Maintaining muscle strength can prevent injuries, and it allows seniors to continue living active lifestyles. Though your senior loved one may not be able to exercise vigorously anymore, there are still ways to keep his or her legs strong. Encourage your loved one to use these six methods to continue building leg strength.
1. Enjoy Some Time in the Pool
Swimming is one of the best exercises for the elderly because it doesn’t put a lot of strain on the joints. Moving limbs in the water builds up muscle. Your loved one can increase his or her leg strength by walking back and forth in waist-high water. If possible, your parent can try more vigorous swimming techniques, such as the freestyle leg kick or the front crawl.
Depending on your loved one’s level of mobility, he or she may require assistance with exercising and performing daily tasks. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Dallas elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
2. Do Ankle Circles in a Chair
Seniors can strengthen their leg muscles without standing up. Simple ankle circles can be done sitting down, and they increase strength in the quadriceps. Your loved one can do ankle circles by lifting one leg off the floor and using the ankle to draw a tiny circle in the air five times before repeating with the other leg.
3. Try Leg Extensions
Another useful chair exercise is chair leg extensions. Your loved one can start by sitting in a chair with his or her legs bent at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Ask your loved one to slowly straighten one leg at a time until it’s horizontal, hold it for three seconds, then lower it.
4. Lift Some Weights
If your loved one doesn’t have any challenging health problems, encourage him or her to start a weightlifting program and work with a personal trainer who can create a routine that focuses on the legs. Using weights and weight machines for exercises such as squats and leg curls is one of the most effective ways to increase leg strength.
If your loved one has mobility challenges or other health issues that make following an exercise routine difficult, he or she may benefit from the assistance of a dedicated caregiver. For many seniors in Dallas, TX, 24-hour care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
5. Go for a Walk
Seniors who aren’t capable of strenuous exercise can strengthen their legs by walking. Encourage your loved one to start with 10 minutes of walking a day and then gradually increase it to a half hour. Walking 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace can do wonders for the leg muscles. It also increases lung capacity and builds cardio endurance.
6. Climb Up & Down a Step
This simple exercise helps seniors increase their balance, leg strength, and coordination. Using a six-inch-high step or sturdy box, your loved one should slowly step up onto it with one leg, balance for three seconds on that leg, then slowly lower back down. Your loved one can alternate legs until he or she feels tired. Overall safety is most important, so remind your parent to hold on to something if necessary to prevent falls.
If your parent needs assistance with exercise and other basic tasks of daily living, help is just a phone call away. Dallas senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Call Home Care Assistance at (214) 363-3400 to hire a dedicated caregiver for your loved one.