Knee-friendly Exercises for Seniors
Aging might be inevitable but becoming physically weak doesn’t have to be. This is particularly true when it comes to progressive loss of muscle, also called sarcopenia, which starts at the age of 40 and progresses as we get older. Muscle loss may be age-related but other factors such as poor nutrition, medical conditions, and lack of exercise also have a significant impact in an aging person’s strength and energy. 1
Muscle loss aside, joint pain can also interfere with a senior person’s physical activity and daily life. An important joint, and also the most abused part of a person’s body, is one’s knees.This is the reason why knee aches and pains are common as people age. Fortunately, staying active decreases the risk of knee problems. In fact, the right type of knee exercises can help these important joints stay healthy and highly-function as possible. 2, 3
A simple exercise that can be performed on a chair, this will help not only strengthen the knees but as well the hips.
- Sit down in a chair with both feet flat on the floor.
- Exhale as you straighten your left leg. Hold for five seconds. Inhale as you lower down to the starting position.
- Exhale as you straighten your right leg. Hold for five seconds. Inhale as you lower down to the starting position.
Also a chair exercise, this workout will help improve flexibility.
- Stand with your front facing the back of a chair. Place your hands on the chair to maintain your balance.
- Place your feet hip-distance apart. Shift your weight over to your left leg, and keep your knee slightly bent.
- Exhale as you bend your right knee, and raise your right foot towards your buttocks.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your right leg back down to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times on your right leg. Repeat 10-15 times on your left leg.
This is a great way to keep your knees limber while doing a cardio workout. This exercise can be performed with an aerobic stepper, or at the bottom of a staircase.
- Stand up straight facing the stepper or stairs.
- Exhale as you step your right leg up onto the step.
- Step your left foot up onto the step.
- Exhale as you step down with your left, then right, leg.
- Repeat on the left leg.
- Perform 10 times on each side.
Knee squats allow you to strengthen your knees without putting your safety at risk. For this exercise, you will need a sturdy chair.
- Stand with your front facing the back of a chair.
- Hold onto the chair to help you maintain balance.
- Exhale as you squat down until your knee covers your big toe.
- Inhale as you slowly return to standing.
- Repeat 10 times.
Apart from staying active, making sure you get enough protein is also important in keeping your body in shape. Eating lean meats, dairy products, eggs, legumes and nuts is a good way to get your protein requirement. For convenience, consider Ensure to provide extra protein and energy. It contains HMB, also called beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, which is a muscle-preserving ingredient that works with protein to help fight muscle loss.