How Seniors Can Stay Active at home

With just one chair, you can do easy exercises to improve your wellbeing. Staying at home all day doesn’t have to be so boring.

seniors at home doing excercises

Staying active at home isn’t easy, especially for seniors. Yet because seniors are high-risk, it’s crucial for them to stay there as much as possible.
Even if you’re stuck indoors, you can still stay active and moving during this pandemic. Here are some tips:

Try Seated Exercises

If you have trouble walking or standing, try seated exercises. These are exercises that you can do while sitting in a chair or on the couch.
Here are a few to try:

Seated Knee Lifts

  • Start by sitting with both feet on the floor.
  • Lift your right knee to lift your right foot off the floor.
  • Lower your right leg back to the floor.
  • Repeat these steps on your left leg.

Arm Circles

  • While sitting in a chair or on the couch, raise both arms out to the side.
  • Start circling both arms forward using small, controlled motions.
  • Gradually start making the circles bigger.
  • After 10 seconds, reverse the direction of the circles.

Heel Slides

  • Sit comfortably in your chair toward the edge of the seat.
  • Keep your core (abs) tight and stick your chest out.
  • Place your hands at the sides of the chair and hold onto the seat to keep yourself stable.
  • Extend one leg far out in front of you, pointing your toes forward. Keep your other leg naturally bent.
  • Keep the foot on your extended leg flat, press it against the floor, and drag your foot slowly back to the starting position (leg naturally bent).
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Turn Commercial Breaks into Exercise Breaks
If you watch at least an hour of TV, you can use that time to be active. Whenever there’s a commercial break, get up and do something active. Load the dishwasher. Throw in a load of laundry. Wipe down the kitchen counters. Do a few sets of seated knee lifts.
The most important thing is to keep moving. Commercial breaks usually last about 4 minutes, and there are usually 16 minutes of commercials every hour. If you watch two hours of TV, you can get in 32 minutes of activity if you get up for every commercial break.

Practice These 4 Types of Exercise
To keep your body active and healthy, practice all four types of exercise:

  • Endurance: go for a walk (if you can avoid crowds), climb stairs, or walk around the house.
  • Strength: use cans of soup or other household items to safely add weight to your exercises.
  • Flexibility: Stretch regularly to stay flexible and maintain your range of motion. Talk to your doctor about safe stretching routines.
  • Balance: use a chair or the wall to perform balance exercises, like standing on one foot safely.

Walk or March in Place
Staying active also doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Yes, right now, it’s important for seniors to stay home as much as possible. However, if you can avoid crowds, try to get outside for a walk. Only go for a walk if you feel safe and comfortable doing it.
If you can’t go outside to walk, you can walk around your home or march in place. The most important thing is to get your heart rate up so that you build stamina and burn more calories.

Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
It’s important to take care of your physical health by staying active, but it’s also important to take care of your mental health as well. Social isolation, which is a common problem among seniors, can lead to depression.
Right now, you may not be able to visit your grandkids, neighbors, or other family members. But you can video chat with your loved ones to stay in touch. Regular phone calls or even text messages can help you stay connected.

Exercise Your Brain
The brain is just like any other muscle in your body. Use it or lose it. Along with physical exercise, it’s important to keep your mind active and engaged.
Here are some fun activities to try:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Word puzzles
  • Bingo
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Sudoku

Be Safe During Exercise
Exercise is important for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic, including seniors. But make sure that you’re safe when you exercise.

  • Exercise in a Safe Place: Do your exercises at home. Stand near a chair, countertop, or wall when doing standing exercises to prevent falls or injuries.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts. Dehydration can quickly turn into a medical emergency.
  • Wear the Right Clothes: Wear comfortable, light clothing that gives you room to move.

Remember, even if it’s only 10 to 15 minutes a day of activity, it’s important to remain active during this time. If you agree that it is important to stay active, consider sharing this article with friends and encourage them to join you in your daily exercises!


You can also find more trusted local services in your community at www.boyleheighstresources.org or download the Boyle Heights Resources app.