Arm Toning Exercises
Arm toning exercises are often left up to the occupational therapist (OT). But the OT isn't always ordered by the doctor unless there seems to be an obvious need. Why do we need an obvious need? Isn't the fact that most elderly are over 50 or 60 and losing muscle mass, range of motion and independent functional ability on a daily basis?
The entire body benefits from ankle pumps just as much as neck stretches and arm exercises. Take the latissimus dorsi for instance, that big muscle that connects into the humerus (your upper arm bone) and covers a large mass of your back. When your lats get tight, your shoulder mobility decreases and when that happens, a lot of people have back pain. Ummm... it is all connected and everything helps everything.
Without the ability to reach over head, you lose the ability to extend or straighten you spine into a nice upright position. But as you improve arm strength and shoulder range of motion, you start to see how posture improves and even energy as you are able to breath in more oxygen into your body; the fuel that keeps us going!
As we begin to compile some great arm toning and strengthening exercises, we'll also consider the range of motion to work those exercises in and how they affect function, your ability to stay home and age in place and quite possibly ease some aches and pains that you've battled over the years.
Before you begin any exercise program, it's a good idea to check with your doctor or physical therapist. I gotta say that... most people don't but you should. :) I'm not treating you on this website, I'm simply empowering you with know how and knowledge to move forward with life! So, go ahead, do that...with your doctor. :)
Remember that all exercises, active or passive, should be done slow and controlled. If you're older, you're stiffer, period. Go easy on joints that haven't been lubricated in some years! No jerky or bouncy wishwash... just slow and controlled, or you might end up seeing your surgeon!
A little discomfort is ok, but you don't need to subscribe to the "no pain, no gain theory!" More is not always better. Shoulder range of motion is limited and more so in older joints. Take it easy and take it slow. Just enjoy the benefit of a gentle stretch as you strengthen your arms for improved life!