4 Easy Postural Exercises for Seniors

Fitness is an important part of physical health. Exercise provides many benefits, from weight loss to improved circulation. But as we age, it's important to be aware of the kind of exercise that's ideal for seniors. 

People in their 60s and 70s tend to have very different exercise needs than people in their twenties and thirties. Older people may experience a greater risk of injury due to decreased flexibility and strength, which can result in slow recovery.

Postural exercises are key to staying fit and healthy as we age. Such exercises help to keep muscles and joints limber, improve balance and increase strength. These exercises are safe ways to engage in physical activity and improve your health, so what are the best postural exercises to try for the elderly?

1. Chin Tucks and Juts

Chin tucks, which involve drawing your chin to your chest, pulling the shoulders back and helping to straighten your posture. Chin juts, which involve pushing your chin to your chest and drawing it inward, are the perfect complement to chin tucks. Chin juts stretch and work the muscles in your neck and allow you to stay in better posture longer. Do chin tucks and juts throughout your day, every time you remember.

2. Wall Tilts

Wall tilts will strengthen muscles in your back, shoulders and buttocks, so this exercise can also help prevent low back pain. Stand about two feet away from a flat wall, arms at your side and back straight. Lean forward slowly until your back is flat against the wall. Try holding the position for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat. 

3. Wall Arm Circles

Do you have a hard time reaching with your arms? If so, you may need to stretch and strengthen your arms to increase their range of motion. Wall arm circles are perfect for this. Stand about six feet away from the wall, arms at your side and palms facing in. 

Lean forward slowly until your lower back touches the flow. Pull your head and shoulders back to touch the wall and hold for a few seconds. Keep in mind that this is a difficult exercise, so it's important to have someone guide the seniors when doing wall arm circles. 

If the elderly can manage to do the initial half of the exercise, you can take it further by raising their arms overhead, before slowly returning to the first position.

4. Scapular Retractions

Scapular retraction exercises work your shoulders and scapular muscles, which are essential in the proper functioning of the shoulder joint. If your shoulders are rounded forward, scapular retraction will help you to lift them up, which strengthens the surrounding muscles and increases your range of motion.

To do a scapular retraction, you need to use a resistance band. Whether you're sitting or standing up, simply loop the band around a sturdy and stable surface. Hold the handle and stand up straight; once you feel the tension, keep your arms extended in front of you and pull your shoulders back slowly until the blades nearly touch each other. 

While it's a small movement, it can do wonders for improving your posture. 

The Bottom Line: Exploring Postural Exercises for the Elderly

When you think of the benefits of exercise, you might not think of improving your posture. But the truth is, an upright, unhindered posture is one of the keys to staying healthy as you age. That's why seniors shouldn't skip exercises like these, which can make a huge difference in your physical health as you age.

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