6 Types of Exercise that Aren’t Safe for Seniors

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Seniors are often told they need to exercise to maintain their health. However, your aging loved one may not know exactly which exercises to do. Your loved one may even want to return to his or her former favorite workouts, which isn’t always the best idea. Seniors need to choose exercises that are safe for aging bodies, and these six should be avoided by the majority of older adults.

1. Running Stairs

Athletes often run stairs to build muscle strength and stamina at the same time. However, this form of exercise is particularly dangerous for seniors due to the intense strain it places on the heart along with the high risk of falls. Seniors can still get cardiovascular benefits from doing simple step exercises with the help of caregivers, or they can replace stair runs with slow jogs.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Fort Myers respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

2. Bench Presses

Weight lifting is a favorite form of exercise for many people who enjoy having strong muscles. While your loved one can still work with weights (with the doctor’s approval), he or she may need to give up this exercise. Bench presses require near-perfect form to prevent injury, and your loved one’s joints may no longer be up to the task. Try having your loved one use light free weights to achieve similar benefits without all the risks.

3. Hot Yoga

The combination of working out in a heated environment and performing yoga poses places seniors at serious risk for dehydration. Instead, have your loved one try a senior yoga class or do a few modified poses at home with help from you or a caregiver. Make sure the temperature where your loved one exercises is moderate and that he or she drinks plenty of water.

Many seniors are able to safely enjoy numerous types of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

4. Sit-Ups & Crunches

When your loved one was younger, sit-ups were likely a go-to exercise in almost any workout program. While this exercise does build the core muscles your loved one needs for a healthy back and abdomen, it places too much stress on the neck and spine. Try helping your loved one do planks instead, as this takes the stress off the back while building up the core muscles.

5. High-Intensity Interval Training

Younger adults use this workout method to fast-track their exercise regimens, and it has proven benefits for burning calories. However, a senior’s body won’t respond as well to the intense periods of exercise. In fact, this method can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke if the cardiovascular system can’t keep up. Try a longer, low-impact circuit training method for safer results.

6. Solo Swimming

Swimming is one form of exercise that’s generally safe for seniors. However, your loved one should know that swimming alone could leave him or her vulnerable to drowning if he or she has a health issue. A slip-and-fall accident near a pool could have devastating consequences. Encourage your loved one to visit a public swimming pool for a workout or swim with a companion so he or she has help in case of emergency.

Seniors who need help exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Fort Myers home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 239.449.4701 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.