Heart Healthy Exercise for the Homebound and Elderly

Senior Woman ExercisingOver the last few weeks, the MyHHQI Blog has focused on managing cholesterol to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes. Last week, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Karen Sandusky wrote about nutrition education. Today, we will talk about exercise that improves cardiovascular health. There are many exercises that older people can do safely in their home.

Click for more information on the 3 questions.

Click for more information on the 3 questions.

Steps and Resources for Finding the Right Exercises

  • Ask the therapist, if ordered, to assist patient to set up a home exercise program that will include activities to improve heart health
    • If therapy is not ordered and not appropriate, consult with a therapist and discuss exercise needs for the patient
  • Assess patient’s ability with ADLs and IADLS, fall history, weakness, etc.
  • Visit the “My Go4Life” website to learn more about exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH 
    • Ideal for clinicians and for computer-savvy patients or their families
    • Free materials including workouts, exercise sheets, exercise video, audiobooks, healthy diet, etc.
    • Also available in Spanish
    • “Try These Exercises” provides descriptions of each type of exercise category,  printable exercise sheets, and/or  video demonstrations; many are very appropriate for older adults with limited mobility and even wheelchair-bound people
      • Endurance – climbing stairs, walking, dancing, etc.
      • Strength – chair dips, wall push-ups, arm curls, hand grip, back leg raises, leg straightening, etc.
      • Balance – stand on one foot, toe stand, balance walk, etc.
      • Flexibility – neck, shoulder, upper body, back, calf, etc.
    • Lots of additional resources that can be ordered or downloaded (e.g., motivational tips, success stories, etc.)

(National Institute on Aging, 2013)

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