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5 Exercises That May Be Too Dangerous for Your Senior Loved One

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While it’s important for aging adults receiving Fort Myers home care to maintain active and balanced lifestyles, certain forms of exercise may have risks that far exceed their benefits. Putting too much stress on the joints, hyperextending the knees, or engaging in high-impact activities that increase the likelihood of injury are all things your elderly loved one should avoid. Depending on your loved one’s mobility or other health conditions, here are 5 exercises that may be too dangerous for him or her to participate in.

1. Squats

Squats are an excellent strength training exercise that challenge and tone the largest muscles in the legs. If your loved one makes the mistake of hyperextending at the knees, however, this could result in serious joint damage. The knees should never extend beyond the tips of the toes when in a bent position. If your loved one has difficulty with balance, making an effort to prevent hyperextension could prove more challenging than worthwhile. Your loved one can protect his or her knees and still maintain toned, healthy legs by power walking or doing leg lifts while lying prone.

2. Running

The risk of injuries from trips and falls increases significantly as a senior’s gait changes and differences in range of motion and overall mobility develop. Even seasoned runners may discover running as a regular form of exercise can become too taxing on the body over time. This high-energy, high-impact exercise also places a tremendous amount of stress on the joints and bones. However, your loved one can burn just as many calories and get all of the toning benefits of a good run by opting to power walk or jog at a moderate pace instead.

3. Front Raises

Seniors who are working to maintain toned arms should avoid exercises that require them to lift weights above their heads. Front raises should always stop at the shoulders rather than ending once the weights have traveled beyond the ears. Raising weights above shoulder height can cause impingement and increase the risk of rotator cuff injuries.

4. Hip Rolls

Rolling the hips around in a wide circle may seem harmless enough. In fact, many aerobics instructors encourage their students to perform hip rolls as part of their warm-up routines. Hip rolls, however, can place a significant amount of stress on the lumbar spine. This can, in turn, lead to lower back pain, pinched nerves, and a host of other issues. It is far safer for your loved one to warm his or her body up by marching in place, taking a brisk walk, or dancing to a favorite tune.

5. Yoga

Yoga can be a highly beneficial form of exercise if it maintains a focus on mastering basic positions that do not place an exorbitant amount of strain on the joints. Aggressive yoga classes that encourage engaging in movements that push the joints beyond their natural range of motion, however, can actually be detrimental. Your loved one should talk with a doctor before participating in heated yoga sessions that require him or her to work out in rooms with temperatures of 110 degrees or higher. Many of the same toning and stress-relieving benefits can be gained by practicing the slow, focused movements of Tai chi instead, which entails a far lower risk of physical injury.

With the right supervision, many exercise routines can still be safe for your loved one to perform. Consider hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance to help. In addition to assisting with exercise and mobility, our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with a wide variety of other daily tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Fort Myers. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call 239.449.4701 today.