8 Tips for Seniors to Keep Active in Quarantine from NYC Registered Personal Trainer

Seniors Walking

As Certified Nutritionists, we recognize that food is only part of the equation. For this blog, we connected with personal trainer Mary Jane Detroyer for tips on how seniors can remain active during quarantine. Be safe!

There are four pillars to fitness, in particular senior fitness: strength training, cardio, balance, and flexibility. Many mistake fitness for preparing for the Iron Man or other sports events. Being fit comes down to one fundamental thing – independence.

During the last several weeks, even longer for some, many have been confined to a small apartment space. I know, from experience, how hard it is to get in a comprehensive exercise program, especially during such closed-in times.

Safety first. Always. But while you’re staying at home, there are many safe exercises to do to keep your body active. 

  1. Sit less. Move more. Talking on the phone? Walk and talk. During commercials, get up to do an active chore (wash the dishes, dust the living room, take out the garbage). If you can’t walk or stand, do seated knee lifts, arm circles, kicks, and foot slides.
  2. Take a walk. Some people are living in less populated areas. Pay attention to times when there are fewer people out on the streets. Take a brisk walk around the block … up and down the street. Remember, staying safe and following quarantine recommendations is most important.Seniors Walking
  3. Take the stairs. If you live in an apartment building with stairs, walk up and down the stairs. BE CAREFUL ABOUT TOUCHING THE HANDRAIL. It’s important for balance, but you should avoid touching surfaces that many others have touched. 
  4. Pump up the music. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and move around the house until you get through 15 minutes. Add a song each day to build up endurance. 
  5. Get to gardening. If you have a small yard or garden, now’s the time to get to work. Being outside and active is good for both mind and body. Spring is here!
  6. Tai chi is a great, low-impact activity that can get your heart rate up as well as help you work your range of motion. Check out some tai-chi for beginners videos and 
  7. Sit up straight, stand tall. Great posture comes from a strengthened core.  Here are just three easy, at-home exercises to strengthen your core (warm up before doing these exercises and pay close attention to form).
    1. Semi-sits: Stand in front of a chair with your abdominal muscles tight. Move to sit down and stand back up before sitting all the way. Repeat five times.
    2. Leg lifts: Lie on your back with your legs flat. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift the right leg five inches off the floor. Hold it, then lower it. Repeat with the left leg. Do this five times each.
    3. Side bends. Sit on a chair. Put one hand behind your head and extend your other arm straight out to the side. Lean to the side, like you’re trying to touch the ground, keeping your abdominal muscles tight throughout the movement. Return to sitting position. Repeat on the other side. Do this five times each.Senior Women
  8. Join an online exercise class. There are so many people offering their services during this time – to keep people safe and connected and active! 

Staying home doesn’t mean staying inactive. Exercise is essential, not only for physical health but also mental health. 

No one should exercise if they’re experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms. Remember, safety and health first, but if you’re feeling like you’re going to crawl the walls … pump up the music and get moving. It’ll do you a world of good.