Fitness For Older Adults With Limited Mobility

We know more than ever how important fitness is for older adults. From the physical benefits to the impact on cognitive health, a regular fitness routine can allow older adults to stay healthy longer, reduce the risk of falls and lower the chance of chronic diseases.

Of course, it’s not easy for everyone to start or maintain a fitness routine. Many older adults have limited mobility, or require a wheelchair, which can limit some of their options.

However, even with limited mobility, there are plenty of options for fitness, and the opportunity to reap physical, cognitive and social benefits.

Before we offer a few examples, it’s important to consult a physician before starting a new fitness program. Your doctor might have important input based on your condition(s) that will impact what you want to do.

Ageless Grace®

Ageless Grace® is a unique brain-body fitness program performed by the residents of Prestige Senior Living that has been shown to slow the progression of memory loss in older adults.

Not only that, it’s performed entirely seated, making it perfect for just about anyone, regardless of ability level.

There’s still time in February to take advantage of the free classes taking place at most of our communities – visit the location nearest you to see a schedule!

Sit To Stand

It’s simple and is exactly what it sounds like: sit in a chair and practice standing up. It’s a great way to get started if it’s been a while since you’ve been involved in a fitness program. It builds strength and balance and can be done anytime with no equipment.

There are a few variations on how to do it – check out the Silver Sneakers website for some options.

Aquatic Exercise

If you live near a rec center with a pool, aquatic activities can be great for someone with mobility challenges. Being in the water limits the impact on joints and bones, while still creating a fun and challenging cardiovascular workout.

Often, a rec center will have a wide variety of options to choose from, and give you the ability to start slowly and work your way up, while doing so with others in a fun, social environment.

Tai Chi

While aquatic exercises can be loud, raucous affairs with the noise echoing off the pool walls, if you’re in the mood for tranquility with your fitness, tai chi might be the right option for you.

Because tai chi often consists of slow, deliberate movements, it may not look like a workout, but looks can be deceiving.

Tai chi can help older adults with balance, strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility and much more. It’s also an opportunity to practice mindfulness while getting in tune with the movements and engaging in slow, deliberate breathing exercises.

Resistance Bands

If you or a loved one is in a wheelchair, or can’t stand for extended periods, resistance bands can be the perfect option to get in a good workout.

From bicep curls, to seated rows to pull-aparts, you can mimic a lot of exercises you might do at a gym with dumbbells, but do so with tension instead of weight. You can also get in a full workout while seated – so why not do so while watching Jeopardy for instance?

Fitness At Prestige

At Prestige, all residents take part in comprehensive fitness programming tailored to their ability level. It starts with a full physical assessment upon moving in, and from there residents will take part in fitness programs seated, standing, or a combination of both.

Our fitness and wellness programs help residents build and maintain strength and balance, to allow them to enjoy life while also reducing falls.

For more, contact the Prestige community nearest you.