3 Functional Fitness Tips to Improve Mobility

Functional fitness workouts can help ease daily activities for older adults through muscle strengthening and toning

Mobility is essential to the health and well-being of older adults. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, impaired mobility contributes to many health problems, including depression and cardiovascular disease, and also can limit social contact with friends and relatives. 

Seniors challenged by limited mobility while cleaning, gardening, or playing with their grandchildren may want to consider a functional fitness workout specifically designed to support aging bodies. Functional fitness for seniors exercises the heart, lungs, muscles, and joints to keep them strong and flexible to meet the physical demands of daily life.

MySilverAge.com recommends these three functional fitness workouts for improved mobility:

1. Use sandbells to minimize strain. While exercise equipment such as dumbbells strengthen arms, many weights can place too much strain on the hands. A sandbell—a weighted, contoured fabric bag filled with sand—is an easier alternative for older adults, because they offer customizable weight and grip for strength exercises, while minimizing stress and strain on hands.

2. Use interval training for quick bursts of energy. Children tend to have short bursts of energy followed by periods of rest before they start again. Keep up with the grandkids with interval training. Walk on a treadmill at a normal speed for five minutes, then increase to a more challenging pace for one minute and repeat.

3. Use an exercise ball for better balance. Good balance is vital for safe walking, stair climbing, and avoiding falls. Use an exercise ball in place of a chair during traditional workouts, such as lifting weights, to help improve balance. The instability of the ball forces all the body’s muscles to work together to support stability and steady balance.

For additional tips to help improve senior mobility, flexibility and balance, watch the video: “5 Movements to Increase Mobility.”