elderly woman holding two light handweights

Best Exercise Equipment for Seniors in Independent Living Facilities

Need an exercise that’s easy on the joints, elbows, knees, and hips? There are plenty of great low-impact exercise equipment products to choose from that are both easy to use and don’t add undue stress to the body. 

As you age, it becomes more important to maintain your physical health and quality of life by staying fit. Many seniors already exercise but wish to continue doing so as they transition into a retirement home. 

In today’s blog, Ivy Knoll discusses some of the best exercise equipment for seniors in an independent living community. 

Ivy Knoll Promotes Healthy Exercise Options for Seniors

At Ivy Knoll, we have a low-impact exercise room available to our residents. We offer fun group exercises to build a sense of community and stay fit. But just in case you want to buy your own exercise equipment to store in your apartment, here are some great options to choose from. 

elderly woman using a lat pulldown machine in the park

Lat Pulldown Machine 

A common ailment in aging persons is lower-back pain. This is due to weakening muscles and inflexibility over time. Using a lat pulldown machine is perfect for promoting a strong, healthy back. The settings can be adjusted to an individual’s level of strength.

 

Rowing Machine 

This is excellent for your back. But in reality, it provides aerobic and strength training to the entire body, the hips, core, chest, arms, and more. It’s a low-impact machine that can be easily adjusted to match your level of strength or even less. This is a great choice for those wanting a well-rounded piece of exercise equipment.  

 

elderly man on a mat puts on wrist weights

Wrist Weights 

Simple, yet effective, wrist weights are certainly easier than gripping a dumbbell and moving about. While you’re seated and wearing wrist weights, gently move your hands up and down. This does wonders for your bone strength and improves your range of motion. These are also great to wear while walking from one spot to another.

 

senior citizen performing resistance band exercise routine

Resistance Bands

Resistance band exercises offer versatility and customization, depending on what level of exercise you wish to perform. With these, you can isolate certain muscles and areas of the body. You can practice resistance training using isometric motion (your own body’s weight) while sitting and watching TV, walking, or standing upright. 

elderly woman unrolling a green yoga mat

Yoga Blocks & Yoga Mat

Yoga is a great option for seniors that want to focus on gently improving flexibility, balance, and strength at the same time, according to a Harvard Health Publishing report. The mat and blocks are light and you can take them anywhere for a quick workout, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes of the day. 

 

You can use the foam yoga block to help you gradually stretch towards the floor, building up flexibility until you can finally reach your toes without any aid. Lay out your yoga mat anywhere you’d like, in the park or on your living room floor. 

elderly man using elliptical machine being helped

Elliptical 

For seniors who are very ambulatory and able to stand for long periods of time, an elliptical offers a great way to burn calories, increase heart rate and strengthen muscles. It has senior-friendly features, like arm levers to grip for added balance and security. It also gives the ability to adjust the settings to attune to your needs. 

 

So many choices! How do I pick the right exercise equipment? 

 

Remember one thing. When it comes to staying fit and healthy, it’s important to choose something that works for you, and something you’re interested in using. There’s no point in buying a treadmill just to have it sit in the corner collecting dust. 

 

Benefits of Exercising Regularly

 

Resistance-Exercise

Regular strength training helps to prevent Osteoporosis or Brittle Bones Disease that is so common in the elderly, but especially in women over the age of 70. It works against the natural degradation of muscle.

 

Cardio Exercise

Getting the blood pumping and sweat pouring serves to improve cardiovascular function. Any regular movement, even if it’s as simple as walking up a flight of stairs, or walking down to the street to pick up the mail, does wonders to your overall heart health.

 

Balance and Fall Prevention

Fall prevention takes priority, especially in one’s later years when vulnerability for falls is heightened. Certain exercises really work to improve your gait, ability to balance and ambulate. 

 

Psychological Health

Research shows that regular exercise prevents depression in the elderly and promotes mood-lifting chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine, stimulating the reward center of the brain. You can also expect to sleep better, more soundly and deeply than before. 

 

Flexibility 

Lower back pain often comes from a lack of flexibility, general tension in the muscles and tendons. Improving flexibility through gradual, repeated stretch exercises is perfect for preventing discomfort and pain in the lower back region. 

 

Stay Active with Ivy Knoll and Schedule a Tour Today

At Ivy Knoll, our compassionate and friendly staff is dedicated to helping you live a “not-so-senior” lifestyle, from chef-inspired home-cooked meals to fun community activities and programs, we love helping residents stay active, healthy and fulfilled. To book an in-person tour, call us at (859) 491-3800 or fill out our contact form.