Surprisingly Effective Exercises that Help Seniors Build Strength

Can you believe a pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat? With a regular and coordinated exercise program, seniors can significantly improve their muscles and quality of life. Active seniors have more physical strength than their peers and enjoy a happier life.

The two factors of physical weakness and imbalance have the most significant impact on keeping seniors at home. Increasing physical strength and fixing the balance issues will result in an independent life for seniors and ease of mind for their loved ones.

Increasing the Physical Strength of Seniors with Exercise

Statistics show that about 28-34% of people between the ages of 65 and 75 participate in regular exercise programs. These figures indicate a lack of elderly participation in the field of sports. Even a simple walk can dramatically improve the physical strength of seniors. Adults who walk at least 2-3 hours a week have stronger muscles and rarely lose their balance.

Seniors doing group exercises

Undoubtedly, strong muscles can be good support for the elderly. Older adults with a history of falls should start with an essential exercise to increase physical strength. It is interesting to know that exercising delays the aging of the elderly. Sports such as gymnastics, cycling, boating, skiing, and weightlifting can increase the physical strength of the elderly. These exercises will also improve the problems related to imbalance and falls over time. If you have not participated in any sports activities, start with these exercises. All of these exercises are suitable exercises to increase the physical strength of the seniors.

Abdominal Breathing

Have you seen how babies breathe? The chest and abdominal muscles move up and down with each inhale and exhale. Seniors can also do this exercise while standing or sitting. Try to move your abdominal muscles while breathing. This simple exercise works deep in the muscles and strengthens the spine.

In the next move, you have to pull the abdomen in. It is more complicated than it sounds. You can do this exercise at home whenever you want. Pull the abdominal muscles in and stay in that position as long as possible. Do not stop breathing in any way, and breathe slowly. Further repetition of this movement causes the sagging abdomen to contract and increases abdominal muscles’ physical strength.

Yoga and Physical Strength of Seniors

Seniors doing yoga to increase their physical strength

Yoga fits the body, calms the mind, and relaxes the person. It is also helpful in preventing and controlling certain diseases that are more prevalent in the elderly. Various yoga poses can increase seniors’ physical strength and are perfect for maintaining a healthy body.

Improving the Physical Strength of Seniors with a Hand Press

Keep your hands gently in front of your body while standing. This simple movement will strengthen the muscles of the biceps and triceps. It also improves the physical strength of seniors. To increase physical strength, the elderly can do pressing exercises with small weights (up to 2 kg).

Increasing the Strength of Pelvic Floor Muscles and Spine

Bridge and plank are two efficient exercises to strengthen the serine muscles, deep pelvis and straighten the spine. For doing the bridge, you should lie on your back. Try to lift your back and hips off the ground in the same position. Note that the elderly should not raise their shoulders off the ground.

Plank is the opposite of bridge exercise. To do this, you should keep your elbows and toes on the ground and lift the middle of your body off the ground. Doing this movement correctly increases the physical strength of seniors and increases their level of health. You may not be able to put yourself in a bridge or plank position for a long time at first, but it will become easier for you over time.

Increasing Neck Muscle Strength

Any abnormal and severe pressure on the neck can reduce the comfort of seniors. Of course, you can strengthen the neck muscles with the right principles. Slowly move your head left and right while sitting on a chair. To increase resistance, you can place one hand on the right side of the forehead and press lightly. Rotate the neck to the same level in the same position. Applying pressure to the forehead creates resistance for the neck muscles that strengthen the muscles.

Exercise Intensity to Increase the Physical Strength of Seniors

Not all older people are in the same physical condition. Some seniors are in excellent condition in terms of physical strength and health. These people have probably followed a regular exercise program for years. Seniors who have just joined a sports group will not be able to do strength and balance exercises like everyone else. People over the age of 50 should consult their doctor before starting training. People with osteoporosis or osteoarthritis and skeletal problems must get their doctor’s approval before exercising.

two seniors playing football

Although proper exercise is not inherently harmful to increasing physical strength, each person’s condition and diseases affect the number and frequency of sports movements. For example, weight training is most effective in improving the physical strength of seniors, but the elderly with high blood pressure should be cautious. The same is true for people with lumbar disc problems, knee pain, and spinal deformities.

A bit of very cautious advice to increase physical strength with exercise is to continue the movements until you do not feel pain. If any of the strength and endurance movements cause pain in a specific body area, there is a possibility of injury.

Note: Be sure to warm up for a few minutes before starting any exercise. Warming up increases the flexibility of the muscles and makes the movements much easier. Also, the muscles will not be damaged or stretched.

Final Words

Simple exercises and activities can go a long way in increasing the physical strength of seniors. 

As suggested by the Physical Activity Guidelines, it is recommended that you combine different components of exercises into your weekly physical activity schedule. Make exercise part of your lifestyle and not something you force yourself into; you will see the result in a month or even less.

More Resources:

Source helpguide verywellfit
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Alison Michaud
Alison Michaud
11 months ago

I’m 56 and have Arthritis. I walk almost every day, but I think it’s time for something new. I have never done yoga and I don’t know if that suits my condition, but I think it’s something I need to try. my physiotherapist says yoga can help me a lot, as long as I work with a professional yoga trainer. should I ask my doctor too?

Donald
Donald
Reply to  Alison Michaud
10 months ago

I think your doctor is going to agree with your physiotherapist, but if you want to make sure, why not. Yoga has an incredible effect on our health, and I think if you begin exercising, you are really going to like it.

Marcel
Marcel
Reply to  Alison Michaud
10 months ago

Dear Alison, as a senior, we should be more careful about our body situation. I have arthritis too, and my doctor always warns me to protect my body from unwanted injuries! Also, Yoga is a low-intensity and useful exercise for us because we need something without any extra pressure!

Arnold
Arnold
10 months ago

I really suggest that you attend group exercises. I participated in Pilates classes for two years. It helps me to develop my physical health. in addition, it really helps me to promote my social interactions. Before that, I didn’t have any casual friends, but now I have several friends to hang out thanks to my pilates class.

Rebecca
Rebecca
Reply to  Arnold
5 months ago

I agree. None of my friends and family members workout. But accidentally, I met Jane in the groceries and talked about yoga. Now I’m an active member of my yoga class.

Evelyn
Evelyn
5 months ago

I highly recommend yoga. It was like a miracle for me. It slowly shaped my body and reduced the aches. Not only your body but also your mind will be flexible with yoga. I’m more relaxed and less stressed, and I have to confess that I would never think of my body being this elastic!

Ted
Ted
Reply to  Evelyn
4 months ago

I agree with you, Evelyn; I have been doing yoga every morning for several years. I am nearly 60, have tended to spend much time inactive and have been paying for all that youthful laziness. Vigorous exercise has never worked for me, but yoga has. As we get older, we live a stationary lifestyle. We need exercises that help us with movement and balance. With yoga, I can do some things that I had not accomplished before.

Emma
Emma
5 months ago

Yoga saved my life ten years ago.
I used to be that type of person who was overworked, stressed beyond what my body could endure…a walking time bomb.
I had been on high blood pressure meds for two decades at the time, and no one stopped or even warned me.
I started my yoga practice and saw the huge impact it had on my mental state with my own eyes.
Yoga clears your mind in a way that nothing else can. It touches and kicks your ass into present moment awareness, whether you like it or not.

Liliane
Liliane
Reply to  Emma
4 months ago

Happy to hear that any of the above exercises that fit your body needs and works for you are the best. But remember, one man’s meat might be another’s poison, so not all the above exercises are suitable for anyone. Body needs differ, and you should consult your doctor before taking that sport up.

CC Jackson
CC Jackson
5 months ago

If there are any local pools around, aqua size is a terrific kind of exercise for that age group.
As a senior recreation therapist, I always make an effort to include physical exercise in meaningful recreational activities for each client. Even though they are aware of the benefits, some people refuse to participate in regular training programs. That’s when we consider alternatives like a dancing class, a social walking club, swimming, and so on.

Ethan
Ethan
4 months ago

Yoga is honestly one of the best exercises that one can do. My grandma has been attending yoga classes since she was 60, and now that she’s in her 80s, she almost has the same flexibility that she used to have 10 or 15 years ago. It gives her lots and lots of core strength and makes it easier for her to take care of herself without needing much help, even at the age of 82. And for those who care about mindfulness and inner peace, it’s a great way of unwinding your thoughts after a stressful and busy day.

Charlotte
Charlotte
2 months ago

As a 63-year-old woman, I highly recommend yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for almost ten years now, and I can definitely call it the miracle of my life!
I’ve started yoga the time I was struggling with depression. It was such torture at the beginning to stick out of my bed and take me to the class. But have my word! If you just try not to lose the first couple of months, you start to notice its effects on your physical and mental health. Besides the great physical improvement, I’ve met the nicest people, which is great to spend time with them.

Jake
Jake
16 days ago

Assuming you enjoy basic health and own a healthy heart and lungs, the answer is very straightforward.
If you are adventurous and need a boost in your libido, desire to lose some body fat, and improve your posture and balance, I have an excellent answer for you.
Learn how to engage with basic strength training. Not to be mistaken with lifting hefty weights, but a suitable combination of resistance training and clean eating plus sound recovery will significantly change the course of your health from rapid and slow decline to much more improved health and fitness.