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Staying Active to Manage Chronic Conditions
Staying Active to Manage Chronic Conditions

Staying Active to Manage Chronic Conditions


Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be challenging for seniors to find the motivation to stay active or even know where to begin. Since seniors are at higher risk than other age groups for developing chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, regular exercise can play a critical role in helping seniors manage chronic conditions. Further, regular exercise can prevent further injury and keep seniors living at home where they will have a higher quality of life during their golden years.

If you are one of the over 80% of older adults with a chronic condition or the over 68% of adults managing two or more, regular exercise is a proven way to relieve your symptoms and improve health outcomes. This article will discuss the many benefits of regular exercise for seniors with chronic conditions and provide some practical exercise and stretching ideas you can try from the comfort of your own home.

How Exercise Can Improve Health Outcomes in Seniors

Exercise can help prevent further injury and keep seniors living at home.

  • Exercise is good for you and promotes longevity, regardless of age.
  • Exercise can help with chronic conditions such as arthritis and high blood pressure.
  • Seniors who exercise regularly are less likely to develop new health problems later in life or have a higher quality of life in their golden years.

Strength Training

Strength training can help improve your strength and balance, which will help you avoid falls. Try these at-home exercises to get started:

  • Establish a base of strength with the following moves:
    • Squatting with two hands on a chair or countertop for support (don't let your knees go past your toes!)
    • Standing on one foot while raising and lowering the other leg repeatedly, then switch sides

Once you've established a base of strength, add more advanced movements:

  • Lunges using dumbbells or cans of food in each hand
  • Push-ups (start with wall push-ups if you're not quite ready for floor ones)

As always, when doing strength training exercises, make sure you take breaks whenever necessary and focus on your breathing! If an exercise becomes too difficult for you or starts causing pain in any part of your body—especially around joints like knees and elbows—stop immediately! If done correctly, strengthening exercises can decrease pain in some instances by improving your range of motion and flexibility throughout muscles that have become stiff over time due to lackluster movement patterns.

The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups and increases your heart rate. If you're not familiar with aerobic exercise, think of it as "cardio," "vigorous exercise," or simply "hard-core." Some examples of aerobic exercises are swimming, cycling, or gardening.

This type of high-intensity movement burns fat and improves cardiovascular health, which helps manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It also has other health benefits:

  • Weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improving mood and mental clarity
  • Lowering stress levels
  • Higher-quality sleep patterns

Balance and Agility Exercises to Try at Home

Balance and agility exercises are important to help you maintain your balance and reduce fall risk. These types of exercises also improve your muscle strength, which naturally declines as you get older, and can help improve your mobility and range of motion.

  • Wobble board exercises: Stand on a wobble board with both feet, but don't put any pressure on it — just let yourself bounce. You can also try using one leg at a time.
  • Balance ball exercises: Sit on a stability ball with both feet flat on the ground and press out from the seat until there is no contact between you and the ball. Hold this position for 15 seconds before returning to a relaxed sitting position. Repeat five times for three sets per day for the best results!
  • Bosu ball exercise: While standing close to a Bosu ball (or similar), place one foot onto it so that half of each sole is resting against its surface while keeping the other foot flat on the flooring surface; repeat with the other leg/foot combination if desired before switching back again—his helps promote blood flow throughout the whole body while working stabilizer muscles located deep within the core region where most postural support comes from!

The Importance of Stretching Before and After Workouts

Stretching can help prevent injury, improve posture and flexibility, reduce muscle cramps, and improve sleep. If you have pain in your body, a simple and easy stretch can help alleviate it. If you wake up tense in the morning, it may be due to poor sleep or stress, so stretching before bed can also help with these issues. Stretching is an excellent way for seniors to manage chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis or heart disease.

Stretching should be done before exercise because it warms up muscles making them more flexible and prepared for exercise. It also helps prevent injury by increasing blood flow through the tissues, which increases circulation throughout the body. This is especially important if diabetes or heart disease has caused poor circulation in your body over time.

Stretching after exercise will aid in recovery from strenuous activity by relieving tension on muscles that were used during exercise when they need recovery time most! Consider a healthy snack to follow your successful workout!

Regular Exercise Improves Longevity

Exercise is good for you, regardless of age. It can help prevent further injury and keep seniors living at home and maintaining their independence. Strength training and aerobic exercise are great ways to improve your health, while balance exercises help prevent falls and fractures. Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce joint pain, like the knees or hips. Exercising regularly at any age is a win-win!

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