The Coronavirus 19 caused a lot of havoc and disruptions in our lives this year. Many of us took heed of advice from public health officials to stay home and isolate ourselves in order to protect ourselves, and others, from contracting the virus. Now that we are finding ourselves on the other side of the pandemic, we are slowly getting back to our regular routines. With all of the social distancing and isolating, our physical activities have decreased a lot. Getting back to exercising is a great way to get your mind and body back on track. Starting with strengthening your core is a great way to jump start your health and wellness routine because it will enhance your stability, and strength.
Our core muscles comprise of the abdominals, lower back, glutes, hips, and pelvic floor muscles. Balancing and upholding your spine and pelvis are just two of the many important responsibilities of your core muscles. They have an impact on your posture, stability, balance, and overall movement.
A strong core is an essential part of maintaining your strength as you age and helps reduce the risk for falls. It also aids in alleviating or preventing lower back pain. In addition to that, a stronger core allows for more efficient movement; this means more strength with less stress on joints.
Let's take a look at the most important core exercises for seniors.
Benefits of Core Exercises for Seniors
While there are many benefits to exercising, they're not all about getting fit. Exercise strengthens your muscles and bones which can help with maintaining balance as you age or improves joint mobility for those who suffer from arthritis or other chronic conditions. In general, exercise has been proven to slow down the aging process and can improve core strength which improves stamina, stability, coordination as well as posture.
Adding core strengthening exercises is crucial if you want a higher quality of life at a time when your body might not work the same way it used to. Here are a few of the many benefits of adding core exercises to your daily regimen.
5 Best Core Exercises for Seniors
The best thing about core exercises is that you don't need to visit a fancy gym or purchase expensive equipment. Do you know that you can easily do your daily workout from the comfort of your own house? For this, you would just need some floor space and an exercise mat.
Here are some of the most effective core exercises for seniors
1. Side Bends
Side bends exercise helps to increase the strength and flexibility of your lower back and abdominals. It also helps to improve posture and support the spine. To do the side bends:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
- Begin tilting to the right side, bringing your fingers closer to your knee on the same side
- Be sure that you continue facing forward rather than twisting to left or right
- Return back up straight then tilt towards left
- Repeat the process for a few sets before returning back upright again
Modification: You can do the same exercise in a seated position as well.
2. The Superman
This exercise strengthens your lower and upper back and also helps improve stability. To perform the superman exercise
- Lie on the ground with your facedown and arms extended in front of you.
- Lift your head, left arm, and right leg about 2 inches off of the floor for 30 seconds.
- Then switch to lifting up your right arm and left leg in an alternating fashion.
- Continue to alternate as long as desired!
3. The Bridge
The bridge exercise strengthens your gluteus muscles and hamstrings - which are the main muscles that make up your posterior chain. To perform the bridge exercise you would need to:
- Lie straight on your back with bent knees and feet flat against the ground.
- Tighten your core, raising hips until a straight line is formed between your chest and knee - do not arch or curl inwards
- Hold for 30 seconds before gently lowering yourself down again.
4. Dead Bug
The dead bug exercise is a great way to strengthen your core, spine, and back muscles. It also improves your posture and helps prevent or relieve back pains. To perform the dead bug exercise:
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
- Now, pull your belly button in and push your back towards the ground.
- Lift your right leg up about 5 inches off the floor so your right shin is parallel to the ground.
- Hold there for 3 counts and then lower your right foot to the floor
- Repeat the same with your left leg.
- You can also try lifting both your legs at once for an additional challenge.
The plank exercise strengthens your spine and abdominal muscles, which results in a strong posture as the muscles grow in strength. Good posture means that you are keeping your bones strong and aligned. To do planks
- Lie on the ground with your facedown
- Keep your forearms pressed into the floor
- Keep your back straight, while squeezing your abdominals, glutes, and quad muscles to push yourself up and off the floor
- Keep pressing into your forearms so that your lower back and shoulder blades do not drop down.
- Hold the position for 15-20 seconds, then lower your body.
Yoga is also an effective way to strengthen your core muscles and improve balance and stability.