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Fitness for Seniors

Strength & Balance Exercises Part 2

In our second installment of fitness activities to improve or maintain your strength and balance, we are focusing on “levelling” up your activity. We do this in a variety of ways. It could be by increasing the time spent performing an exercise (i.e. extra 5mins), adding the number of repetitions to an activity (i.e. 15times instead of 10), or holding a stretch for a longer duration (i.e. try an extra 10seconds).

Another way of challenging yourself, when you’re ready of course, is by adding more challenging exercises or poses like the ones below.

Before you start:

  • If you are new to exercise or have not been active in some time, speak with your doctor to see if these exercises are right for you.
  • Remember, if you feel pain, shortness of breath or dizziness while doing any of these exercises, please stop and talk to your doctor.

Wall Push-ups

  • Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  • Keep your heels on the floor.
  • Slowly lower yourself toward the wall bending your elbows while keeping your back straight. Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Slowly extend your arms to return to start position. Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Keep elbows soft (not locked). Repeat.

Hip Flex

  • This exercise is a stage 2 lift.
  • The knee of your support leg should be slightly bent.
  • Lift one leg toward chest and hold for 2 seconds, then lift leg higher and hold again.
  • Slowly return to start position.
  • Repeat using the other leg.

Sit-to-Stand

  • Sit towards the front of the chair with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean slightly forward.
  • Stand up slowly, using your legs, not your arms.
  • Keep looking forward. Stand tall.
  • To sit: lean slightly forward, bend your knees and slowly lower your buttocks back into the chair.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

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Strength & Balance Exercises

During the winter months, it’s often a challenge to be active, especially outdoors. But, there are ways that we can maintain good health, increase muscle function, and improve our balance and flexibility, even while indoors.

In our two-part series, we will be focusing on Strength and Balance Exercises.

Strength and balance activities are often overlooked when we begin an exercise routine. However, strength and balance are just as important as popular endurance activities, such as walking on the treadmill or cycling. In fact, if you are looking at ways to improve your daily tasks and help to prevent falls, strengthening your muscles and improving your balance is key!

Before you start:

  • If you are new to exercise or have not been active in some time, speak with your doctor to see if these exercises are right for you.
  • Remember, if you feel pain, shortness of breath or dizziness while doing any of these exercises, please stop and talk to your doctor.

Some things to remember when you begin an exercise routine is to wear comfortable clothes and supportive shoes, such as running or walking shoes. Consider warming up with 5 minutes of walking or marching on the spot before beginning any activity. Cooling down in the same manner always helps to repair any muscles and lower your heart rate to a comfortable rate.

The following exercises are not meant to raise your heart rate significantly and are considered low-impact. However, ensuring you have a sturdy chair (no wheels) to hold on to and using slow and controlled movements should help you in maintaining the position and repeating as necessary. breathe normally and slowly. Don’t forget, you can start off slow by doing each exercise 5 times and then building up to 15 times when you can.

The exercises will get easier as your strength improves. When this occurs, simply increase your repetitions or hold the position for longer (ex. up to 10 seconds). Challenge yourself only when you feel steady and assured that you are building strength and balance. This can be achieved by holding the chair with only one hand or working your way up to simply your fingertips or no hands at all! Safety is key and if you are unsure or become unbalanced, reach out to the chair and slowly work your way back again.

Hamstring Curl

  • Stand with feet slightly apart.
  • The knee of your support leg should be slightly bent.
  • Slowly bend your knee, bringing your heel toward your buttocks.
  • Only bend your knee, stand tall.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to start position.
  • Repeat using other leg.

Small Squats

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Slowly push your buttocks back while bending your knees.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to start position.
  • Keep your chest and head up.
  • This is a small squat so don’t bend too far.

Back Leg Raises

  • Stand with feet slightly apart.
  • The knee of your support leg should be slightly bent.
  • Slowly raise one leg back, keeping your back straight.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to start position.
  • Repeat using other leg.

Side Leg Raise

  • Stand with feet together.
  • The knee of your support leg should be slightly bent.
  • Slowly lift one leg out to the side, keep back straight and tall.
  • Keep foot pointed forward.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to start position.
  • Repeat using other leg.

Flamingo

  • Stand with feet slightly apart.
  • The knee of your support leg should be slightly bent.
  • Stand and lift the right knee, by sliding the right foot halfway up the left leg.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds and return to start position.
  • Repeat using other leg.

**Next week, we will take the movements up a notch with a few more challenging moves you can try!


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

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Seated Chair Exercises

As you gather during the holidays or when visiting elderly loved ones any time of year, keeping active is key to ensuring continued mobility and flexibility.

We have researched 5 exercises that could help you, a loved one, or a person in your care. These are low-impact seated chair exercises, however, always consult your doctor before adding any range of motion or exercise activities to your routine.

Overhead Bend & Reach

  1. Gently raise both arms above your head.
  2. Lower your right arm and lean to the right. Feel the stretch in your left side.
  3. Hold for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Return to your original position with your arms over you head.
  5. Drop your left arm and lean to the left.
  6. Repeat 2 to 4 times on each side.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

  1. Lift your arms near the level of your shoulders with your elbows. pointed straight out to the side.
  2. Bring your elbows back while you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Don’t left or shrug your shoulders as you are squeezing.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Knee Extension

  1. Straighten and lift one leg, and hold while you slowly count to 5. Be sure you don’t lock your knee.
  2. Slowly lower your leg back down.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  4. Do the exercise with the other leg.

Neck Rotation

  1. Keeping your chin level, turn nyour head to the left, and hold for at least 15 seconds.
  2. Turn your head to the right and hold for at least 15 seconds.
  3. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each side.

Marching in Place

  1. Sit with your feet slightly apart, and keep your hands at the edge of your chair or on the armrests.
  2. March in place, lifting your knees, one at a time, high towards the ceiling. Remember to breathe normally.
  3. Keep marcching in a smooth rhythm for 1 minute. Work up to marching 5 minutes or longer.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998. We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

#chairexercises #exerciseforseniors #fitness #thursday #seniorcare #seniorliving #healthcare #ottawahomecare #elderlycare #assistedliving #caregiving #homehealthcare #dementia #eldercare #elderly #alzheimers #parkinsons #health #mealassistance #homecare #ottnews #seniorhomecareinottawa #senior #dementiacare #Ottawa #ottawaretirement #retirement #ottcity #LHIN

Stretches For Seniors

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World Kindness Day

Observed globally in many countries, World Kindness Day is a way to show gratitude to others and perform good deeds to those in your community, city and worldwide.

 


Think about doing one or more random acts of kindness today to celebrate World Kindness Day. The best place to start is with yourself! Self-care and being kind to your mind, body, and soul is a great way to begin. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage after work, drink plenty of water, spend time outdoors or doing your favourite activity, and smile – smiling not only benefits the other person but elevates your mood as well! 

Sit-to-stand Exercise

Performing daily activities as simple as standing up from a chair, the toilet, or getting up from bed can be quite challenging for many seniors as they age. This simple and effective exercise will help to increase mobility and function to perform a variety of daily tasks and improve their quality of life.

Sit-to-Stand exercises also strengthen leg, core, and back muscles and those muscles are needed to increase mobility and independence as well as improve balance. The best part is, you don’t need any special equipment (just a sturdy chair) and it can be done anywhere. 



Equipment needed

  • A sturdy chair that won’t slide on the floor.

Safety is priority #1!

Assist your elderly loved one for the first few repetitions.

Having a cane or walker within reach may help, but note that this may cause further imbalance when pulling and reaching for it, causing it to tip or fall.

Basic sit to stand exercise

  1. Scoot/walk hips up to the edge of the chair. Or when first seated, do not sit all the way back, but rather towards the front edge.

  2. Bring your feet back your toes are underneath your knees

  3. Take a deep breath. Lean forward a little to bring your upper body over your toes/knees and push up, using the strength in your legs, to a standing position. *Optional: Use arms to push off the chair or off of knees

  4. Pause while standing straight. Take another deep breath and ensure that the chair is touching the back of your legs before sitting.

  5. To sit, bend a little at the knees and lean upper body forward to push hips toward the chair and lower the body to a seated position

  6. Pause before doing the next repetition.

Repetitions can vary depending on the strength, balance, and mobility of the individual. However, with consistent practice, begin to increase your repetitions as you get stronger. There are also several videos you can watch to ensure proper form, as well as options to increase the level of difficulty.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Happy #NationalChocolateDay! Today, for those in the United States, is a day to honour this delicious treat, but in fact, World Chocolate Day was actually on July 7th! No matter what day you celebrate, chocolate is a favourite treat amount people of all ages, especially now during the Halloween season.

But, did you know some chocolates actually have health benefits? With everything, moderation is key and knowing your personal health history and any conditions should be taken into consideration when introducing chocolate to your diet.

Benefits of Chocolate

Not all chocolates are created equally. Dark chocolate, especially, due to its higher cocoa, have more health benefits (and less sugar!) than your standard and often favourite milk chocolate options.

Good-quality dark chocolate has a number of benefits. It contains healthy vitamins and minerals (including magnesium, iron, zinc and manganese). It is also an antioxidant-rich superfood, much like acai, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry. As an antioxidant, it can neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. This type of stress often leads to the development of heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and eye disease.

 

Eating chocolate in moderation (some studies says 20 – 30g per day), also has the following benefits:

  • Decrease stress and inflammation

  • Protect against UV damage

  • Protect from disease-fighting free radicals

  • Potentially prevent cancer

  • Improve heart health

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar

  • Improve overall cholesterol profile

  • Improve cognitive function

 

 

 

Of course, depending on your lifestyle, current health conditions, or medical history, chocolate can be a great addition to your diet. However, due to its high calories, it may also pose risks such as increased sugar intake (if eaten too frequently) and possible weight gain. Always seek the advice of health care professionals and listen to your body when judging whether you’ve had too much.

 

Crafty Halloween Characters

Ever wonder what to do with those empty paper rolls? Well, why not make some fun and spooky Halloween characters?! In today’s blog, we show you how easy crafting can be for you and your loved ones this Halloween!

Materials

  • Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls

  • Craft paint in Halloween colours (i.e. black, orange, white, yellow)

  • Paintbrushes

  • Accessories, such as pipe cleaners, craft paper, googly eyes, string, etc.

  • Craft glue

  • Markers or pencil crayons

Instructions

  1. Using craft paint and brushes, paint the paper roll all around the outside. Set aside and let dry. This can be done ahead of time, depending on the comfort level and ability of those in your care.
  2. Using craft paper, markers, and accessories, begin to cut, glue, and design your Halloween character! You can use the examples in our photos to help you decide what to make.
  3. Let dry and display on a table…preferably near those yummy Halloween treats!

 

Turkey Trot!


One popular activity held during Thanksgiving, typically in the United States, is the annual Turkey Trot! A Turkey Trot is usually defined as a long-distance foot-race performed during the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. This event has been so popular that it has started to include any form of physical fitness or activity.

Families and friends often gather in person or virtually to participate in a fitness activity for approx. one hour.

At times, donations to local food banks or monetary donations are provided for charities of their choice in order to give thanks and give back to the local community.

Here are some ideas to join in the Turkey Trot fun with your loved ones this holiday:



  • Take a walk in the park to look at the changing leaves

  • Walk around the neighbourhood to explore local events or sites

  • Enroll in a fitness class virtually or in-person

  • Do outdoor, or indoor, Yoga

  • Dance to your favourite music

  • Play your favourite game like tennis or golf

  • Do chair Yoga or Tai Chi

  • Toss a balloon

  • Play lawn bowling

  • Take a bicycle ride at a local trail

Take note that some activities depend on the mobility and ability of yourself and those in your care.



Whatever the activity, stay active and have fun!

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot!


One popular activity held during Thanksgiving, typically in the United States, is the annual Turkey Trot! A Turkey Trot is usually defined as a long-distance foot race performed during the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. This event has been so popular that it has started to include any form of physical fitness or activity.

Families and friends often gather in person or virtually to participate in a fitness activity for approx. one hour.

At times, donations to local food banks or monetary donations are provided for charities of their choice in order to give thanks and give back to the local community.

Here are some ideas to join in the Turkey Trot fun with your loved ones this holiday:



  • Take a walk in the park to look at the changing leaves

  • Walk around the neighbourhood to explore local events or sites

  • Enroll in a fitness class virtually or in-person

  • Do outdoor, or indoor, Yoga

  • Dance to your favourite music

  • Play your favourite game like tennis or golf

  • Do chair Yoga or Tai Chi

  • Toss a balloon

  • Play lawn bowling

  • Take a bicycle ride at a local trail

Take note that some activities depend on the mobility and ability of yourself and those in your care.


Whatever the activity, stay active and have fun!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.