Engaging in core exercises for Senior Citizens helps improve walking and mobility. Everybody has unique needs, so do what you can within your ability level. The most important part is consistency. Sticking to exercise routines helps you stay strong and flexible in your golden years.
What Are the Core Muscles?
These core muscle groups comprise the back, abdomen, trunk, and hips. All movement begins here in the body’s center of gravity. So, you have to activate the core to sit down, stand up, walk, roll over, and more. Therefore, a strong body is critical for stability and range of motion in Senior Citizens. Strong core muscles support balance and mobility, which reduces the risk of falls and injury.
Best Core Exercises for Senior Citizens
Three simple, practical activities for seniors are planks, bird-dogs, and bridges. These low-impact exercises engage all the core muscles and are easily modified for different fitness levels.
Planks help with stability and core strength for older adults. A full plank involves holding the body straight like a wooden board while face down on your elbows and toes. A modified plank is a good place for Senior Citizens to start. For example, place your hands on the wall, walk your feet back, and then hold a plank pose.
Start by lying on your back. Then, lift your buttocks off the ground and hold for a few seconds. As your core strength improves, you will be able to keep this position longer. Make sure to engage your core muscles, not the legs.
Starting on your hands and knees, pull the abdomen inwards. Slowly straighten the opposite arm and leg, and then return to all fours. Then, repeat with the other side.
Exercises Senior Citizens Should Avoid
It turns out that the old go-to exercises can be risky for older adults. For example, sit-ups can strain the hips and spine. So Senior Citizens should avoid the following:
- Leg raises
- Russian twists
What are the signs of a weak core?
You use your core muscles to get out of sitting and lying positions. So, one sign of a weak core is constantly using your arms to get out of a chair. Likewise, lower back pain while standing can indicate something is off.
Consistency Builds Healthy Habits
Simple workout routines, such as core exercises, can help older adults stay ambulatory. Plus, focusing on a different muscle group each session gives your body time for recovery between workouts. In addition, the key to building healthy habits is staying consistent. Stick to a routine and do what you can at your ability level.
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., our dedicated CHHHAs support and encourage our clients to stay active and mobile. We are Families Helping Families. Learn how our family can help yours—call 908-788-9390.