As we age, our bodies tend to become weaker, which can make even the simplest of tasks hard to perform. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to strengthen our bodies, which can enable us to tackle daily life with more ease and less pain.
Unfortunately, as our bodies become weaker and suffer pain we never previously experienced, we may not be able to work at the same intensity that we may have done when we were younger. This is where wall exercises for seniors come in.
Low-impact wall exercises for seniors at home are a fantastic way to get yourself – or your parents or grandparents – back in shape. They are also an excellent way to build muscle strength, which will allow older adults to live more independently.
Here’s all you need to know about these workouts, in addition to a list of simple daily wall exercises for seniors to encourage better health and stronger muscles.
What Are Wall Exercises For Seniors?
Wall exercises for seniors – sometimes referred to as wall pilates – are an alternative way for older adults to become physically fit and improve their health. The exercises use a wall for additional support, thereby enabling older adults to perform exercises they may not otherwise have been able to do.
Unlike traditional workouts, pilates wall exercises for seniors use slow and controlled movements rather than fast, highly intensive actions. This makes the exercises easier to understand, follow, and perform, and they are also much more suited to the pace and strength levels of many older adults.
Seniors are much more likely to stick to such a workout plan than one demanding a faster pace and more strength.
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What Is The Best Exercise For Over 60?
As all human beings are different, we cannot say there is one single exercise that is best for a particular group of people, regardless of age. Trying out different types of exercise is the best way to determine what works best for you
However, some exercises are definitely better suited for seniors – particularly those who are new to working out. Such exercises include:
- Aerobics – including walking, water aerobics, cycling, and dancing.
- Strength training – most wall exercises for seniors fall into this category. One review that was published in the Frontiers in Psychology journal revealed that strength training has more benefits than simple aerobics.
Researchers have found that strength training is better for improving gait, speed, and lower limb strength while also reducing trunk fat.
In fact, a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise, can helps improve sitting and stretching, elbow, knee, and shoulder flexion and stretching, strength and body fat, functional reach test, 30-second chair standing test, and 6-min walking test, in addition to the self-evaluation of body function (1).
- Balance and flexibility – examples include yoga, Tai Chi, and some wall stretching exercises. Balance and flexibility exercises help improve balance, stability, coordination, mobility, and even confidence levels in older adults (2, 6). This will all help to improve their overall quality of life (8).
How Can a 65-Year-Old Get In Shape?
There is no age limit to getting in shape. If you are 65 or over and looking to get in shape, here are some tips and tricks that can help you on this fun, challenging, and incredibly rewarding journey.
The first step on every fitness journey is actually getting up and working out. As was mentioned in the previous section, there are several different exercises you can choose from.
Pick one and try it – if you don’t feel like it’s for you, try something else. Keep going until you find something you genuinely love and enjoy doing. Remember, being fit is not the only benefit of exercise.
Research has found that regular d physical activity in older adults is associated with improved immunity, mental health, emotional, psychological, and social well-being, quality of life, and general well-being (9).
Remember, consistency over motivation, always.
It isn’t always easy to find the motivation to go to the gym or get off the couch for a 30-minute at-home workout. However, if you challenge yourself to remain consistent, regardless of motivation, you will almost certainly achieve your goal of getting in shape.
Start with easy exercises
The key to a successful workout plan is not only doing something you love but also pacing yourself. Doing too much at once could see you abandon your fitness goals quicker than you could imagine.
For workout beginners, we suggest trying easier exercises such as wall pilates exercises for seniors, yoga, Tai Chi, or even simply walking. Such examples require a slower pace, which is perfect to help ease you into a consistent routine of working out.
Increase your intensity
Yes, you absolutely must start slow. However, after a few weeks of repeating the same exercises, our bodies can become used to the strain and start to plateau.
Once you plateau, you will no longer see any weight gain (if underweight), weight loss (if overweight), or muscle mass changes. To prevent this, make sure you increase the intensity of your workouts every two to three weeks. More intensity means more strain, more calories burned, and, ultimately, more muscle growth.
Find a community
Humans thrive in a community setting, according to a study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine in 2017.
This study highlights the association observed between social interaction and factors such as can help people maintain a healthy BMI, control blood sugars, improve cancer survival, decrease cardiovascular mortality and depressive symptoms, mitigate posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and improve their overall mental health (7).
Based on these findings, it is wise to find a community or group of people to work out with. Of course, doing easy wall exercises by yourself at home can give you the desired results, but finding a group of like-minded people can help you achieve consistency.
It can also make your workout sessions more fun and even introduce you to more fun workouts that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
What Are 5 Exercises For People Over 50?
Some exercises that are perfect for anyone over the age of 50 include:
This is the easiest workout that can be done by anyone, regardless of time, place, or age. Start by challenging yourself to walk for an amount of time that is comfortable, each day.
A study published in 2011 stated that the average number of steps for healthy older adults was between 2,000 and 9,000 each day (5). You are capable of more than you might think.
For wall exercises for seniors, sit-ups, crunches, and wall planks are 3 simple examples you can start with. They also qualify as great workouts to add to your wall exercises for flat stomach routine.
- Strength training – we continuously lose muscle mass and function as we age. Strength training slows down this process as it helps to maintain and build new muscle. Start with lighter weights and perform more reps per set.
- Yoga and Pilates – these are forms of exercise that work great for core strength, balance, and flexibility. You can sign up for classes or find online resources that allow you to do these workouts at home.
- Dancing – depending on the option you choose, this can be either a high-impact or low-impact workout. However, regardless of your choice, it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours and burn calories.
What Are The Best Wall Exercises For Seniors?
Here are some simple wall exercises for seniors that you can do at home:
Wall Push Ups
These are a great upper-body workout that builds muscle and improves strength in the upper body.
- Stand approximately an arm’s length from the wall with feet hip-width apart.
- Place both palms on the wall at shoulder-level height and shoulder-width apart. Move closer to the wall if you find touching the wall difficult.
- Slowly bend your elbows and start leaning your body toward the wall until your nose almost touches it. Keep your core tight (pull the belly button toward the spine), back straight, and elbows bent at around a 45-degree angle).
- Slowly push back to the starting position.
- Perform 5 to 10 reps for each set.
Standing Wall Planks
Planks are a great workout that improves core stability, balance, and posture.
- Start by standing straight facing a wall. Lift your arms, bend your elbows, and place your forearms against the wall. Your elbows should be at shoulder height and your forearms should be pointing vertically up the wall.
- Keep your shoulders strong and slowly lean onto your forearms. Make sure you push your elbows into the wall – this will prevent your shoulder blades from sticking out.
- Keeping your body straight and core tight, take a couple of steps back from the wall.
- This allows your body to be at an incline. Ensure your hips and butt are not sticking behind you.
- Maintain this position for a minimum of 30 seconds.
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Heel-to-toe walking is a fantastic exercise that helps improve balance and stability. The exercise is generally done without the support of a wall, but if you cannot manage it without the extra support, this is a good starting point.
- Stand with your side approximately an arm’s length away from a wall. Take the hand that is closest to the wall and place it on the wall
- Place your right foot in front of your left foot so the heel of your right foot touches the top of the toes of your left foot.
- Move your left foot in front of your right foot, putting your weight on your heel. Then, shift your weight to your toes.
- Repeat this step with your left foot. Walk this way for 20 steps.
The hand closest to the wall should lightly graze the wall and not support your weight. Remember, the hand is on the wall only in case you lose your balance.
Wall Back Leg Raises
This is a good lower-body strengthening exercise, targeting the hips, glutes, and legs.
- Stand approximately an arm’s length away from a wall.
- Place both arms on the wall and engage your core.
- Slowly lift your right leg straight back – do not bend your knees or point your toes.
- Hold this ‘kick back’ position for one second before gently bringing your leg back down.
- Repeat this 8 to 12 times on the right leg for one rep, then switch and repeat for the left leg.
Wall Toe Lifts
This is another good lower-body exercise that targets the calves and is fantastic for balance.
- Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall. Lift both arms, place them on the wall, and engage your core.
- Lift yourself up on your toes as high as possible, then slowly lower yourself back down.
- Try not to lean too far forward on the wall.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Wall Side Leg Raises
As with back leg raises, side leg raises are great for the lower body. They strengthen the outer thighs, hips, and butt, while also improving the range of motion in your hips and your stability.
- Stand about an arm’s length away from a wall. Lift both arms, placing them on the wall and keeping your core engaged.
- Slowly lift your right leg to the side. Make sure to keep your back straight, toes facing forward, and stare straight ahead.
- Hold the raised position for 2 seconds before slowly lowering the leg back to the ground.
- Do 12 to 15 reps of this before changing legs and repeating the exercise.
How Can I Do Wall Exercises At Home?
The best way to do the above wall exercises for seniors at home is to simply start doing them. That’s it. However, to make sure you’re as safe as possible when working out, there are some things you may want to consider:
- Have supervision – if you have mobility, vision, or balance issues, it can be best to have someone watch you in case you fall over or something else happens.
- Eat something – it is not wise to work out on an empty stomach. Eat something light, such as a banana or apple, a minimum of 30 minutes before attempting the above exercises.
- Find a soft surface to sit/lie down – wall exercises are often done standing up, but sometimes while lying down. We suggest a soft yoga or exercise mat for when you have to get on the ground for any exercises. Having a sturdy chair close by in case you need to sit down and rest is also a good idea.
- Drink water – remaining hydrated throughout your workout is important. You can simply consume plain water or add some fruit to it for extra flavor.
- Pace yourself – remember to start small. Don’t allow your excitement to make you overwork yourself as you could injure yourself if you do too much too soon.
Are Wall Exercises For Seniors Good?
Yes, they are.
Wall exercise for legs, core, and upper body can help strengthen bones, improve balance and coordination, boost energy, and improve cognitive function in older adults.
How Can Seniors Exercise At Home?
The best tips for senior at-home workouts include:
- Have a designated work space – it doesn’t need to be that big. A space large enough for a yoga mat that allows you to move unobstructed in a circle is sufficient. A designated space will allow you to focus on your workout without any distractions.
- Have a routine – a set weekly (or daily) workout routine with specific workouts will enable you to get straight into the workout without wasting time.
- Have realistic goals – nothing kills the spirit of working out more quickly than unrealistic goals. You will not see any changes in the first week. In fact, you are unlikely to even see any drastic changes in a month. Changes can take approximately two to three months to become noticeable. Remember this as you work towards your goals.
What Is The Most Appropriate Exercise For Older Adults?
Workouts are not limited by gender or age. You can do anything as long as you increase your fitness levels, improve your cardiovascular health, and stay safe to prevent injuries.
However, as a beginner, we suggest easy exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, light strength training, Tai chi, or even chair and wall pilates exercises for seniors. Such exercises do not require too much strength and can be performed at a slower pace, making them a fantastic starting point for older adults.
The Bottom Line
Wall exercises for seniors are a fantastic entry point to the world of fitness. They are slow, controlled, and easy to do, and they also have numerous health benefits.
From improved immunity to better mental health, balance, and muscle strength, older adults can reap numerous benefits from these exercises. If you have been looking for a routine to get you started, try some of the above exercises and build from there.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Aerobic Exercise Combination Intervention to Improve Physical Performance Among the Elderly: A Systematic Review (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Combined Balance and Strength Training on Measures of Balance and Muscle Strength in Older Women With a History of Falls (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of core muscle stability training on the weight distribution and stability of the elderly (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Core Training on Sport-Specific Performance of Athletes: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How many steps/day are enough? For older adults and special populations (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Improved Balance Confidence and Stability for Elderly After 6 Weeks of a Multimodal Self-Administered Balance-Enhancing Exercise Program (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Connection Prescription: Using the Power of Social Interactions and the Deep Desire for Connectedness to Empower Health and Wellness (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Effect of Balance and Coordination Exercises on Quality of Life in Older Adults: A Mini-Review (2019, frontiersin.org)
- The Importance of Physical Activity Exercise among Older People (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)