5 Exercises that May Be Too Dangerous for Seniors

5 Types of Exercise that Aren’t Safe for Older Adults

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While it’s important for aging adults to maintain active and balanced lifestyles, certain forms of exercise may have risks that far exceed their benefits. Putting too much stress on the joints, hyperextending the knees, and engaging in high-impact activities that increase the likelihood of injury are all things your elderly loved one should avoid. Depending on your loved one’s mobility or other health conditions, here are several exercises that may be too dangerous to participate in. 

1. Squats

Squats are an excellent strength training exercise that challenge and tone the largest muscles in the legs. Making the mistake of hyperextending at the knees could result in serious joint damage. The knees should never extend beyond the tips of the toes when in a bent position. If your loved one has difficulty with balance, making an effort to prevent hyperextension could prove more challenging than worthwhile. Your loved one can protect his or her knees and still maintain toned, healthy legs by power walking or doing leg lifts while lying down. 

Many seniors are able to safely enjoy numerous types of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Running

The risk of injuries from trips and falls increases significantly as a senior’s gait changes and differences in range of motion and overall mobility develop. Even seasoned runners may discover running as a regular form of exercise can become too taxing on the body over time. This high-energy, high-impact exercise also places a tremendous amount of stress on the joints and bones. However, your loved one can burn just as many calories and get all of the toning benefits of a good run by opting to power walk or jog at a moderate pace instead. 

3. Front Raises

Seniors who are working to maintain toned arms should avoid exercises that require them to lift weights above their heads. Front raises should always stop at the shoulders rather than going beyond the ears. Raising weights above shoulder height can cause impingement and increase the risk of rotator cuff injuries. 

Seniors who need help exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Columbia home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

4. Hip Rolls

 Rolling the hips around in a wide circle may seem harmless enough. In fact, many aerobics instructors encourage their students to perform hip rolls as part of their warmup routines. However, hip rolls can place a significant amount of stress on the lumbar spine, which can lead to lower back pain, pinched nerves, and a host of other issues. It’s far safer to warm the body up by marching in place, taking a brisk walk, or dancing to a favorite tune. 

5. Yoga

Yoga can be a highly beneficial form of exercise if a senior focuses on mastering basic positions that don’t place an exorbitant amount of strain on the joints. Aggressive yoga classes that encourage engaging in movements that push the joints beyond their natural range of motion can actually be detrimental. Your loved one should talk with a doctor before participating in heated yoga sessions that require working out in rooms with temperatures of 110 degrees or higher. Many of the same toning and stress-relieving benefits can be gained by practicing the slow, focused movements of tai chi instead, which poses a far lower risk of physical injury. 

Practicing tai chi, meditation, and other relaxation techniques may prevent or even reverse memory loss in some seniors with dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Columbia seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset. Call Assisting Hands Home Care today at 443-233-1245 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.