The New York Times The New Old Age blog recently had an insightful post that looked at the other end of the spectrum: seniors losing muscle as they lose too much weight.
  • Eat well: What you eat is as important as how much you eat. ElderCareABCBlog shares helpful hints on what foods to include in your diet.
  • Exercise: Along with a proper diet, being active can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent. has good info to help seniors create an exercise regimen.
  • Don’t smoke: It’s not just bad for your heart. Add colon and breast cancer to the list of diseases linked to smoking and second-hand smoke. Healthline has excellent information to help you or your loved one quit the habit.

Through the end of February, in recognition of American Heart Month, LifeStation is giving new customers $2.00 off their monthly service when you use code HEART2011. (If you’re an existing LifeStation customer and you refer someone to LifeStation, make sure they mention your name so that you receive your LifeStation referral bonus.)

LaLanne was an example for seniors and caregivers

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The passing of Jack LaLanne should remind all of us of the importance of exercising, eating well and staying fit. Few people personified the saying, “Age is just a number” better than LaLanne, who died on Sunday at the age of 96. The fitness guru is credited with starting the health club movement, opening his first club in 1936 in Oakland, California. LaLanne was a vocal proponent of eating right and getting plenty of exercise. He welcomed women into his health clubs, which was unheard of at the time, and encouraged seniors to not let age and physical limitations prevent them from exercising.

LaLanne’s life is an excellent example of how important it is to stay fit. Today, many health clubs have programs catering to older members, and there are plenty of good exercise regimens you can do at home. The National Institutes of Health has an excellent section of their web site dedicated to exercises for seniors and we frequently post information about exercising on this blog.

But LaLanne’s example isn’t just for seniors. In a recent blog post, Get Up, Get Out, Skip the Chips, Think of Jack,’s Paula Spencer offers an important reminder to caregivers that they need to focus on their own health as well. “If you get sick, who will care for your loved one? Who will have to step in to care for you? …But we can try harder to live by the amazing knowledge out there about how to amplify good health and reduce risks.”

If caring for your loved one makes you feel like you’re singlehandidly dragging 13 boats filled with passengers through the water (as LaLanne did at age 62), then it’s time to get in shape. After all, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?

Report says exercise and vitamin D can prevent falls among the elderly

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Falls are the number one cause of injury-related deaths among people 65 and over, according to the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (See our recent post “Big risks from small falls“.) A medical alert system is important to summon help quickly in the event of a fall and mitigate complications. However, its also important to take steps to prevent falls from happening in the first place. That’s why we frequently post items on our blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds about how we can improve our health and living environment to reduce the risk of falling.

This month, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts mandated by Congress, sorted through hundreds of articles and thousands of abstracts help guide the advice that primary care practitioners give to their patients. Based on 16 studies that the task force analyzed, exercise can reduce the risk of falling by 13% and 9 studies provided evidence that vitamin D supplementation can reduce risk 17%.

The report is just as interesting for what it found did not reduce risk. Neither vision correction nor education alone were associated with reducing the risk of falling. One study in Australia actually found an increase in the proportion of fallers among those who got vision correction. According to the researchers, this may be because frail older adults became more active because of their improved vision, thus increasing their risk of falling.

(Photo by TooFarNorth via flickr)

Getting Wii-fitter may improve balance and decrease falls

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Wii Bowling

Many people embraced Nintendo’s Wii and “exergames” like Wii Fit with the hopes that it would get them off the couch and provide a fun way to stay in shape. However, as Gretchen Reynolds reports in today’s New York Times, researchers are finding that the workouts just aren’t intense enough to provide real benefits to younger people. However, a few studies are starting to indicate that the elderly can improve their physical fitness through these games.

Two studies cited in the Times article found that elderly participants saw significant improvements in balance using the Wii Fit’s exercises as well as fun games like Wii Bowling. Improving balance is important to preventing falls, which are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among the elderly.

With the holidays coming, it makes you think if maybe this year, it’s time to give Junior a good book or sweater and reserve the game console for grandma and grandpa.

(photo by marioanima via Flickr)

Pickleball making a racquet in senior communities

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about Pickleball, a new game that’s rapidly gaining popularity in senior communities. Played on an outdoor court that’s a fraction of the size of a tennis court, the game combines elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. Games are fast moving, but short–about 15 minutes each–and the smaller court reduces the amount of movement necessary which should cut down on injuries.

Some have complained that Pickleball games are too noisy, but other counter that it’s just a different noise. Pickleball games were measured at 60 decibels compared to tennis (58 decibels). However, because of the smaller court, the ball is hit more frequently and it produces a different sound. This may be what detractors object to. Despite the complaints, the game is catching on.

Exercise linked to lower fracture rate in senior women

Monday, October 4th, 2010

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed two groups of women over seven years and found that the group that participated in controlled leg strength, impact and balance exercises experience fewer fracture than the control group. The group that exercised also had no hip fractures, unlike the control group. Read more.