Four… No Nine! Exercises for Seniors

April 9th, 2017

Simple exercises, necessary exercises, and fun exercises: find something you like!

Our population is aging steadily, and North American culture is getting older. People are living longer, staying healthier and more vibrant thanks to dietary changes, increased attention to exercise, and improvements in health care sciences. How can we live even longer and feel even better as we age? How do seniors avoid the need for in home physiotherapy or in home care? How do you recover from surgery or from a fall and prevent future health problems? There's one huge step you can take: regular exercise.



If you exercise every day or even two or three times a week, this will go a long ways toward extending your life and avoiding unnecessary pain and agony. Exercise can go a long way toward removing "those little aches and pains" that are unnecessary and actually add stress to your day, and to your physical wellness. These stressors add up and will increase your need for home care  or even assisted living retirement homes. Although these are great services for seniors, you want to delay your need for these as long as possible, and live as happily and healthily as you can every day. With that in mind, here are a variety of exercises you can do in your own home that will improve your sense of balance and increase your overall health.

Centre of Gravity Training

Reduce your imbalance, helps you stay nimble. You can use exercises below simply by standing on a solid floor. Others use simple tools like stability balls or foam pads, steps, etc.

  1. Stand sideways to a wall, holding on to the wall.
  2. Shift your weight to the centre of your foot closest to the wall. Form a "tripod" with your big toe, little toe, and heel so that you feel your whole foot, then lift the arch for extra support
  3. Raise your other foot slowly, from the floor, gradually shifting all your weight onto your other foot, closer to the wall. Bend your other leg bent at all three of the hip, knee, and ankle.
  4. Focus on a point directly in front of you then let go of the wall. Now, keep your balance as long as possible, with that one foot on the ground. If you tip, get back into position. If you are able to hold this for half a minute or more, your sense of balance is good.

Do this several times a day if you like. Try it while standing on a soft foam pad. Try it with your eyes closed. This is a simple exercise you can pick up and drop as you see fit.

Multi-sensory training

Maintains all your sensory systems: eyesight, inner ear working, muscle receptors. Perform with or without props like stability ball or chairs.

Seniors-oriented exercise:
  1. Walk along a hallway, following closely along the wall
  2. Then place one foot directly in front of the other as you walk, like you are balancing on a tightrope. Feel how your feet and ankles are working, as your support base narrows
  3. Then touch the heel of your front foot to the top of the back one. Turn your head to the side and keep walking as you were. Notice how not looking makes this more difficult.
  4. Now, walk with heel to toe while holding a book in your eyesight.

You have now challenged another one of the systems that assists your balance: the visual. By reading something up close you will throw off the signals coming from your peripheral vision that lets your brain know where your centre of gravity is in relation to your base of support.

Walking gait training

At any age, it can be important to improve or optimize the efficiency and flexibility of your walking gait. For seniors, exercising this aspect is especially important as you age. Improving your gait can help you avoid simple mishaps or serious falls.

Seniors-oriented exercise

Walk down a long corridor or sidewalk and pay attention to the height of your feet as you walk. Lift your feet properly, planting the heel first on the floor. Roll off the ball and the toes  of your back foot, lifting it off the ground and plant the heel in front of your other foot. Be conscious of this process as you take more steps, perhaps even calling out parts of the process as you do so. Then speed it up, remaining conscious of the rolling motion of your foot as you pace. This is proper gait training for seniors or anyone at any age and will improve your back, your posture. Of course, walking is a great exercise; walking properly is better.

Simple resistance training for seniors

All seniors should ideally include strength training as part of their exercise regimen. Exercises that focus on flexibility, strength and endurance look ahead to maintaining health and vitality for more time to come. Your musculoskeletal system is most vulnerable to decline, and benefits the most from advanced attention to the following types of exercises.

Exercise 1:
  1. Stand behind a chair, grab the back of the chair, with feet together but not touching.
  2. Inhale as you move downward into a crouch, as if you are sitting. Be careful not to strain yourself but push down exactly to the point where you feel a healthy resistance.
  3. Exhale as you stand up again.
  4. Repeat this ten times, so that you feel it in your thighs (quadriceps) and your butt (glutes).
Exercise 2 ideally suited to seniors
  1. Stand on your heels, and stretch out the arch of each foot, lower your feet back down then repeat this stretch for up to ten repetitions, so that you feel it in the back of the calf muscles.

More ways to exercise, ideally suited to seniors

There are other kinds of exercise that are ideally suited for seniors.

Golfing, loved by many seniors, of course: some who come to the game late and others who have waited to retire so they can golf more. There are many seniors' communities, in fact, that are built around golfing. Check out this list of Canadian active lifestyle communities with golf courses. Golf is excellent for a number of reasons: it encourages walking, gets people out into the fresh air, and also has a strong social element, which also has many healthy effects.

Yoga is a regimen of stretching that is truly ideally low impact. It stretches muscles, improves circulation and it also reduces stress.

Tai Chi is a suitably slow, low-impact regimen. Many seniors may not have heard of this ideal, fun way of working out. It combines disciplined exercise with social activity. It keeps you loosened up, improves circulation. John Evan was one senior we talked to who had a fall and hurt his back. "It was my own fault," he admitted, but he started on a Tai Chi program hosted in his retirement home in New Brunswick. Says Evans, "I don’t think I'd even heard of it till I came here. But it’s a great thing; it really keeps [me] loose and gives [me] strength."

Belly dancing is another activity that some senior women find they can relate to.  There are classes available that can be community-based while others will even tour retirement homes.

Working out is the common way that many seniors get exercise. The local World Gym I am a member of has a healthy dose of seniors in their clientele, many of them obviously enjoying their time in the gym. I also get into many retirement homes, which all have exercise rooms or gyms on site, and every one of these is plenty busy.

The bottom line is…. find something you love doing and do it regularly. That's the secret to keeping active at any age. If you don't like running, take up hiking, biking, golfing, or so many of the other choices above.

Watch the video below for more!

Cardio, cycling and fitness

10 Fitness Ideas to Amp Up Your Workout

May 13th, 2016

Running out of workout ideas? Staying fit isn’t easy, especially if you are losing motivation due to a dull routine. But don’t worry, it happens to everyone. The best thing you can do when boredom begins is to amp up your workout with these fun and effective ideas.

1.      Step away from the machine

Structured and easy to use resistance machines can be pretty alluring. They have instructions and control your movements to make sure you are doing them correctly, but according to McKinley Health Center, free weights have more physical benefits.

  • Allow full range of motion
  • Target multiple muscle groups at once
  • Improve coordination and control
  • More challenging
  • More adaptable

2.      Focus on flexibility

Although you might be focused on increasing your speed, reps or overall strength, don’t forget the importance of flexibility. Harvard Health Publications emphasizes flexibility is key to your workout.

  • helps with balance
  • prevents back pain
  • prevents injuries
  • allows full range of motion

Just make sure to stretch after your workout, not before.

3.      Incorporate yoga

For some reason, women tend to gravitate to yoga classes, but this calming practice is something everyone should try.

  • improves flexibility
  • enhances balance
  • helps manage weight

Studies show people who practice yoga just once a week can lose five pounds over 10 years. Imagine if you practiced in a bit more or combined it with your cardio. Sign up for a class or check out some free yoga videos on YouTube to gain the benefits of yoga for weight loss.

Let's read some fitness secrets:

4.      Interval train when you’re short on time

Studies show an intense 5-minute interval workout (10 minutes if you include the warm up and cool down) provide the same results as a 45-minute workout. All you have to do is intersperse three 20 second bursts of energy with two, two-minute periods of moderate activity. If you are short on time, this is a good way to get your workout in for the day.

5.      Join a group

If you have the willpower, working out alone has its advantage, but research shows strong advantages for group exercise.

  • Working out with others creates accountability
  • It can create motivation through competition
  • There’s an added social benefit
  • It raises endorphins more than working out alone

6.      Get massages

Sports teams pay big money for professional massage therapists for a reason. Studies show massage can decrease your recovery time to get you back on your game, fast. One study found that a short, 10-minute Swedish massage right after working out reduced inflammation to help heal muscles. Of course, massage has other benefits as well says the American Massage Therapy Association.

  • Reduces stress
  • Treats lower back and neck pain
  • Gives joint pain relief
  • Improves sleep
  • Enhances range of motion

7.      Vary your rep speed

Many amateurs just start off lifting at a normal speed, but how you do your reps really can make a difference. One study showed that slow reps resulted in a 50 percent increase in strength than when they were done quickly, so there’s no need to rush through. You should vary the speed, and even pause to hold the weights to increase the time your muscles are under tension. The more tension, the more you’ll gain.


8.      Make a playlist to maximize your workout

Everyone has headphones dangling from their ears at the gym, and you probably like to use music to motivate you as well. It turns out there are some real benefits to choosing the right music, researchers say music really can enhance different workouts.

  • Choose rap or hip-hop when you’re stretching and running
  • Make a dance music playlist for your strength training
  • Cool down with catchy pop songs

9.      Indulge in the sauna and hot tub

Some think of these heat producers as nothing more than luxury, but they may actually boost your workout results. Animal studies showed heat chambers improved muscle mass by 13 percent over two weeks, but now researchers also think saunas improve heart health and lead to longer lives. If you have a gym membership, you probably already have access to a hot tub or a sauna (or both) so what are you waiting for?

10. Always remember to warm up and cool down

Sometimes you might be tempted to skip your warm up or cool down, especially if you’re in a hurry, but the American Heart Association warns against missing them.

  • Warm ups improve your performance while you are working out
  • They improve flexibility and increase oxygen flow
  • They reduce stress on your heart
  • A cool down helps your body adjust, gently slowing your heart rate
  • It also prevents a rapid drop in blood pressure so you don’t feel dizzy

Now that you know how to amp up your activity, get out there and get moving.

Watch this video: Secret Tips To Find Success and Keep Motivated

About the Author

Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Get in touch with her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.


fitness equipment advice

9 Reasons To Ditch Gym And Work Out At Home

September 8th, 2015

Going to the gym may have its perks, but the downsides can sometimes be too overwhelming that it seems wiser to do your workouts in the comfort of your own personal space. Travelling, membership fees, noise, busy-ness, hygiene, there are practically countless factors which can dissuade anyone from going back to a crowded place to do exercise. Let’s delve a little deeper to see what makes your home a more suitable place for working out.

The weather

No matter what season it is, you won’t have to trudge through the cold winter and warm summer air if you decide to create a gym at your home. With some air conditioning and proper ventilation, you can set perfect conditions for exercise in peace. Everything you need and are used to, is a couple of feet away.

home-workoutNo Gym Schedules

You can dictate your own pace. It’s understandable that members of a gym are the ones who have to be flexible, because a gym usually can't meet every individual temporal demand. They make their own workout timetables, regardless of your (un)available time, so if you want to avoid this kind of pressure, it’s best when the scheduling is entirely up to you.

You Don’t Have To Dress For The Occasion

It may be a bit superficial, but people tend to prim themselves up before going to the gym, because almost no one wants to be seen in their trashy, careless edition. This can be tedious, counter-productive  and time-consuming; at home, you won’t have to brush your hair, choose between polka dots or striped sports bra, worry about previous sweat marks, etc.


Yes, every professional fitness business must have showers, but during working out, germs can get everywhere, especially when a sweaty guy finishes his routine on a machine and doesn’t wipe down his bodily left-overs. At least at your home, the germs are your own.

Timely Diet

Imagine you had an intense workout and now you’re so hungry, you’d kill for a meal. It can take some people hours to finally reach their fridge in order to recharge their batteries and recover their energy with good food. Home gyms, however, are just a couple of steps away from the kitchen.

The Noises

Ah, yes, people tend to make all sorts of sounds, grunts and other noises during their exercise, especially the bodybuilders who love to bolster themselves up with a couple of roars. This can be quite distracting, pretty obvious why. To avoid that gym orchestra, stay at home and make your own gym music.

Everything Is Up To You

You can just roll out of bed and start working out immediately. Or if you’re not in the mood at the moment, you can always move your session to later. The point is, everything depends on your will and pace. The most important thing is to buy yourself some proper commercial fitness equipment, or find ways to improvise by exercising with your own body weight and using your surroundings.

Workout Buddies

You can exercise with your friends, family, maybe even hire a personal trainer to come to your home so you can exercise and socialize more freely in a relaxed atmosphere. At the gym, things are usually either too professional, too distracting and sometimes even too vain.

When You’re Done, You Can Catch Your Breath At Your Leisure

No matter how much you’ve worked out, nothing can stop you from sprawling out on the floor when you finish giving your all. It’s your success, so enjoy yourself while gasping for air after the rough ride. You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself when your body has forced you on the ground, in spite of current glorious achievements.

fitness equipment advice, fitness running

Metabolism Hacks to Drive Your Weight Loss

August 24th, 2015

When it comes to speeding up your metabolism, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is working out. Of course, this is not the only option, but is probably the best one.

If you are a regular at your local gym, you’re definitely on the right track to get rid of that extra weight. Actually, even jogging is enough to keep those toxins and acids under control. A recent study confirms that exercising can outweigh the harms of breathing in polluted streets, let alone keep your body toxins in check.

It’s official! You need to hit the gym today if you want to drop some weight and speed up your metabolism to turn food into energy faster.

But what else can a person do to increase their metabolism?

Move around

Standing, alone, will help you burn more calories, build muscles, improve your blood flow and consequently increase your metabolism. It is highly recommended to stay active and on your feet even during your working hours, especially if your line of work implies that you have to spend most of your day in front of a computer device.

Designers, architects, writers, all office workers are constantly exposing themselves to the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and something called the sitting disease. Although this article implies that exercise is not the answer, don’t believe the hype.

Staying on your feet is essential for your metabolism, so since you are in front of a computer screen right now - stand up! Get a glass of water and return to this article.

Drink Water

Drinking warm lemon water helps you clean your digestive system, and the best time to drink it is right after you wake up, before breakfast. If you manage to implement this habit into your daily routine, you will have no problem kick starting every day feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You can even pour some honey into it, and this drink will still be beneficial for your metabolism.

One can simply drink a lot of cold water, and his/her body will have a reaction which will result in weight loss. Fluids are very important for our bodies, so drink at least 0.7 gallons of water per day.

Not only water, but drinking caffeine is highly recommended as well. It is known to increase athletic performance, so consider doing your workout after inserting a certain amount of caffeine, since it can be extra beneficial.

If you are not a coffee person, green tea is a great alternative as well. It is an antioxidant, a fat burner, it is good for your heart and it even helps fight anxiety.

Have this in mind and drink coffee or tea during the day, to help you increase your metabolism. This hack, combined with a proper nutrition, is all you need to stay fit and healthy.

Proper Nutrition

Eating veggies is a crucial factor for losing weight. Veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower are known for their ability to overclock the digestive system, which makes your metabolism super-fast.

If you do work out (and as we established you definitely should), organize your meals before and after each session. You should insist on this particular system, since fueling up before the work out is essential for your energy levels. Having a snack after your session will repair your muscle fibers and replenish your glycogen, but be careful and avoid eating fatty foods for at least an hour. Fat causes slower protein absorption, which is not good news for your metabolism.

One last piece of advice, when it comes to nutrition, is to mind your spices! Spicing up your food can be a risky move, for some are rich in calories, but it can be a good investment in the long run. Ingredients such as chilly, cayenne and ginger are going to overheat your digestive tract, and turn you into a walking furnace. Your metabolism will go crazy, and you will soon start sweating and detoxifying.

As a special treat for all sugar craving individuals out there who wish to stay fit but indulge their appetite as well, here is a syrupy and nutritious recipe that will increase your metabolism, burn calories, but still keep your sweet tooth contented!

Blueberry French-toast


  • 1 cup of fat-free milk
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 8 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon of herbal oil.


These ingredients are enough for 4 servings, and it only takes 20 minutes of prep time!

The first thing that you have to do is put the blueberries in ½ cup of milk, add cottage cheese and sugar, and mix it all in a blender until it gets smooth.

Combine the egg whites and the whole egg with the rest of the milk in a shallow bowl. You will have to whisk that mixture until it gets smooth as well.

While you are making final preparations, put a pan on the stove. Once the pan is heated, pour in a half a cup of herbal oil.

Place these “sandwiches” in the egg mixture, let them soak in, and after that simply throw them on the skillet. When you are sure that they are brown and done on one side, pour the rest of the oil over the top and flip them.

There you go! This is a perfect, nutritious recipe full of proteins, beneficial for both your metabolism and your sugar craze so it will keep you fit and happy.

The amount of weight lost simply by having a fast metabolism is outstanding, and that is the main secret of all those slim people. We all have those friends who can eat as much as they can, and still remain fit and without extra body weight. Well, those people naturally have a very fast metabolism, which can also be achieved by applying the above mentioned tips.

Author bio: Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life at and other health blogs. Follow him on Twitter.

dieting and fitness

What to Expect when You’re Starting with Personal Training

July 13th, 2015

Deciding that you need to start working out is the first step -- a big one -- in a long process that is ahead of you; congratulations on making this important decision. What lies before you is a difficult journey full of obstacles, and travelling will not be easy; this is why you should seek help from someone who has already been there and will understand exactly what you will be going through. Look for a person you could rely on and be comfortable with to guide you through the workout – a personal trainer.

Personal trainer really knows you

When we say ‘knows you’, we really mean it. In order to come up with a good workout and nutrition plans, personal trainer needs to know your eating, drinking, and workout habits, and you need to be open about your past and your health as well. You will open up to this person and show them everything you’ve been hiding from the rest of the world, maybe even your partner: love handles, thighs that rub against each other, all those soft and wiggly parts you are ashamed of and want gone forever.

Maximized workout

When you’re working alone, you will do exercises you know best and stick to them, perhaps experimenting just a bit here and there. Sure, you can follow a workout plan you’ve found online or got from a friend, but with a personal trainer you will get a plan designed especially for you and a professional by your side who will make sure you don’t hurt yourself in the process.

The relationship can escalate

Once you step on that scale before your personal trainer, you hand them the steering wheel and allow them to take control. They will know your most intimate dreams and all of your little vices you thought about keeping to yourself. All this leads to developing a special relationship where the two of your should be brutally honest with each other and develop a close relationship, which can lead to developing feelings for your personal trainer, says Brigid Delaney. Nevertheless, it is difficult not to develop any feelings for this person who is there for you, while you’re sweating and working hard to achieve your goals.

Designed for you

One of the best things about a personal trainer is that he or she will adjust to you, and work hard to get you in shape while respecting you and your time. Some gyms like Symmetry Gym Dubai go as far as to get your injury history, coachability, diet experience, psychological profile, and food habits as a starting point to design your fitness and nutrition plans; the personal trainer is there to help you stick to those plans and turn them into action. This way, you get a program designed for you alone which will surely give the best possible results.

Your relationship with your personal trainer should be open, you should be able to trust each other and communicate freely and honestly. When someone is there for you in the most difficult times, it is only natural that you develop a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. It is likely that you two will become good friends and that your bonds will grow ever stronger.

dieting and fitness, fitness equipment advice, women's fitness