Exercise Programs for Seniors

As people age, their bones, muscles and underlying tissue weaken, resulting in decreased strength, energy, and impaired mobility. Inactivity may increase these effects of aging. Exercise and physical activity can be beneficial to older adults and can help to increase strength, improve balance and possibly delay or prevent diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Benefits of Exercise

In addition to preventing or delaying certain diseases, exercise may help seniors to improve their strength and mobility which can help them to remain independent. Additional benefits may include:

  • Reduced depression
  • Increased energy
  • Improved balance which can lessen the risk of falls

Remaining active on a daily basis can provide the most benefits to older adults. Physical activity should be part of a daily routine for older adults.

Exercise Options

While the types of exercise that seniors engage in may vary, the goal of any exercise program is to improve:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Balance
  • Flexibility

Activities that keep individuals moving may include walking, swimming, bike riding, yoga or exercise classes targeted at seniors. Strength training programs for older adults can target certain muscles of the body or improve overall strength, and usually aim to gradually restore lost strength without too much exertion. Stretching exercises may improve flexibility. A physical therapist or trainer may create a customized exercise plan that focuses on improving balance and increasing endurance.

Muscles should always be stretched and warmed-up before any activity. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase any activity. Before beginning an exercise regimen, individuals should always consult with their physician.

More Information

Biceps Strain Or Something More?

Pain in your biceps makes it challenging to go about your life. Persistent discomfort can leave you wondering if there is a deeper issue. If you’re wondering if the pain in your biceps is something to worry about, here are a few things to look for as you prepare for a trip to the doctor.

Characteristics of a Bicep Strain

A bicep strain can present itself in several ways, and all may come with varying degrees of pain. Bicep strains typically start in the upper arm, close to the shoulder, and often accompany a popping sound. The pain can be sudden and intense and described as a “burst of pain.”

Other signs of a bicep strain include

  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Inability to rotate the arm
  • Bruising

Risk Factors for Bicep Strains

Activities or sports with repetitive arm motions, such as baseball, football, or tennis, can increase your risk of straining a bicep. 

Poor circulation, previous injuries, and lack of stretching before activities can also put you at risk.

Bicep Strain Treatment and Recovery

After an exam, your doctor can help determine a treatment plan to address your symptoms. Common treatments for bicep strains include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory pain medications, or steroid injections. 

Most bicep strain cases resolve after two weeks, and you may be relegated to modified activity levels as you recover.

Is My Bicep Torn?

A bicep tear works slightly differently than a strain as the injury is more severe. A torn bicep can occur from lifting heavy objects, overuse, repetitive motions, or previous injury. 

Many patients can recognize a torn bicep from a tearing sensation in the arm at the time of the injury.

Bicep Tear Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor can determine if you have torn your biceps through a physical exam and tests such as an MRI. 

Conservative methods, including rest, ice, and physical therapy, can help. Extensive injuries to the bicep may require surgery to correct the issue. 

Your recovery depends on your injury’s nature and how well your body responds to treatment methods. If you’ve sustained an injury to your arm, don’t wait. Dr. Desio can help you get back to living your life to the fullest. Call 508-363-6363 to schedule an appointment in the Worcester office.