Our bodies continue to change as we age, and some of these changes can cause poor posture and back pain.Seniors who experience such changes in their bodies can do simple exercises to mitigate bad posture and joint pain.
Benefits of good posture for seniors include improved health, better mobility, fall prevention, improved fitness, and a better mind-body connection. Achieving proper posture may require training and exercises, such as strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance exercises. These exercises can improve overall health and fitness for seniors, reducing pain and promoting overall well-being.
Why Seniors Face Challenges Maintaining Posture
Seniors can face challenges in maintaining posture due to a number of reasons including musculoskeletal changes which reduce the flexibility of their muscles, decreased physical activity and chronic health conditions.
Poor posture can cause a range of problems, including chronic pain. When seniors slouch, their spine takes on the extra strain, leading to inflammation over time, which can cause aching pain in their neck, shoulders, and lower back.
Why Having Good Posture Is Important For Seniors
Bad posture not only puts a strain on back muscles but also increases the risk of falling and injury, which can interfere with a senior’s mobility. Improving posture can help them look and feel better, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem. That's why posture workouts for seniors are crucial.
Having proper form will result in a number of benefits such as improved balance and movement. It will reduce the risk of falls and in the long run keep core muscles working.
Easy Posture Exercises for Seniors
With a few regular exercises, seniors can improve their posture and as a result improve their quality of life. Of course talking to your healthcare professional is always recommended before starting any new activities, to ensure they are suited for you.
1. Spine Extensions
Performing spine extensions can assist in addressing poor posture by aligning the spine in a neutral position while drawing the shoulders and chin backward. This exercise aids in enhancing chest flexibility, which in turn enhances breathing and lung function.
The exercise would begin by you sitting with your arms at your sides. Next, slowly try to sit as tall as possible while inhaling. You can then exhale and relax. You can do this many times as you want but the recommended reps are 10.
If you experience any sort of pain or discomfort, you can reduce the amount of breath you inhale, this way you will perform the exercise within your body’s tolerable range.
2. Wall Tilts
Wall tilts help with lower back posture. To perform this exercise, stand in a comfortable position with your back against a wall, while keeping your feet flat and shoulder-width apart with slightly unlocked knees. Next, place one hand behind your back and press it against the wall, flattening your lower back. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat this movement 10 times.
As a senior who is just starting out you might feel some tension in your abdominal muscles but it will go away as you work out regularly.
3. Shoulder Blade Squeezes
Performing shoulder blade squeezes can assist in maintaining a comfortable and neutral position of the spine, which is essential for correcting poor posture. This exercise helps bring your shoulders below your ears, reducing strain on your neck and upper back.
To begin this exercise, stand with your arms at your sides and ensure your spine and pelvis are in a neutral position. Next, pull your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for a few seconds before relaxing and returning to your starting position. Repeat the exercise for 10 repetitions.
Shoulder Blade Squeezes can mitigate rounded shoulders and give your shoulders a proper position.
While performing shoulder blade squeezes it is important to work at a gentle pace and avoid making sudden jerky movements or putting extra strain on your muscles.
4. Shoulder Circles
Shoulder circles are an effective exercise for improving shoulder and rib cage flexibility while also bringing your spine into a straight, neutral position.
To perform the exercise, sit in a chair with your back straight. Slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears as if you were trying to touch them. Then, lower your shoulders back down. Repeat this circular motion for ten repetitions to complete one set of shoulder circles. This exercise can help alleviate tension in your upper body and promote good posture.
As a general rule of thumb start with small circles and avoid overexertion, especially if you have a history of shoulder or neck injuries.
You can also practice these under the supervision of a physiotherapist or professional trainer in the gym.
How Good Posture Helps In Fall Prevention
These exercises for seniors can be great for posture corrections as well as fall prevention. With regular exercise, seniors can build muscle memory to have a proper posture which will help distribute their weight evenly and keep their center of gravity aligned with the base of their support, thus reducing the risk of losing balance and falling.
Seniors working out to improve their posture can use assistive devices to prevent falls and they can also use medical alert systems to keep their independence while reducing the risk of injuries in case of a fall. At Northwood Intouch, we provide the best medical alert systems in Canada.
By practicing good posture and following these tips, seniors can reduce the risk of falls, especially as they age. The above-mentioned exercises if done regularly can be a great way to work muscle groups that help your posture.
However, it is essential to discuss posture exercises and fall prevention with your healthcare provider, who can help you identify and address any risk factors that may increase with the passage of time.
For more information on senior care give us a call at +1 (902) 492-3346.