Maintaining Mental and Physical Health

Combining both mental and physical exercises into a daily routine can help seniors live a coveted healthy lifestyle.

Mental Exercises

Try to use mental imagery to relieve stress and relax your body and mind. There are many books available about meditation and other mental relaxation techniques. Try one and see what works for you.

Muscular Flexibility Exercises

Try to bend, move and stretch everyday to help joints from becoming stiff.  Remember to stretch slowly and try not to bounce. Exhaling as you stretch helps your muscles relax even more.

Following are a few exercises that can help you get started:

  • Finger Stretching – With your left hand palm down, use your right hand to slowly pull your left fingers back toward the ceiling. Repeat with the other hand.
  • Ankle Rotation – With legs crossed, rotate foot of top leg. Repeat this with the other leg.
  • Neck Extension – Facing forward, move only your head so you are looking as far left as you can. Then repeat this movement looking toward the right. Now move your head so you are looking at the ceiling. Then bring your head down so you are looking at your feet.
  • Single Knee Pull – Either lying down on you back or sitting in a chair, take one knee with both hands cupping the knee cap and pull the leg toward your chest. Repeat the movement with your other leg.
  • Backstretch – Facing forward with arms spread to your sides, twist so you are facing your right. Then twist so you are facing your left.

You should do each exercise about 5 times a day at first. If you later feel you can do more, increase repetitions cautiously until you find a comfortable level.