The Best Exercises to Help Senior Citizens Relax

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In this article the Nomenial team speak about the best exercises to help senior citizens relax. Stress is not our exclusive possession. We can think that our senior citizens, now away from work and frenetic routine, enjoy absolute tranquility. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like everyone else, they too have worries and fears that create anxiety. The presence of a carer can really help in this moment and here we can definitively help you to find a carer near you.

Among the most common are the fear of abandonment by family members, anguish due to lack of autonomy and fear of being a burden, their own concern for the welfare of their loved ones, the health problems caused by the diseases they suffer and the fear of death.

To this we must add that they do not usually show the emotions and feelings that torment them, but rather, not wanting to worry us, they hide them for the intimacy of their thoughts.

Since physical well-being is linked to emotional health and senior citizens deserve to enjoy both fields in the best conditions, in this entry we propose various relaxation exercises for the older adult of the home.

However, for the activity to be as satisfactory as it is entertaining, there must be two athletes who sign up for these exercises. This is what happens in Nomenial families, where the caregiver and the senior person form the best team.

The best exercises to help the older adult relax: Breathing exercises

We breathe involuntarily without paying attention to this function, but if we stop to feel it, we will get a lot of information about how our body is doing.

Senior citizens can achieve, through breathing, benefits such as reducing the symptoms of anxiety or even relieving physical pain. Also, in addition to relaxing, they will increase their lung capacity and restore the function of the diaphragm.

We propose two effective breathing exercises (as a brief note, remember to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth):

Reclining Breathing

1. Sitting in an armchair with his back supported by the backrest.

2. We perform the movement to breathe: breathe in by filling the chest with air and breathe out by squeezing the abdomen tightly. (What moves should be the abdomen and not the thorax).

3. Repeat 5 times.

4. Then continue with the repetitions but placing your hands on top of the abdomen to feel it grow and decrease.

5. Take 1 minute rest to balance your breathing and repeat twice more.

Standing Breathing

1. Standing, with legs slightly apart.

2. Place your hands on your abdomen.

3. Breathe in feeling that the navel is going in and push with the abdomen as you breathe out.

4. Perform 5 repetitions.

5. In the last repetition, inhale and exhale deeply.

Physical Exercise:

Through physical exercise, in addition to relieving the physical symptoms of many diseases and joint pain, our family member will increase his or her levels of noradrenaline and serotonin, which will free his or her mind from anxiety and stress and increase his or her well-being.

These two exercises will become his favorites:

Standing on a chair

1. Take a chair and put it next to you.

2. Rest the arm closest to the chair on the back of the chair.

3. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.

4. Open your eyes and turn your head very gently back and forth. (The chin should be towards the shoulder).

5. Perform 10 repetitions (each movement counts as one).

6. Bring your ear to the shoulder on that side. For example, bring your right ear closer to your right shoulder. In the same way towards the other shoulder.

7. Perform 10 repetitions.

8. Now put your attention on your feet: put all your weight on your heels and gently lift your toes (only your toes, leaving the sole fixed to the floor).

9. Do 10 repetitions.

10. Lift the heel of one leg (with the other leg fixed to the floor and the hand continuing to rest on the chair so as not to lose your balance).

11. Do it first with one heel and then with the other, alternating.

12. Perform 10 repetitions.

The best exercises to help the older adult relax: Sitting

1. Sit on a chair and fix your back on the backrest.

2. Rest your elbows on your legs and make a fist.

3. Make circles with your wrists. (First towards one direction and then the other).

4. Do it for 5 minutes. (Accompany it with a deep breath).

5. Rest your fists on your legs.

6. Open and close your fingers.

7. Do it during 5 minutes. (Maintain deep and relaxed breathing).

8. Place your arms in front of you, forming a 90º angle with the trunk of your body.

9. Extend the palm of your hands.

10. Make the gesture of pushing forward (without detaching the back from the backrest).

11. We withdraw our arms to the sides, keeping them up but as if we no longer wanted to push.

12. Repeat this process for 10 times.

Yoga for the seniors

Our seniors are also following the trends. We would be surprised if we could see their flexibility in yoga or pilates.

Through these two exercises they will be able to demonstrate it, at the same time that they improve their balance and their circulatory system:

The best exercises to help the older adults relax. Upper Limbs

1. Sitting on a chair. It is important that your feet touch the ground.

2. Raise your arms up and interlock your hands.

3. Make a fretboard movement (back and forth).

4. Repeat 5 times.

5. Place both hands interlaced behind your head (not on the back of the neck, but in the middle of your head).

6. Press downwards (chin moves towards the chest). It is important not to make force, but to drop by itself the weight of the head.

7. You will notice that it stretches upwards from the middle of the spine.

8. Rest like this for a few minutes.

9. Return to the initial position of the hands behind the head and repeat the exercise 3 times.

The best exercises to help the older adults relax: Lower Limbs

1. Sit in a chair.

2. Place your feet fixed to the floor and your legs forming 90º.

3. Bring one leg towards the chest, holding it with the help of your arms.

4. Move your foot in circles.

5. Make circles for 30 seconds.

6. After one leg, repeat with the other leg.

7. Repeat the exercise 5 times.

Improve posture

The vertebral musculature is the pillar that supports our body. To strengthen it and alleviate the frequent lower back pain that our older relatives feel, we propose two beneficial exercises to improve your posture:

Axis in hip

1. Sit in a chair with your legs forming a 90º angle.

2. Without bending your back, throw your trunk forward (as if you wanted to touch your knees with your face). We simulate the hip as an axis.

3. Place one hand on the forehead, alternating both hands.

4. Repeat it twice.

5. Afterwards, also conjugate it with the breath. We breathe in when we go down and breathe out when we go up.

6. Repeat it 5 times.

Lateral flexions

Although the title of this exercise sounds like a gymnastics exercise, our seniors should not be deterred – even if they are active and motivated, they would like to reach their age!

So, let’s go with it!

1. Sit in a chair.

2. Drop your arms at your side.

3. Raise one arm up to the body (while the other arm is fixed in the previous position).

4. Direct the arm to the side opposite the body, so that it points to the wall and then to the ceiling.

5. Alternate the same movement with the other arm.

6. Repeat 5 times.

The best exercises to help the older adults relax: Occupational Therapy

The purpose of occupational therapy is to maintain and even increase the autonomy of older people.

One of the characteristics of this therapy is that it tends to be group therapy, so that senior citizens are comfortable and understood among people of the same age and with the same difficulties (and also, of course, such virtues).

Likewise, therapy is a moment of fun and escape in which senior citizens attends, laughs, exercises, communicates and increases his good mood.

In this time of pandemic, they won’t be able to do it in a group, but we can change the presence of the companions for ours and become all of them. The family and caregiver can sit at the dining room table and begin therapy.

What specific therapy? We propose an exercise that we and senior citizens of the Nomenial families are passionate about:

Art Therapy

The term itself is already so suggestive that just reading or listening to it transports us to a relaxed atmosphere of slow music and quiet movements.

Art Therapy is a technique to relax and explore ourselves through art. Among its most ardent fans are the seniors. And if ours is not yet known, it will soon become part of them.

The combination of art and occupational therapy allows older people to improve their cognitive abilities, their emotions and their quality of life. For this reason, it is an effective way of dealing with age-related disorders such as dementia, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and physical diseases such as arthritis or osteoarthritis.

To carry out our art therapy session we only need watercolors, brushes and some paper. If we want to feel, together with our eldest, in a renowned painting studio, we can buy some plates and an easel. However, with a sheet of paper, you can make a lot of money out of your artistic talent!

If senior citizens have never practiced it, a good way to start in art therapy is by making a rainbow. To build it, we will mix the different colors and then you will be able to see what tones are created according to each combination of colors.

The next step is to ask them what they would like to paint and let the imagination work. They can be fruits and create a fabulous still life like those of the virtuoso Luis Meléndez, landscapes from their childhood and celebrate a tribute to good memories or even move the brush with an abstract pretension bringing out their most avant-garde side.

To conclude, we hope that these exercises for relaxation in the older adults and senior citizens will be very useful to you and your family and help you improve your health. Do not forget that both physical and mental exercise is of vital importance to achieve this.