Stretching, Exercise Promotes Strength in Older Adults

When it comes to age, it does not matter; exercise remains an important way to stay fit and mobile. This is especially true for older adults, even those who may have physical limitations. Every movement an older adult makes will help strengthen them and keep them moving, whether it’s something simple like combing their own hair or more complex like getting up to get a glass of water.

At InnovAge, my team and I work closely with participants to teach new ways to exercise with the goal of supporting long-term mobility. We help strengthen older adults through encouragement of different types of exercise, for example:   walking, gardening, stretching, exercise groups, water walking, water aerobics, performing their own activities of daily living and/or formal therapeutic intervention. Anything that promotes mobility will work. This helps older adults remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.

We also teach caregivers how to do the exercises so they can help a loved one, but only if needed. This includes teaching the caregivers the safest ways to walk with their loved one and teaching them what their loved one can do on their own to ensure he or she remains safe and mobile. Even so, we ask caregivers not to do too much for their loved ones because this defeats the purpose of the exercise program.

Beverly Cobo, an expert in strength training and exercise for older adults, is the Regional Rehabilitation Services manager at InnovAge

This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.

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