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

My Shoulders Are Letting Me Down

We rely on our shoulders for countless tasks. It can be problematic when they don’t function at our best and can make ordinary tasks a challenge. Finding a cause behind unstable shoulders can help bring pain relief and peace of mind. Here are some reasons behind your shoulder pain and what you can do to treat it.

What Causes Shoulder Instability?

Your shoulders play a pivotal role in how you go about your daily life. Unstable shoulders can frequently come out of place, making everyday activities difficult. 

One cause of shoulder instability is severe trauma to the shoulder. An injury such as a dislocation causes the head of your shoulder to dislocate from the socket. The initial shoulder dislocation can result in repeated dislocations and further instability.

Genetics may be another cause of shoulder instability. Some people are born with naturally loose shoulder ligaments. Excessively loose shoulder ligaments called Hyperlaxity can cause shoulder instability. This can occur without prior dislocations or a history of strains. Hyperlaxity can increase the chances of dislocating your shoulder or weakening the joint.

Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

Several symptoms characterize shoulder instability. Shoulder instability symptoms include

  • A loose feeling in the shoulder
  • The shoulder giving out
  • Repeated shoulder dislocations
  • Pain

How is Shoulder Instability Diagnosed?

Professional examination is how shoulder instability is diagnosed. 

If you’re having shoulder trouble, your doctor can order imaging tests to find the cause. One tool to find the cause of your shoulder pain is an x-ray. The x-ray helps doctors to take a thorough look at the bones around your shoulder joint and examine them for signs of injury. Your doctor may also order an MRI for further examination. An MRI provides a detailed image of the tissues around your shoulder and helps find damage to the ligaments and tendons in the joint.

How Are Unstable Shoulders Treated?

Your treatment plan depends on the nature and severity of your symptoms. First, you may need to avoid activities that worsen your symptoms. If you can’t stay away from pain-inducing activities, modifying your movements may help give you some relief. Also, anti-inflammatory pain medications and physical therapy can help.

If your shoulder problems need more aggressive treatment, our office can help. Schedule a consultation by calling (508) 363-6363.