Physical therapy can help you return to your healthy lifestyle activities. It can restore function, help prevent further injury, and improve overall well being. Seniors can benefit from physical therapy because it can improve their balance to prevent them from falling. Physical therapy can also help manage age-related issues like arthritis or osteoporosis and help with diabetes.
Why Seniors should be doing Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy (PT) can reduce pain and restore flexibility strength as well as range of motion. PT with older adults is a combination of stretching, walking, massages, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation. When a senior is working with a physical therapist, they can reduce the risk of injuries and falls.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy for seniors can help them regain or keep their independence. Regular exercise can make everyday tasks easier. The main goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain and swelling if it exists. Strength training and various exercise programs can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
9 Exercises for Seniors
Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in senior citizens. Regular exercise can help improve muscle strength in older adults to prevent them from falls. Below are 14 exercises seniors can do to help improve their balance and strength.
Single Limb Stance
To begin, stand behind a steady chair (one without wheels), and hold the back of it. Lift one of your feet while you are balancing on the other. Try to hold this position as long as you can and then switch feet. Your goal should be to stand on one foot without the support of the chair for one minute.
Walking Heel to Toe
Believe it or not, walking heel to toe strengthens your legs. Start by placing your right foot directly in front of your left foot with your weight on your heel. Then shift your weight from your heel to your toe. The back of your right foot should be touching the front of your left foot. Repeat this with both feet and try to reach 20 steps.
Rock the Boat
Stand with your feet apart, so they are in line with your hips. Press both of your feet into the ground and stand straight with your head looking forward. Transfer your weight from one foot to the other while slowly lifting the opposite foot off the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can, but don’t go over 30 seconds. Do this exercise five times per foot.
Back Leg Raises
This exercise improves strength in your bottom and lower back. While standing behind a chair, lift your right leg and bring it straight back, do not point your toes or bend your knees. Hold this position for a second, and bring your leg back down. Try and do this exercise 15 times each leg.
Single Limb Stance with Arm
This exercise will improve physical coordination. Stand with your feet together with your arms at your side beside a chair. Raise your left hand over your head, and slowly raise your left foot off the ground. Hold this for ten seconds. Do the same with your right side.
Side Leg Raise
While standing behind a chair with your feet slightly apart, slowly lift one of your legs to the side. Try to keep your back straight and your toes facing forward. Keep your head straight. Lower that leg and repeat with the next leg. Raise each leg about 15 times.
This exercise is done sitting down with a cane or stick. Begin by holding the bottom of the stick, so it is flat in your palm. Try keeping the stick upright for as long as you can. Make sure to switch hands to improve balance on both sides of your body.
Stand in front of a bare wall arm’s length apart. Slightly lean forward while placing your palms on the wall shoulder-width apart and at the height of your shoulders. Slowly lean your body towards the wall and push yourself back up. Try doing this 20 times.
Marching in Place
Lift your one of your knees as high as you can and lower it. If you need it, you can hold onto something or do it in front of a counter. Switch legs and do this 20 times.
The benefit from physical therapy can make the difference between having a fatal fall and preventing your next fall. Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous or last a long time; doing simple exercises for small periods is just as beneficial. Older adults can improve their quality of life by exercising and keeping their bones and muscles healthy.
Start your PT at Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers
Our goal is to aide our seniors in managing their health, reducing their pain, and increasing their functionality. We want to expand our senior’s longevity and overall physical health as they age. Enroll your loved ones in our physical therapy programs by contacting us today!