Exercises for Seniors in Singapore for Sharper Well-Being

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Author
Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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An active lifestyle among seniors brings many health benefits beyond independence in daily activities. It improves balance, coordination, strength, and overall health for sharper well-being, among other things.

A study reports that a balance between physical activity and rest leads to healthy ageing among Singapore’s senior community by slowing age-related declines in physical function. Moreover, it reduces the risk of dementia and depression and effectively promotes fall prevention.

Fun middle-aged women walking the street

Under the category of physical activity is exercise. The study further elaborates that exercise is essential for older adults above 65 for many reasons. In this article, we’ll discover why regular exercise for seniors matters and explore effective exercises and forms of light-intensity physical activity for a more active lifestyle.

Exercise for Elderly Singapore

Regular exercise not only helps improve physical fitness but also boosts mental health and reduces the risk of chronic conditions. As we age, it’s essential to incorporate a variety of them into our daily routines to target different aspects of fitness, such as aerobic exercise, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises.

Start integrating simple exercises, such as walking, jogging, or stretching, before establishing an exercise routine and ensuring consistency. Gradually include more challenging activities like climbing stairs to build strength and endurance.

Group exercise sessions add a social component to this regimen, making fitness more enjoyable and encouraging regular participation. If you have an elderly family member under the services of assisted living, they can benefit from the same activities. These group sessions promote physical health while also fostering a sense of community among residents.

Why Exercise Regimen Matters for Seniors

Exercise is particularly important for seniors because it helps maintain muscle density, bone mass, and joint flexibility, thus preventing falls when we age. Regular physical activity also improves cardiovascular health, blood circulation, and overall physical condition, promoting active ageing.

Even old folks home in Singapore make sure the elderly under their care stay active. A senior group home in Singapore like Retire Genie provides activities to keep residents physically engaged through their active living plans without compromising comfort.

When done consistently, exercise provides long-term benefits and makes activities of daily living (ADLs) easy to perform. This includes:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Bath and toileting
  • Climbing stairs
  • Moving around the house and light cleaning
  • Going in and out of bed

Best Aerobic Exercises for Seniors

Aerobic exercises, also known as “cardio,” are activities that improve heart health and endurance. Some of the best aerobic exercises for seniors include the following:

Brisk walking

Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere and at any time. Despite being a light activity, it provides numerous health benefits, such as aiding in weight management, boosting mood, and helping you stay active.

Older adult walking alone

To maximize these benefits, aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week, or break it up into short intervals throughout the day. Maintain good posture, wear comfortable shoes, and stay hydrated during this activity.

Swimming

Just like brisk walking, swimming is an excellent gentle exercise that works up all the major muscle groups while being easy on the joints. This activity is particularly beneficial for leg muscles, providing a thorough workout without the high-impact stress associated with land-based exercises. The buoyancy of water also reduces the chance of injury.

Senior in the water with a swimming board

Many seniors and older adults enjoy swimming laps or participating in water aerobics classes, as these activities help strengthen muscles and promote flexibility.

Cycling

Cycling promotes leg strength, similar to walking and swimming. Whether done indoors or on a stationary bike, this activity is best for engaging the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. This versatility makes it a convenient and effective option for people of all fitness levels, including older adults.

Best Strength Training Exercises for Seniors

Workouts like sit-ups, squats, lunges, and resistance band exercises can help maintain and improve muscle mass, which can decline with age. Below are several strength training exercises applicable to seniors.

Seniors engaging in arm strength training

Bodyweight exercise

Exercises done using your body weight are ideal for seniors because they are low-impact, easily adjustable to different fitness levels, and do not require special equipment. They help one maintain independence eventually.

For instance, squats, which mimic the motion of sitting and standing, make it easier to get in and out of chairs. And push-ups against a wall or countertop help improve upper body strength, aiding in daily activities like lifting objects.

Resistance band exercise

Resistance bands are inexpensive and easy to use, making them a great option for seniors who want to strength train at home. It helps build and tone muscles without the need for heavy weights.

Exercises such as bicep curls, seated rows, and leg presses can be performed with resistance bands to enhance upper and lower body strength for seniors. They also improve grip strength, which is essential for everyday tasks like opening medicine lids or jars.

Light weight training

Using light weights or dumbbells can help improve strength and bone density. Start with light weights and gradually increase the intensity as you get stronger. Increased upper body strength from exercises like chest presses can make tasks like reaching for items on high shelves more manageable and less strenuous.

Best Flexibility Exercises for Seniors

Flexibility is critical in maintaining range of motion and ensuring we can still manage to walk and stand as we age. Below are some of the best flexibility exercises for seniors.

Stretching

This should be done daily, especially after a workout. Focus on major muscle groups like the legs, hips, and shoulders. Examples include:

  • Quadriceps Stretch: Standing and pulling one foot towards the buttocks.
  • Hip Flexor Stretch: Lunging forward with one foot while keeping the other knee bent.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Bringing one arm across the chest and gently pulling it with the other arm.

Yoga

This targets more holistically, before the physical and mental well-being. Stretching, balance, and strength training all in one, many seniors enjoy the comfort and wellness yoga brings.

Improved flexibility from yoga poses such as the Forward Fold or Seated Twist can make daily activities like tying shoelaces easier and more comfortable for seniors.

Tai chi

Tai chi is a gentle form of that involves a series of slow, flowing movements. It’s great for improving balance, flexibility, and mental focus as well.

Seniors often find this particularly beneficial as it enhances stability and coordination, making activities like walking, standing, and navigating obstacles easier and safer.

Best Balance Exercises for Seniors

Below are balance exercises for seniors that help reduce the risk of falls and other injuries.

Standing on one leg

From a standing position, lift one leg up while holding onto a chair or wall for support. As you get stronger, try doing it without support. This exercise enhances stability, making activities like climbing stairs safer and more effortless.

Heel-to-toe walking

Walk in a straight line, placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the toes of the other foot. This challenges your balance and coordination, strengthening the muscles in your feet, ankles, and legs.

Tips for Building a Comprehensive Exercise Plan

To create an effective exercise plan, it’s important to incorporate that target different aspects of fitness. Here are some exercise recommendations for building a comprehensive plan:

  • Start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
  • Include strength training at least two days per week.
  • Incorporate flexibility into your daily routine.
  • Always hydrate and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop exercising and consult with your doctor.

Why you should let your senior loved ones attend Retire Genie for the exercise activities

Regular exercise is essential for seniors in Singapore to maintain their health, independence, and overall well-being. Having the activities above in their daily routines improves their physical fitness and prevents risks of chronic conditions.

If you have a senior loved one who could benefit from these activities, consider enrolling them in a program Retire Genie offers, where they can enjoy a supportive and engaging environment while staying active and healthy.

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