A gradually decreasing activity level among older individuals can lead to a loss of strength and power. This can result in the loss of independence, when a person no longer has the strength to get out of a chair or out of the car safely and without help.
In the past, it was generally accepted that seniors could not exercise as intensely as they would have when they were younger. However, recent research indicates that older adults usually benefit from exercising up to a moderately high intensity level.
A beneficial exercise program can include sets of sitting to standing, arm curls with weights, core strengthening and stair climbing. It also should include address balance issues, flexibility, postural alignment and proper body mechanics.
People need to be aware of the influence certain health conditions might have on exercise tolerance: diabetes, heart conditions, and osteoporosis, to name a few. Supervision is valuable to insure that a person is safe, using good form and selecting exercises that will not cause injury.
For example, treadmill walking and back extension exercises might aggravate a spinal stenosis condition; slouched posture on the bicycle could irritate a bulging or herniated spinal disc; and overhead weight lifting would not be a safe choice for someone with shoulder problems.
The advice from a physical therapist can start you on the path to better health and fitness, no matter what your age. If you have questions our physical therapists at Physical Therapy at Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley can offer information and safe exercises to transition from a guided program to an independent exercise program that is safe for you to do.
A weekly modified yoga class is offered at Physical Therapy at Briarcliff by a licensed yoga/physical therapy instructor and an osteoporosis program at Physical Therapy at Jefferson Valley. If you have questions, please call 914-245-8807 or 914-962-2222 for more information or our website.