Senior health tips: Increasing your core strength
Core strength exercises improve the fitness of the stomach, back, hips and pelvis. These muscles are important for improving balance and stability as well as posture. For seniors, these exercises are a good way to help reduce risk of falls and make walking and other daily tasks easier — in fact, a recent analysis published in “Sports Medicine” concluded that seniors experienced a 30% strength increase as well as a 23% balance and functional performance increase! Here are some easy exercises from short term rehab specialists at United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen.
• The Bridge: This exercise focuses on the muscles in your buttocks, lower back and stomach. Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your torso to create a straight line between your knees and your chest. Be careful not to arch your back. Hold for three seconds and slowly go back to the start position. Repeat five times.
• Leg Lifts: In this exercise, your pelvic muscles and lower stomach muscles are strengthened. Start flat on your back on a yoga mat. Contract your stomach muscles as you lift one leg about five inches off the floor, without bending at the knee. Hold for three seconds and slowly go back to the start position. Then do the same with your other leg. Repeat five times.
• Seated Side Bends: This will focus on the muscles that run down your torso. Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Put one of your hands behind your head and stretch the other out parallel to the ground. Now bend down to the side as if using that hand to pick something up, hold for three seconds and return to your start position. Do the same with your other arm and repeat five times.
• The Superman: Named because it resembles Superman flying through the air, this exercise strengthens your lower back. Lie face down on the floor on a yoga mat, keeping your arms stretched out in front of you. Now raise your head, right arm and left leg at the same time to about two inches off the ground. Hold this position for three seconds and return to the start position. Do the same thing with your left arm and right leg. Repeat five times.
Please note that if you are unsure of how to do the exercises or require assistance in performing them correctly and safely, speak to your doctor and a short term senior rehabilitation specialist or similarly qualified therapist.
Expert, caring short term rehab for seniors in New Jersey
United Methodist Communities offers the highest quality care for seniors, including short term rehabilitation at Bristol Glen. Whether you or a loved one is recovering from an operation or you would simply like to improve your quality of health and wellbeing through fitness, our dedicated team is here to assist you.
In addition to our short term rehab services, our independent senior living communities also offer assisted living, hospice and long term care, as well Alzheimer’s and memory support services.
Contact us to find out more about our health, wellness, rehabilitation and other programs, and book your visit today.