Bradford Bailey, founder of SeniorFit Atlanta, is sharing his expert fitness tips for seniors about strength training and physical wellness.
It is a well known fact that seniors and aging adults should walk on a regular basis. Similarly, most people are aware of the benefits of strengthening exercises. As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density. Resistance training conducted at least twice per week helps combat this loss. One of the most important but “underworked” muscles for seniors is the abdomen. Remember that no matter what activity that we partake in, having strong abdominal muscles help us in everything we do. More importantly for seniors, a strong abdominal region correlates to a stronger lower back, which ultimately protects the lower back region!
Consider these two simple abdominal movements that can be safely done from a stable chair. Remember to ask for assistance as needed.
Sit towards the front of a chair with hands placed across your chest. Lean back until your shoulder blades touch the chair. Return to sitting back to the “starting” upright position. This movement engages the entire abdominal region.
Sit towards the front of a chair. Lean back until your shoulder blades and upper back are resting on the chair. Maintain this position as you raise both knees towards the chest. Lower knees and place feet back on the floor.
Conduct 3 sets of 10-15 reps at least twice per week and you will gain strength in the all-important abdominal region.
Always keep your head above your chest. This will lessen the risk of feeling dizzy and will assist you in maintaining your overall balance.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be formal to be effective. Every step counts! So GET moving!
Bradford Bailey, BSEP