Here are easy-to-do bed exercises for elderly and seniors.
These bed exercises for elderly will be divided into three parts:
- The first is the upper part of the body that covers the face, jaw, and neck.
- The next is the middle part of the body that covers the shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Last is the lower part of the body which covers the legs and the feet.
It is no longer advisable for an elderly person to perform strenuous exercises. So given this fact, health experts suggest bed exercises for elderly. These exercises can be done while lying in bed.
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NB! It is important for the elderly to consult a health expert before performing bed exercises. This would ensure that the exercises would be the appropriate one for their condition.
Simple Bed Exercises For Elderly
Bed exercises for elderly should always start with stretching and breathing exercises as warm up. In stretching, simply extend your arms upward as much as you can over your head while lying down. Your legs should also be extended and at the same time point your feet gently. While doing these, breathe in and breathe out. Do this warm up exercise for 20 to 30 seconds. This warm up would awaken and ready your body for the exercises. Do not exert too much force in doing the warm up.
Bed exercises for the upper part of the body
The exercise regimen should start from the upper part of the body.
The first exercise is for the face muscles
In doing this exercise for seniors, simply smile and hold it for 10 seconds. Another exercise for the face is raising both eyebrows and holding it for 10 seconds. Last exercise for the face is crossing the eyebrows and holding it for 10 seconds.
The next exercise is for the jaw
First, try to imagine that you have a chewing gum in your mouth. This is called chewing exercise. Do this 10 to 15 times. Have your lips closed and tight while doing the exercise. Also, be extra careful not to bite your tongue. Do the chewing exercise gently.
The last exercise for the upper part concerns the neck
The first exercise for the neck is the chin turn. While lying down on your back, tuck your chin down as tightly as you can. Then, move your head left and right. Do this gently and slowly for 10 to 15 times.
Another neck exercise for seniors is pillow neck push. While lying down on your pillow, try to push the pillow using the back of your head. In pushing with the back of your head, try to hold for 3 to 5 seconds or depending on how long you can hold. Do this 10 to 15 times. In this exercise, you will feel the gentle contraction of your neck muscle.
Bed exercises for the middle part of the body
First exercise is the lying-rotating shoulder shrug
While lying down facing the ceiling, do a shrugging motion and at the same time a rotating motion from the shoulders. The rotating motion should be alternately done forward and backward. Do this 10 to 15 times. This exercise would strengthen the shoulders, trapezius, upper back, and the neck.
Another shoulder exercise is the lying-lateral raise
As you lie down, place both your arms straight and extended at the side of your body. The palm of your hand should be facing the side of your thighs or legs. At the same tim, raise your knees and have it pointed toward the ceiling. Your legs should be in 90 degree angle.
With this position, move both your arms sideward away from your body. Extend your arms sideward up to 90 degrees. Keep your arms straight but make sure not to lock your elbows. Make sure that the arms, elbows, and shoulders form a straight line. This would ensure the proper execution of the exercise.
If done properly, you would feel the gentle contraction of your shoulders. Do this 10 to 15 times. The exercise is good for the shoulders muscles. It also hits the core muscles as you position your legs 90 degrees.
The next exercise is for the arms
The chest and the wrist would also work here. This is called the lying push-up. While lying down, facing the ceiling, and with your legs straight, simply do imaginary push-ups.
As you straighten your arms with your palms facing the ceiling, do a slow wrist motion as if you are shooting a ball in a basketball ring. Do this 10 to 15 times. As an option, you could also position your legs 90 degrees just like in the previous exercise to hit the core muscles.
The next exercise is very simple and it is for the hands
Simply just open and close your fists. This would exercise your gripping and your fingers. When you open, try to extend your fingers outward as far as you can. And when you close, try to imagine that you are squeezing something. Do this 10 to 15 times.
Bed exercises for the lower part of the body
The first exercise is the front leg raise
This bed exercise for elderly hits the thigh area and core muscles. As you lie down facing the ceiling, alternately lift your legs as high as you can. Do not bend your knees as you lift your legs alternately. Straighten your legs while you lift them but make sure that you do not lock your knees. An option is to extend your arms straight over your head like in the stretching position. Do this 10 to 15 times.
Another exercise for the legs is the side leg raise
This bed exercise does not only work the legs but also the core muscles. As you lie down facing the ceiling, straighten your legs and place your hands behind your lower back or buttocks for support. With this position, spread your legs sideward without bending the knees, forming the Y shape. Spread the legs as wide as you can and hold it for 3 to 5 seconds or depending on how long you could hold. Do this 10 to 15 times.
The next exercise concerns the feet.
I call this flex-and-point rotation. It would work the muscles of the feet, shins, and partly the thigh muscles. This exercise would also improve blood circulation in the feet. As you lie down facing the ceiling, extend your legs a little bit outward and have your feet slightly apart from each other. From this position, rotate your feet in circular motion. As you do the circular motion, your feet are engaging in flex and point exercise. Do this 10 to 15 times.
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The last bed exercise for elderly can be considered as a cardio if done properly. This exercise can also be a warm up exercise to help wake you up. It can be done with intensity or in a gentle way. It depends on your preference. This exercise is called feet rubbing.
As you lie down facing the ceiling, bend your knees up to 90 degrees. With your feet flat on the bed, do a rubbing motion alternately on both feet. The speed depends on your capability. As an option, you can raise your hips and buttocks from the bed. Do this for 10 seconds or depending how long you can. Then, extend your feet again as you rest.
The bed exercises for elderly mentioned in this article are best done only after consulting with your doctor. Do not just proceed with the exercise without consulting a doctor because your body is no longer the same as when you were young.
In performing the bed exercises for elderly, make sure that you do not lock your elbows when you straighten and extend your arms. Make sure also that you do not lock your knees when you straighten your legs. You can perform the exercises 2 to 3 times. Lastly, do not forget to rest for 30 to 60 seconds in between exercises.