Exercises for Elderly Gentlemen – Part Two

In Part One of our blog entitled “Exercises for Elderly Gentlemen”, we discussed the importance of exercising for good health. The government and the experts all concur that sedentariness and lack of physical activity can lead to ill health. Particularly in the case of the elderly retirees. Therefore, after a lifetime of work, perhaps sports and/or visits to the gymnasium, sudden inactivity cannot be beneficial.

Many factors are known to contribute to good health in old age. For instance, proper nutrition, sufficient good-quality sleep, mental stimulation and social contact. But all of these things will be negatively impacted by the lack of exercise. This may be the case leading to an increase in medication. What is not achieved naturally may need to be supplemented with medicines. Of course, medicines have side-effects which are not beneficial to the body.

The benefits

You may have heard the classic expression “Use it or lose it”. This refers to muscle mass and strength. For instance the elderly sometimes present an appearance of frailty. Exercising can bring extra strength and vitality to the body by forcing the muscles to work. Also, did you know that weight-bearing exercises improve bone density? This in turn can help to prevent fractures and most importantly falls.

Exercises that increase heart rate and encourage deep breathing are very beneficial for the heart and lungs. Furthermore, they are helpful in preventing fluid buildup in the lungs. Chronic bronchitis and pneumonia are dangerous for the elderly. Breathing deeply and inhaling fresh air may counteract this eventuality. Pumping oxygen through the blood promotes good health to the whole body wherever that blood travels.

Ensuring that the joints of the body remain supple and healthy is greatly assisted by exercise. This in turn may prevent chronic pain and diseases such as arthritis in its many forms.

When the body cannot burn up extra calories and fat, obesity is the result. This in turn can bring on diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems and even foot and leg pain. So many afflictions of the body are caused by obesity. For instance migraines, skin disorders, bloating and flatulence to name just a few. Dieting alone will probably not correct these problems without the assistance of exercise. Furthermore weight loss without exercise can produce flabby skin.

Exercise suggestions

Moderate activities

The following can be classified as moderate activities. Brisk walking, continuous swimming, golfing, aerobics, cycling. Even simple things around the home such as washing the car, walking the dog or doing some work in the garden. If the elderly gentleman is still able, playing tennis and why not some ballroom dancing. Some of these have the added benefit of affording social contact and creating new friendships.

Strength activities

These come under the headings of weight, strength or resistance training exercises. They are probably best done under supervision in the gym. Furthermore, instead of taking the lift the elderly should opt for walking up the stairs. Depending upon the elderly gentleman’s physical condition, push ups and sit ups, generally called calisthenics, are beneficial too.

Flexibility activities

These exercises are sometimes collectively called stretching. They may include Tai Chi, indoor and outdoor bowls and specific stretching exercises. However, dancing and gardening also come under this general heading.

Balancing activities

These are important in preventing falls in the elderly. Furthermore, they may also help eliminate some types of dizziness. These may incorporate side leg raises, heel raises and half squats. Also, standing on one leg with the other raised for a few seconds, whilst holding on to the wall for safety. Many of the above exercises can be done sitting on a chair, or even from a wheelchair.

We do hope you will find the above helpful. Do look out for our further blogs where we will discuss many relevant topics to assist both the carers and their elderly loved ones or patients. So, until next time, from our extended family, here at Vermont Aged Care, we wish you, your family and loved ones good health, long life and happiness. Bye for now!

Recommended reading:

  • Choose health: Be active: A physical activity guide for older Australians
  • Council on the ageing
  • Healthy active Australia
  • Heart foundation, Australia
  • Seniors information service
  • Victoria Walks

Links

This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, please contact VERMONT AGED CARE:

770 Canterbury Road, Vermont, Victoria, Australia 3133

Phone: +61 03-9873 5300. Email: info@vermontagedcare.com.au

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