As a physical medicine and rehabilitation centre, we have often emphasized the importance of staying fit. There are myriads of reasons for it. It not only increases your stamina but also builds that essential muscle tone. Moreover, a healthy lifestyle reduces stiffness and pain in joints. In some cases, regular exercise has also shown to improve mood, reduce the symptoms of depression, and lengthen life.
It is for these reasons experts say that if you are above the age of 65, you should engage in mild to moderate physical activity every week—at least 150 minutes of it. On top of it, two times in seven days, you should practice muscle-strengthening exercises.
How to stay fit with limited mobility?
Exercising is all well and good when you have complete mobility. But when you have reduced to limited movement, most workout forms are out of your reach. So, how does a person above 65 stays fit when they can’t move their body freely?
While some exercises are off-limits for you, you can still stay healthy and fit with a few gentle activities. Whether you are in a wheelchair or just have limited range of motion due to injury or surgery, these are the ways you can look after your well-being:
- Exercise in the water.
Any form of aqua aerobics is an outstanding exercise for people who have reduced mobility because the water supports your weight. This lessens the strain on your joints and increases your movement. Start with aqua jogging and then slowly move on to swimming.
- Practice yoga.
Yoga has different forms of asanas tailored for specific motion and outcomes. So, even people in wheelchairs can perform at least some kind of yoga to develop their core muscles. Plus, yoga is great at increasing flexibility which can help improve mobility.
- Take a brisk walk.
Something as simple as a brisk walk is more than sufficient to keep people fit. If your reduced mobility doesn’t allow for long walks, take short ones two times a day. The goal is to walk frequently, even if it is for a few minutes. Slowly your muscles will become toned and active, and you can increase the walk time.
- Build your strength.
Weight training is another exercise people in wheelchairs, or limited mobility can use. The workout can build your upper body strength and help you maintain an overall fitness level.
The rule of thumb to staying fit when you have crossed 65 or can’t move around freely is never to push yourself too hard. Begin with baby steps. Don’t injure yourself further. When you have attained the necessary strength, increase the difficulty level of your workout regime. Also, remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, always.