Strong leg muscles help older adults maintain their mobility so they can enjoy greater independence. Leg-strengthening exercises also prevent falls that can limit a senior’s abilities. These six activities provide stimulation to the leg muscles that can increase strength and flexibility.
1. Go for a Walk
Seniors can easily tailor a walking regimen to fit their current level of health. For most seniors, walking briskly for 20 minutes a day is enough to boost the cardiovascular system while also working out the legs. Seniors who are inactive should begin walking for shorter periods and gradually work up to longer daily walks.
If your senior loved one needs a companion to accompany him or her on daily walks, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same at-home care. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Try Chair Squats
Seniors can still fit squats into their workouts by using chairs for stability. Have your loved one sit on the chair and then stand up using only the leg muscles. For seniors who are new to squats, only a few may be possible at first. Over time, they should be able to work up to 10 at a time.
3. Enjoy a Swim
Water exercises take the pressure off sore joints that may be inflamed by arthritis. Seniors can enjoy swimming laps, or they can hold on to the pool wall for support as they kick their legs. Water aerobics is another way to enjoy a full body workout that also tones the legs.
4. Do Ankle Circles
The ankle joints are often overlooked during leg exercises. However, keeping them strong and flexible prevents sprained ankles and serious falls. Ankle circles are a great exercise for seniors to do before they get out of bed, especially for those who are managing arthritis. This exercise begins with a senior sitting down and stretching out one leg, then slowly rotating the ankle in circles.
5. Perform Calf Raises
The back of the lower leg plays a valuable role in helping seniors maintain their balance. Seniors can use chairs for stability or have caregivers provide support. Once they feel stable, seniors can slowly raise their bodies until they’re standing on the balls of their feet before lowering back down into the starting position.
Though maintaining an exercise regimen is important, it’s crucial to ensure seniors can perform their chosen exercises safely, especially if they have certain health conditions. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Colorado Springs elderly home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
6. Do Straight-Leg Raises
This is another chair exercise seniors can do when they find it difficult to perform exercises that require standing up. From a sitting position, your loved one should raise his or her leg up and straight out, and then lower it. This exercise strengthens the thighs and stretches the knees. To increase the intensity of this exercise, your parent can lie on the floor with one leg bent and lift the opposite leg.
Participating in these stimulating activities can increase leg strength. If other responsibilities keep you from beginning an exercise routine with your parent, consider hiring a home caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Colorado Springs Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. If you’re looking for high-quality home care services for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (719) 822-1229 today.