Around a quarter of Singapore’s population will be aged 65 and over by 2030. As we age, it’s important to find ways to keep our bodies and minds active and healthy. While you can participate in group exercises for the elderly in Singapore, some seniors would prefer to begin their workout journey in the comfort of their homes. We’ve curated 4 elderly-friendly workout videos to follow along. Read on and find out more!
Ageing in place is now widely seen in Singapore as the most ideal way to grow old. This means being able to continue staying in one’s own home, live independently, and participate actively as a member of your local community even as you age. Of course, staying fit and healthy is essential to one’s ability to age in place as this minimises the chances of aging-related health complications. It’s also important to make sure you enjoy what you’re doing to stay fit and healthy as it’s counterproductive to force yourself to do something you’re not inclined towards. In this Homage guide, you’ll find that we’ve curated a selection of elder-friendly workout videos that you can use to spice up your fitness journey even as you age!
Why is it important for the elderly to exercise and stay active?
Your senior loved ones or yourself might feel that there’s no need to stay too active as they find relaxation in retirement. There are, however, numerous benefits to staying active for seniors which will allow them to better enjoy their golden years for longer and with higher quality of life.
Here are some of them:
1. Reduce your risk of disease
Regular exercise helps to strengthen seniors’ bodily constitutions and keeps them from falling sick easily. More importantly, it can also serve to ward off chronic conditions and diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many types of cancer, depression and anxiety, and dementia.
2. Maintain bone density
Exercising is important for building bone strength when we’re young and essential to maintaining bone strength as we age. Since bone is a living tissue, it responds to forces acting upon it. Regular exercise, therefore, prompts your bone to adapt by growing denser.
3. Improves mood
As numerous studies over the years have suggested, exercise can help improve our moods and lift our spirits by promoting the release of a whole host of ‘feel good’ chemicals in our bodies, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.
4. Allows you to live independently
Intuitively, we would also know that regular exercise is important for maintaining one’s strength, flexibility, and stamina so that we can remain independent in our golden years. In fact, a study has also shown that long-term physical activity is associated with the postponement of disability and independent living for seniors.
Tips for seniors who are new to working out
If you’re new to exercising regularly, here are some tips that can help you to begin your new workout routine safely.
1. Drink plenty of water
It’s important to stay hydrated so remember to bring along a bottle of water to wherever you’re exercising. Always ensure that your thirst is comfortably satiated before continuing on with your exercise.
2. Eat before you exercise
Make sure that you’ve got the energy before you start moving your body! Always make sure to eat before you exercise so you don’t unnecessarily tire yourself out and that your body has the energy for you to have a fruitful workout.
3. Warm up and cool down before and after exercising
To avoid straining your muscles, cramps, and other injuries, it’s important to warm up and cool down before and after exercising. There are plenty of stretching exercises online that you can refer to.
4. Wear the right clothes
Of course, to make sure that you can move freely in comfort, wear suitable clothes that aren’t too tight and are breathable enough for you to exercise in without overheating.
5. If needed, have someone accompany you
If you’d like more reassurance or just want to play it safe, there’s no harm in having someone accompany you during your exercise as well. In fact, it could even be a fun bonding session for you and your loved ones!
4 videos to try for your next workout
While traditional group workouts near your nearest community club may be too intense for those new to working out, there are a multitude of home workouts available for you to try. Check out 4 workout videos that can help you to stretch your muscles, build functional strength, and have fun with your family:
1. 20 Mins of Chair-Based Exercises for Knee Arthritis
Seniors with arthritis especially in the knees, may find it a challenge to exercise regularly. In this video, Rachel, a certified Pilates Instructor with decades of experience under her belt, brings you through several chair-based exercises and stretches especially suited for knee arthritis patients. These exercises are gentle, relaxing and let you effectively build strength in your legs and manage your knee pain at the same time. The use of a chair and seated exercises, of course, helps to prevent you from putting undue stress on your knees.
- Knee arthritis
- Building core strength
- Those who prefer seated exercises
Difficulty level: 1/5
2. Strengthen walking muscles | Gentle exercises for seniors, beginners
In this wholesome little video, April goes through gentle exercises designed to strengthen the walking muscles with her own mother, Aiko. Exercises taught include the Mini Squat, the Squat Hold, and the Rear Leg Lift. April and AIko even demonstrate dynamic warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after you walk.
- Those who want to stretch and strengthen the muscles used for everyday walking
Difficulty level: 2/5
3. 5 Essential Exercises For Seniors Over 60
In this informative and simple video, chiropractor Stefan demonstrates five essential daily exercises for seniors, which can help with balance and prevent falls, strengthen lower legs and circulation, reduce stooping, increase leg strength and mobility, and enhance upper body and core strength.
The five exercises included are simple leg stands, heel and toe raises, chin tucks, sit squats, and wall push-ups.
- Those new to exercising
- Improving posture
Difficulty level: 2/5
3. 15 Min Workout for Seniors, Beginners and People with Knee Pain by Emi Wong
In this short 15-minute video, Emi Wong takes you through a series of easy workouts together with her mum, Mama Wong that are perfect for those with knee and joint pain or just starting on their fitness journey.
After all, Emi’s exercises like Arm & Knee Ups, Pull Down Knee Raises, Arm Flys, and Chest Openers are not only easy to pick up, but also do not place any strain or weight on your joints.
Start building strength in your legs and arms alongside Emi and her mum now!
- Those with knee and joint pain
- Seniors who want to build strength in their legs
Difficulty level: 4/5
How do you stay on track with your new exercise routine?
Commitment is the most important thing to starting any habit, especially with an exercise routine. Here are some ways you can keep yourself on track:
1. Work out with a loved one or a friend
Things are always easier when you know you’re not alone. Grab a friend or loved one to work out with you and you will find it easier and fun with mutual encouragement and support. Your friends and loved ones can even serve as added motivation for you to progress onto more intense exercises.
2. Set goals for yourself
Knowing what you’re working towards is also a great way to motivate yourself. You can set some exercise goals for yourself perhaps in consultation with your family doctor or other fitness professional. Achieving goals and continuing to set further aspirations will be a powerful force in getting you into action.
3. Make exercising a habit
Another easy way to stay on track is to make your exercise routine a part of your daily routine. Start small by making sure you commit to doing an exercise every day for a week and then a month. Gradually, you’ll be sure to build your exercise routine into a habit for life!
4. Shake things up
Doing the same thing can get boring rather quickly for some of us. So why not consider switching up your exercise routine once in a while to keep things fresh for yourself? Designate different days for different muscle groups and body parts to work out and have fun experimenting with the different exercises you can find!
We hope that this Homage guide has helped in sparking off your fitness journey and working towards health and fitness even as you age. If you would like some advice or tailor a simple exercise plan with a companion, you may book a session by downloading the Homage mobile app or filling in the form below.
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- Physical Activity Helps Prevent Chronic Diseases | CDC. (2023, May 8). https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/physical-activity.htm
- Exercise and Bone Health—OrthoInfo—AAOS. (n.d.). Retrieved July 7, 2023, from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/exercise-and-bone-health/
- Spirduso, W. W., & Cronin, D. L. (2001). Exercise dose-response effects on quality of life and independent living in older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(6 Suppl), S598-608; discussion S609-610. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-200106001-00028