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Seniors doing chair yoga.

The Best Exercises for Seniors

At South Bellevue Chiropractic & Massage, we love welcoming patients of all walks of life, especially our beloved seniors! In fact, helping older patients feel better and continue to enjoy moving freely and participating in the activities they love is one of our favorite parts about doing what we do.

As your partner in health, we want to ensure you stay active for years to come. After all, activity equals independence! One of the best ways to do that is to exercise regularly.

Here are a few of the best exercises for seniors.

Resistance bands. You’ve probably seen or used resistance bands at some point during your life. They’re long, rubbery, and stretchy, with different levels of resistance for whatever kind of workout you’re seeking. You can use resistance bands from the comfort of your own home and to work on strengthening various body parts including the core, which is critical for maintaining good balance and posture as you age.

Chair yoga. This low-impact exercise involves the same movements you’d find in a typical yoga class but modified to take place in a seated position. This means it’s more accessible for people of all ages, and is less stress on arthritic bones, muscles, and joints. Ask your local yoga studio if they offer classes or discover beginner videos on YouTube.

Water aerobics. Growing in popularity now more than ever, water aerobics offers people the ability to get a full body workout without the added stress on their joints due to buoyancy. In the water, you can work on improving strength, flexibility, and even balance. If you have a pool or a local gym with a pool, try running on the spot in the shallow end, or hanging onto the side of the pool while you extend your legs backwards and kick.

Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor’s office visits, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Back pain can be due to arthritis, carrying around extra weight, poor posture, and even physiological stress. In fact, the ACA states that most cases of back pain are mechanical, meaning the pain is not due to infection, fracture, or other serious issues. It’s not as common that back pain is the result of internal problems such as kidney stones or blood clots.

This means that preventing or treating back pain at home may be a viable option in many cases. More than that, one of the most effective ways to avoid back pain altogether, especially as we age, is to keep our postural muscles strong and our spine supple, and continue to move in supported ways. All of this can be done with simple stretching. Be sue to check with your doctor or physical therapist before you do these stretches or if you are currently having back pain.

Not only will a few simple stretches help you treat back pain at home, but they can also help you avoid pain in the future. Our muscles become shorter and lose their elasticity as we age, and avoiding movement only exacerbates these issues, making our muscles weaker and often causing pain. By stretching our backs and chests and keeping our shoulder joints and the joints in our back moving, we can avoid pain, improve posture and range of motion, and maintain a higher quality of life.

Have other questions about exercise? We’d be happy to answer them at your next chiropractic appointment. Contact us today to book a visit. (425) 614-0680

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