Functional Fitness For Seniors

Keeping your body fit is important throughout your whole life, but if you find it difficult to do the activities you once did, then use these modified exercises to keep your body limber and strong.  Remember, if any of these exercises cause pain, please stop them immediately.

Fitness For Seniors

Wall Push Up: 

If the strain of a normal push-up is too much for you, try modifying it by using a wall.  Place your palms flat on a wall with either palm directly in front of either shoulder.  Stand far enough away so that your arms are completely straight while your palms are flat.  Then keep your body completely straight and lower yourself towards the wall until your elbow makes a 90 degree angle; push yourself back up to standing.  If this is too easy for you, perform the same movement but replace the wall with a sturdy chair.

Seated Dead Lift: 

Bending over can become more difficult with age, but using exercises to strengthen your back is important to keep your body in top shape.  If the stress of bending forward is too difficult for you, here is a modification for a dead lift.  This exercise will require a sturdy chair and some type of weight if you’d like, such as a can of food.  Seated tall in your chair with your feet flat on the ground and the weight in your hand, bend over as far as you can; ideally you’d like to be able to touch your toes, but only go as far as is comfortable.  Then, keep your back straight and think about using its muscles to pull yourself back up to sitting.  This exercise will strengthen your low back and help rid any unwanted pain.

Seated Side Bends: 

While you’re still sitting in that chair, go ahead and hold your weights or cans in your hands at your sides.  Now, just bend to your right and try and touch your weight to the floor, or just go as far as is comfortable.  Straighten back up and bend to the other side.  When you’re performing this motion, focus on using the muscles in the opposite side to pull your body back upright.  Lastly, try to keep your back from rounding or slouching so that you are working on all of your core as well as making sure those side muscles do most of the work.

Step Ups: 

Your power comes from your hips, but if keeping your balance while performing a squat is questionable try this exercise instead.  Use a step, stool, or chair that’s at a comfortable height for you to step up onto.  Stand in front of your step and bring your right leg up to stand on top of it.  Once both feet are together on the step, step back down and repeat with the opposite leg.  You might notice that you breathe a bit harder with this exercise than with the others; it’s a good form of cardio and strengthens your legs and hips at the same time.

If you haven’t quite reached the point to where you need to modify your exercises but are looking for a different way to get your strength training in, check out this site for reviews on home gym equipment that might suit your needs.Randi Upshaw is a Certified Athletic Trainer who loves health and fitness; she enjoys sharing her knowledge through her writing.  Like what she writes?  Check out

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