Today is National Senior Health & Fitness Day! Our very own Michelle Shima of BCBSKS corporate health services explains why staying active as you age is important to your health.

“Exercise is important for any age, but especially for seniors. As people age, their lifestyles can sometimes become more sedentary. Exercise can not only boost heart health, but also strengthen muscles. Strong bones and muscles are associated with a reduction in falls. Other benefits from exercise include improved mental capacity, disease prevention and improved overall healing,” she said.

For some easy senior fitness exercises, check out the moves below.

  • Stand and sit – Use a chair and stand and sit without using your arms for support.
  • Wall pushups – Stand at an arm’s length away from a wall. Place your hands flat against the wall, at shoulder height. Press your body toward the wall, as if you’re doing a pushup. Push it back to the original position, while keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Knee lifts  While standing, hold on to a secure chair and lift the knee up to 90 degrees, as if stepping over something, and pull in your abdomen.
  • Back leg lift – Stand at a wall. While keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, squeeze your glutes and lift your leg back.
  • Arm rotations – Extend your arms directly to the side, straight out from your shoulders with your palms up. Circle forward 10 times and backwards 10 times.
  • Biceps curls – Stand or sit in a chair, with a weight in each hand. Your elbows should be close to your body. Next, rotate your palms so that they are facing forward. While holding your upper arm steady, curl the weights forward while contracting your biceps. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position. You can use a can, a plastic half gallon jug filled with water or a hand weight to offer resistance.
  • Triceps extension – Sit in a chair and hinge forward from the hip. Support your torso with your non-working arm and lift the working arm back so your forearm is parallel with the floor. Straighten and bend you arm to work the back of the upper arm. A can of vegetables or a hand weight can be used to offer resistance.

If you are uncertain what fitness exercises are right for you, ask your doctor at your next appointment.

For even more resources on senior fitness, check out our newsletter, Healthy Living. It’s a newsletter designed especially for Plan 65 Medicare supplement members. To read previous issues, click here.

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