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6 Exercises Aging Adults Should Avoid Doing

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Engaging in regular exercise is important for seniors. However, not every exercise is suitable for everyone. Some exercises increase the risk of pain and injuries, and they should be avoided at all costs. Here are six exercises seniors simply shouldn’t try. 

1. Leg Presses

The leg press machine is a fixture at every gym. When using this machine, individuals place their feet on a weighted platform, with their knees bent. They then press hard on the platform until their legs are straightened and repeat the exercise as necessary. The exercise helps leg muscles develop, which is important for seniors who want to increase their balance and muscle mass. However, these machines don’t offer support to the lower back. The upper body simply rests against a padded bench with no provisions for the lumbar spine. The lack of support can lead to lower back injuries, which can severely hinder an aging adult’s range of motion. 

Avoiding certain exercises is just one of the many ways older adults can maintain their health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home elderly care. Bethlehem, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Running

Older adults who are experienced runners can continue to run, as their bodies have adjusted to the impact. For seniors who are looking for new ways to get healthy, running isn’t a great choice. With each landing, the legs and knees are hit with a force equal to three times the individual’s body weight, which is simply too much impact for seniors who aren’t used to running. It can cause damage to the joints, which means it does more harm than good. 

3. Plyometric Exercises 

Jump training exercises enhance strength and power, and this type of workout was popularized thanks to fitness programs like CrossFit and High-Intensity Interval Training. When seniors attend a group exercise class, they might be tempted to try some depth jumps and box jumps. These exercises can easily go wrong, and they place a great deal of stress on the muscles and joints. Seniors who don’t have the necessary base muscle strength should avoid plyometric exercises. When attending exercise classes, seniors should ask instructors to provide alternative exercises. 

4. Conventional Sit-Ups

Like leg presses, conventional sit-ups place too much stress on the lower back and spine. This doesn’t mean seniors should avoid strengthening their core, as having strong abdominal muscles can increase balance and lower the risk of slips, falls, and injuries. Aging adults can swap seated sit-ups for standing core exercises. 

5. Toe Touches

Staying flexible is important for seniors. Stretching keeps the joints limber and mitigates symptoms related to arthritis. Toe touches can strain the back, which is especially true when seniors do them as the first step in the warm-up routine. If seniors want to do toe touches, they should do so in a seated position, at the end of their workout when their muscles are warm and limber. 

Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home elderly caregiver. Bethlehem seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.

6. Deep Squats

Seniors shouldn’t try to do deep knee exercises like squats and lunges without supervision. Many aging adults don’t perform these moves correctly, which can lead to knee injuries. If seniors want to get the benefits of these moves without the potential injuries, they should do partial squats.

Older adults may need assistance with certain exercises that can boost their overall health. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care agency. Bethlehem Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.