Are your adult living activities becoming laborious?  Do you feel as if there is nothing you can do and you are scared of losing your independence?  Well, you are not alone.  According to many studies, seniors fear losing their independence even more than death. By adding these top exercises to your daily routine, you can maintain and even improve your ability to keep your independence for longer.  Let’s investigate what they are.  

Strength Exercises

Strength exercises are when you exercise your muscles using an opposing force such as your own bodyweight, dumbbells, or resistance bands.  You’ve heard of the saying “use it or lose it”, right? This is a true statement in relation to your muscles too. By exercising our muscles, it keeps us from losing them which in turn helps us maintain the strength to perform our daily activities on our own.  It is also true that strength exercises help take pressure off the areas of our bodies that take the most impact from daily activities like walking. When we strengthen our leg muscles it works to support vital joint impact in the hips, knees, and ankles.

Balance Training

Balance training maintains and improves our proprioception.   Proprioception is a person's perception of spatial orientation and we use this each time we move.   A lack of proprioception leads many senior to fall.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Many of these injuries can lead to disabilities. You can see why balance training is crucial to maintaining your independence.

Endurance Training

Endurance training is any exercise or activity that increases your heart rate for an extended period of time.  As we age, we slow down and we tend to lose much of our endurance.  Endurance is important in our ability to perform our daily living activities such as standing to cook, cleaning our house, getting dressed, walking to get our mail, navigating downstairs to access laundry or storage areas, and playing with our grandkids amongst many other activities we do.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises work to elongate the muscles.  Years of repeated improper posture can lead to many muscle imbalances which can minimize one's range of motion. Stretching can be helpful in maintaining or improving the body's range of motion. The simple things we take for granted require a range of motion to perform.  More examples of this would include everyday tasks like bending over to tie our shoes or loading the dishwasher and reaching for the remote.  Also, uncomplicated movements like lifting our arms up to get our shirt on become much easier with a regime of stretching each day. Being able to perform these simple daily activities work to ward off needing others’ assistance.  

No matter what your health/fitness status is, you have the opportunity to make a difference in keeping your independence.  The choice to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine could make a lasting effect on the body that works to promote independent living.

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