When moving through daily tasks, there are typically some movements that may be trickier for older adults to accomplish. Whether this is reaching up high for something in the cupboard, or potentially bending over to pick up something off the ground. Regardless, as one gets older, physically activity typically goes down. This unfortunately will lead to a loss of muscle mass and strength in the entire body, making everyday tasks much harder to complete. The good news, is that with some structured activity, we can improve strength in our bodies for specific movements we do throughout the day. Let’s take a look at a few exercises that can help older adults with daily movements.
6 Exercises to Make Everyday Tasks Easier for Seniors
One of the best ways to make everyday tasks easier is with exercise that will target the muscles used in daily tasks. Of course there are numerous different tasks that a senior may do in their life. We will be looking specifically at difficulty perceived in the following tasks.
- Going Up Stairs
- Getting Off The Toilet
- Getting off the Ground
- Picking Up Objects on Ground
- Reaching for High Objects
Going Up Stairs
If you struggle going up the stairs, then we really need to work on strengthening your legs and hip muscles. The way we demonstrate doing this in the video above is through the use of a small step up exercise. As shown in the video, you will grab a small object to step up onto and down from. Make sure you alternate stepping up to the step, and also stepping down in front of you, mimicking going up and down the stairs. In addition to this, since it is working one leg at a time, make sure to alternate you lead foot when doing this exercise. If you would like to purchase a stepper for yourself, you can follow our Amazon Associate link here.
Getting Off The Toilet
If you struggle with getting off the toilet, we need to get your legs and hip muscles strong as well. The difference between this exercise and the last, is that you will be using both legs at once. To practice this movement, as demonstrated in the video, we do an assisted sit to stand exercise. This involves getting a normal sized chair, and adding a boost to it, naturally making the range of motion much smaller than a normal squat. Practicing this exercise numerous times will make getting off a toilet much easier, as you will be building the muscle to help with this. If you would like to purchase a bench to help you with this exercise, you can follow our Amazon Associate link here.
Getting off the Ground
If you have difficulty getting off of the ground by yourself, then strengthening your arm muscles is a top priority. Specifically, we need to strengthen the muscles in your arms that help you to push stuff away from your body. As noted in the video, doing wall pushups is a wonderful way to practice getting stronger at the movement of getting off the ground. For this exercise, simply go up to a sturdy wall, take a step back, place your hands on the wall, and practice a normal pushup against the wall. This will directly target the muscle that help assist you in getting off the ground.
If walking is a chore for you, we need to strengthen many of the muscles in your hips, as this directly help with lifting your leg up into the sky. As shown in the video, to get stronger at these movements, we practice a banded shuffle walk. You will put a resistance band on your ankles, so you are forced to take small steps. Next, you are going to keep the band spread apart far as you shuffle forward and backward. You will feel this work the muscles throughout your hips and legs pretty heavily. If you would like to purchase some ankle bands to make the exercise easier, you can use our Amazon associate link here.
Picking Up Objects on Ground
If you struggle with picking up objects on the ground, or bending over, we need to strengthen your lower back and hip muscles. To do this in an easier environment, we showed an exercise called the “high deadlift” in the video above. For the high deadlift, you will need to get a boost or bench to place whatever object you are going to be lifting off the ground. In the video, I used a 10 pound medicine ball, but feel free to use whatever you have available for yourself. If you would like to purchase a medicine ball to make the exercise easier, you can use our Amazon associate link here.
Reaching for High Objects
If you struggle reaching for high objects we will need to do some work on strengthening your shoulder and upper back muscles. The exercise we show in the video is called the 45 degree raise. This will help to strengthen the muscles that directly help you to raise your arms higher for these tasks. This one might be a little painful if you have any rotator cuff issues, so be careful when you are doing it at first. Over time, you will get stronger and be able to reach much higher. If you would like to purchase some of the weight used in the video, to make the exercise easier, you can use our Amazon associate link here.
As with any exercise, you need to be consistent to get results. Try a few of these for yourself, and I am sure you will notice some quick improvements in your day to day movements!
#specialneedsfitness #seniorfitness #iamallstrong #healtheducation #lowimpact #lowimpactworkout #underservedpopulations #socialwork #inclusivefitness