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Restoring Movement in Seniors – Best Exercises to Improve Mobility

Armin Ghayyur

Armin Ghayyur

As you get older, you may find it harder and harder to keep up your mobility. Restoring movement and staying active may seem like a difficult challenge for you as you work towards your physical goals.

What exercises can you do to help with recovery, and when should you hire a physiotherapist for help?

While some exercises at home can restore mobility in seniors, you may find yourself needing physical therapy. Here are some of the best exercises for seniors and advice for when you should hire a physiotherapist.

Yoga

Yoga is a gentle exercise that is great for improving your flexibility and balance. There are hundreds of different poses that you can try at home or in a studio setting. Because it focuses on the movement of the entire body rather than specific areas, yoga is a wonderful way to improve your total physical well-being.

Yoga can also be used as a way to relieve stress in seniors and improve mental health. When performing yoga, remember to take your time with each pose and breathe during your routine.

If you have a hard time standing for long periods of time, chair yoga is a great alternative to traditional yoga. The poses are all seated to help you improve your posture and balance without needing to work on your feet. It has less impact than traditional yoga, making it perfect for those with arthritis or similar joint problems. 

Swimming

If you want to get great exercise without putting too much pressure on your joints, then swimming or water aerobics is a great exercise for you. You can get the same benefits of regular stretching without straining your muscles and joints.

Water aerobics is the perfect exercise for those with arthritis or similar joint conditions. These set exercise routines can help increase your flexibility and strength over time. Working out in warm water is also beneficial for relaxation as the warmth relieves tension in the muscles.

Dancing

Dancing can help you burn calories, regain flexibility and have a fun time! There are plenty of different dances that you can try, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether you dance alone or with a partner, you can start learning new skills today.

Many studios offer various types of dance classes for those unfamiliar with dance. Joining a studio is also a great way to stay social while keeping active.

If you don’t want to take official dance lessons, there’s nothing stopping you from putting on some of your favorite music and dancing your heart out! You don’t have to be good to enjoy dancing and improve your health.

Pilates

Similar to yoga, Pilates is a low-impact style of exercise that is great for seniors. This type of exercise commonly involves the use of exercise balls, mats, and various other tools.

These exercises can help you with balance, strength, and flexibility as you practice without putting strain on your joints. Keep in mind that you will require certain accessories to perform these exercises. If you are unable to purchase the items yourself, you may benefit from joining a pilates class rather than exercising on your own.

Resistance Band Workouts

Resistance band workouts are perfect for inexperienced exercise enthusiasts who want to improve their mobility. Whether you purchase a resistance band to use at home or visit your local gym, this simple addition to your workout routine is a great way to restore mobility in seniors.

Resistance bands can be used to train various parts of your body. They challenge your muscles without causing strain and can help improve your spine and posture. 

Wall Pushups

To improve core and arm strength, wall pushups are a great exercise for seniors. All you need is a flat wall without decorations and some free time.

Stand about an arm’s length away from your wall and gently lean against it with your palms flat against the wall. Once you’re in position, push yourself carefully away from the wall before lowering yourself back again. Repeat the process about 20 more times a day to give your arms and core a decent workout.

Regular Walks

If you have an accessible path near your home or a gym you can attend, getting out and going on regular walks can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Walking improves posture while working your leg muscles and improving cardio health; build up your heart strength while improving your mobility and flexibility at the same time.

Remember that your walks should be calm and steady. Running, especially running long distances, can do more harm than good for elderly exercisers. Pay attention to your body’s needs, and don’t forget to bring water on your walks.

Exercises to Avoid as a Senior

While there are many great ways you can improve your mobility, there are certain exercises that you should avoid as a senior. They can pose a threat to your physical health and put unnecessary strain on your body. These exercises include, but are not limited to:

  • Long-distance running
  • Squats with heavy weights
  • Deadlifts
  • Rockclimbing or power climbing
  • Leg press
  • Bench press
  • High-intensity exercises

In order to preserve your physical health and avoid injury, make sure to steer clear of high-intensity exercises.

How Physical Therapy Can Help You

Are you struggling to exercise but still want to improve your flexibility and overall strength? If so, then you may want to consider physical therapy.

If you are having a hard time exercising due to chronic pain, a physical therapist can find new techniques to help reduce pain and improve your flexibility. Whether they help you find a medication to relieve your pain or find exercises that fit your individual needs, a physical therapist can work with you to make your exercise routine work again.

Physiotherapists are especially helpful for those with chronic illnesses or serious injuries. They are highly trained, just like any other medical professional, and can help you find the tools you need to regain independence and mobility. 

If you have suffered an injury, a physical therapist can also help you find exercises that won’t exacerbate your condition. The last thing you want is to continue your regular exercise routine and accidentally worsen your injury. Let your physical therapist help you regain your independence and improve your mobility without risking your health.

Finding the Right Physiotherapist for Your Recovery

There are a few tips you can use to help you find the right physiotherapist for your needs. In order to make sure your physiotherapist can help your individual needs, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. What are their qualifications?

Before settling on a physiotherapist, you should make sure that they are accredited and qualified to work in their field. If you find a physical therapist without proper qualifications, you should look elsewhere; a proper physiotherapist will be well trained and fully qualified to help you.

2. Where are they located?

To get the most from your physiotherapist, you should make sure they are relatively close to where you live. You may be tempted to skip appointments with a physiotherapist that is too far away, or you may struggle to get to your scheduled appointments. Give yourself a break and find someone who works close to your home.

3. What is their area of expertise?

There are many different types of physical therapy, and you should find a physiotherapist who has experience working with seniors. If you have specific medical conditions that inhibit your mobility, you should also seek out physiotherapists with experience handling those types of conditions.

4. What is their availability?

Obviously, you can’t attend appointments with someone whose availability isn’t compatible with your own. Make sure that they have open appointments at times and locations that you can easily get to. 

5. What are their treatment methods?

Finally, you should determine the treatment methods of the physiotherapist you are considering to see if they would work for you. For example, some physiotherapists specialize in massage therapy to help their clients; you should seek out a physical therapist who aids their clients through exercise. That way, you can eventually gather the knowledge and ability to work out on your own later on.

Improve Your Mobility and Restoring Movement the Easy Way

You don’t have to struggle with mobility issues alone. With these great exercises for seniors, you can start your recovery process and begin restoring movement quickly and easily. Remember that if you’re struggling, physical therapy can be used to help you through any problems you’re experiencing!

Are you a senior in need of a physiotherapist but have no idea where to go?

We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have about our physiotherapists, and continue reading our blog for more helpful information.

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