Staying active in old age is essential for maintaining mobility; and staving off debilitating conditions – such as heart disease and diabetes. It’s a sad reality – but reduced motion comes with growing older; and physical activities that were once simple can become increasingly difficult. For these individuals, low-impact alternatives – that can be easily within a home environment; could prove beneficial. As such, here are just a few examples of exercise for older adults – that can be performed in and around your very own annexe.
It’s Like Yoga – But Comfortable:
Yoga for older adults might not seem the wisest choice at first – it’s notorious for unexpected injuries, after all. Far from intimidating however, this exercise can easily be incorporated into a home workout for older people – provided it’s not pushed too far. In fact – it’s actually a popular exercise option; with 14 million over 50s practising it regularly in the US alone. With yoga offering a myriad of health-related benefits – such as improved muscle strength, balance and flexibility; it’s not hard to see why.
For those already dealing with reduced mobility however – traditional yoga can simply prove too strenuous to undertake. As a result, these individuals are turning to an alternative approach – and practising yoga from the comfort of their armchair. It’s a low-impact, accessible form; incurring less stress on the bones, muscles and joints through use of a seated position. With no additional equipment needed, it’s an ideal choice for exercising in an annexe.
Research has also suggested that armchair yoga can improve mental health in older people in addition to the exercise’s physical benefits. Indeed – regular practitioners found they had a better quality of sleep and reduced instances of depression. What’s more, it can also be an effective remedy for loneliness among the elderly. Many local Age UK groups run chair-based exercise classes – with a trained instructor; that can prove a great place to meet new people.
Pilates as Exercise for Older Adults:
Pilates is another popular, low-impact form of exercise among the elderly – though it’s one that’s often confused with yoga. Though both develop core strength, improve balance and circulation in older adults; the two are intrinsically different. Whereas yoga gradually increases joint flexibility through holding an adopted position; Pilates relaxes and strengthens tense muscles through adding slight movements.
As a physical activity for older adults, Pilates typically involves mats, inflated balls and various other – relatively inexpensive, accessories. Using these to build strength, exercises strengthen the core and legs; improving balance and decreasing the likelihood of falls. What’s more, this form of exercise has also been shown to slow debilitating diseases – such as MS and Parkinson’s; and provide aid for Arthritis sufferers.
Without requiring an awful lot of space to perform, Pilates can be carried out in the comfort of your annexe with ease. At iHus, our range of footprints are especially designed to maximise space – so owners have the freedom and room to do whatever activity they choose.
Getting Up and About:
Depending on level of movement, some older adults may still find these low-impact exercises too taxing. Everyone’s circumstances will differ; so it’s important to opt for something that will be both comfortable and – most importantly, achievable. In cases of extreme reduced-mobility; regular physical activity as simple as standing from a seated position – or for an extended period of time; can make the world of difference.
Walking is a great example. It’s one of the least stressful, most accessible forms of exercise; and a great way to get the body moving without being overly strenuous. Far from just promoting a healthier lifestyle; regular walking strengthens muscles and lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. What’s more, it’s an activity that can be done anywhere; including inside an annexe, around the garden – or just down the street. As such, it’s perfect for incorporating into any exercise routine – regardless of ability.
Gardening as an Exercise for Older Adults:
When thinking about exercise – gardening isn’t typically the first thing that would come to mind. While it may not be as vigorous a workout as riding a bike or doing some heavy lifting’ it’s still a stimulating physical activity that provides a number of great health benefits. For older people, regular gardening activities – such as digging, weeding and watering; can help maintain key motor skills and improve endurance.
Gardening can also provide further health benefits – with studies indicating it could lower dementia risk by as much as 36%. It’s thought to be down to the activity requiring the use of many critical functions – such as sensory awareness. What’s more – as gardening takes place outdoors; it promotes relaxation and works to reduce stress levels. It’s no wonder then that it’s such a popular hobby among older people and recent-retirees. Simply put – it’s an enjoyable form of exercise.
With the right space – quite literally on your front doorstep in an annexe; this form of physical activity works perfectly for those living in garden homes. Depending on the scale and location of the build, there could be plenty of room to get creative with your gardening. For those with smaller plots however, creating a hanging or vertical garden could provide a beneficial solution; allowing you to still reap the rewards of this form of exercise.
Trust in iHus:
At iHus, we believe that your golden years are some of the most important – so we’re passionate about helping create garden homes that will support you through them. With more than 30 years experience – and almost 300 bespoke garden homes under-our-belt; we’re proud to be making that difference.
Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today – we’re always happy to help or offer our expert advice on anything to do with annexes.