Seniors who experience back pain do not have to miss out on their favorite activities or live a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, aging seniors can follow through with basic, light exercises to maintain and support back flexibility.
Spinal Health for Seniors
Maintaining a flexible spine is critical for seniors because of how your back affects and influences mobility. Seniors are vulnerable to various kinds of injuries, which is why following through with regular exercise that focuses on spinal health and core strength is vital for living an active, healthy lifestyle.
Before engaging in a new workout or exercise routine, make sure to speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner to ensure that you are at risk for injury. If your primary physician believes that you should move forward with a new exercise program, consider the following activities that focus on strengthening your back and creating a solid core.
Pre-Work Out Tips
To prevent soreness and potential injuries, consider the following pre-workout tips that help loosen up tight muscles and create an environment that is conducive to exercise:
- Spend 15 to 20 minutes warming up before any physical activity or exercise
- If you experience pain while performing a routine, stop immediately and move on to a different activity
- Use your arms when bending from the waist and make sure to pick up objects with your knees, not your back
If you are brand new to working out, give yourself ample time to adjust to your routine. While you should focus on exercising at least three to four times per week, you do not want to overwhelm your system or become frustrated by trying to accomplish too much, too soon.
When developing a new exercise routine, choose a few of the following activities to see what type of effect they have on strengthening your back and helping you remain mobile.
Great for improving posture and personal balance, getting out of bed or standing up from a chair can become easier when your abdominal muscles are actively supported.
Straight Leg Raises
This activity help strengthens your abdominal and hip flexor muscles, which is perfect for seniors who have difficulty getting out of bed or maintaining a healthy posture.
Perform extensions to stretch out and loosen the lower or mid area back muscles. Extensions are particularly useful for alleviating chronic pain caused by postural strain, making it easier to sit and stand up straight.
To reduce back tension, try sitting on the floor with your feet laid out in front of you. From this position, gradually lift one of your legs off the ground, holding it about two to three inches from the floor. Slowly return to your normal position and repeat the same motion on your opposite leg. If you can, try to complete this activity at least ten times per leg.
Another great leg strengthening exercise involves balancing your weight on a sturdy piece of furniture. Slowly bend your knees until they become parallel to your hips and repeat this motion at least ten times on each side.
Like back extensions, this exercise focuses on extending the lower back and hip muscles to reduce pain. Leg extensions are also useful for supporting a healthy pelvis and strong base.
Cat and Camel
Meant for loosening up lower and mid back muscles, cat and camel stretches are excellent for reducing stiffness, soreness, and chronic back pain.
These exercises focus on strengthening your hip extensors, hamstrings, and core muscles, allowing you to stand up easier, as well as for preventing slip and fall accidents.
If your back is consistently sore after short walks, pelvic tilts can help stretch out lower back and hip muscles.
Strength and stabilization exercises help create a healthy, strong spine and are excellent for reducing chronic back pain. Some examples of this activity include sitting on an exercise ball with your knees planted flat on the ground. At this point, try to slowly raise one of your arms over your head and maintain this position for three seconds. Then, slowly lower your arm and repeat on the opposite side.
Try to alternate from one arm to the other until you have completed three sets of ten repetitions. If you are feeling confident and would like to add more to your routine, try to lift one leg in the air at the same time.
Going for a 15 to 30-minute walk each day is great for your entire body, as well as for strengthening back muscles.
The Staff at Hearthstone Can Help Your Senior Loved One Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
If your senior loved one is currently looking for an assisted or independent living community, contact the staff at Hearthstone of Beaverton or Hearthstone at Murrayhill to schedule a tour of our communities.
We offer a variety of daily health and fitness activities that promote active lifestyles, as well as support mobility. You can learn more about our approach to personal health, the kind of health services we offer and meet our staff by scheduling a tour for Hearthstone of Beaverton and Hearthstone at Murrayhill.
We provide direct access to some medical specialists and community staff members that are available Monday through Sunday, day and night.
Schedule a tour today by calling Hearthstone of Beaverton at 503-641-0911 or by visiting us at:
12520 SW Hart Road
Beaverton, OR 97008
You can also check out our facilities at Hearthstone at Murrayhill. You can schedule a tour or ask any initial questions you may have by calling 503-520-0911.
We are located at:
10880 SW Davies Rd
Beaverton, OR 97008
If you happen to be in the area, please stop by!