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What Exercises Can Be Dangerous for the Elderly?

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To maintain a healthy lifestyle in the golden years, seniors receiving at-home care in Naples should make sure to set aside time for regular exercise. However, even a healthy senior can run the risk of strain and injury if participating in physical activities that are inappropriate for an aging body. Encourage your senior loved one to exercise safely while avoiding some of these exercises.

Strenuous Exercises

Exercises that cause the heart to beat very rapidly, such as running or playing sports, can increase your loved one’s risk of developing blood clots. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found intense exercise poses a risk of seniors developing venous thrombosis, a condition that causes dangerous blood clots to form. If your loved one has heart problems, walking, swimming, or a light aerobics class can provide a good workout without overworking his or her heart.

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises include weightlifting, push-ups, sit-ups, and other resistance exercises. Doing these activities causes muscles to tense but not contract and can make blood pressure levels dangerously rise. Seniors with high blood pressure should avoid isometric exercises if their blood pressure is uncontrolled. Additionally, many people tend to hold their breath when lifting heavy weights, causing their blood pressure to spike. With the doctor’s approval, lifting light amounts while breathing steadily can help your loved one regain his or her strength while keeping blood pressure levels steady.

Exercises Done While Lying Down

Leg lifts, crunches, and bicycle crunches done lying flat on the ground can put too much pressure on the spine. Seniors with arthritis or osteoporosis risk pain and injury from doing these types of exercises and may especially be at risk when sitting up and bending forward. This move, also known as flexion, can strain the muscles and spine in the lower back. Standing crunches, side bends, and standing leg lifts provide the same benefits without harming the back.

Some Yoga Exercises

While light yoga can help increase your loved one’s flexibility and strengthen his or her muscles, many yoga classes can be aggressive or too strenuous. The activities in these classes can result in your loved one slipping discs in his or her back or experiencing joint problems. Bikram yoga poses additional risks due to the high levels of heat that can cause your loved one to overheat or dehydrate. If your loved one wants to try yoga, encourage him or her to join a beginner class specifically for older adults to reduce the risk of physical harm.

Though exercise is important, making sure your loved one stays safe during physical activity is even more crucial. For instance, if your loved one needs Parkinson’s care in Naples, having someone to assist him or her with mobility and exercise appropriate to his or her needs can help prevent falls or other accidents. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide variety of age-related ailments, keeping them safe during exercise and many other important daily tasks. For more information on how safe exercise can keep your loved one healthy and strong, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free consultation.