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Wear The Gown: Helping seniors age gracefully through exercise

Moving is the key to staying young while getting older. Here are five different exercises to work into your routine.

SAN ANTONIO — Aging gracefully can be quite difficult for many seniors, as people are living longer. In tonight's Wear The Gown we find out why staying active is important for people of all ages, especially seniors.

By 2030, one in six people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. That's why exercise is so important to keep your health in check at any age.

"Sometimes aging is viewed as a challenge. So movement and daily exercise can kind of be the antidote to to that challenge so that we can continue doing what we want as we get older over time," said Dr. Zachary Kovacevic, the Clinical Director of Texas Physical Therapists on Huebner Road.

"I'm trying to postpone knee replacement surgery, and with a little work from Zack, I can usually get through my year and visit him the next year and get physical therapy," said his patient Rob Briggs.  

Here are five must-do exercises to keep seniors safe, strong, and aging well. First up. Everyday deadlifts. 

"Everyday deadlifts are essentially a movement that we all need to be able to perform repeated bending forwards and picking things up that can be anything from taking care of your your laundry, taking care of your the inside of your home, keeping it nice and clean, do some of your work outside," Dr. Kovacevic said.

Next up. Chair squats.

"Everyone has a chair at home,"  Dr. Kovacevic told us. "We can definitely work on lower leg strength and achieving erect positioning as you do the exercise. Ways to manipulate these variables include making the chair a little taller or a little shorter, and/or improving the sets or reps of this at home."

Now on to standing on one leg. 

"People can practice balancing on one leg for up to 10 seconds," Dr. Kovacevic said. "Even past that, it's very substantial for reducing fall risk. This is a really good exercise to be done where you feel safe, close to a countertop or something you can hold onto."

What about sideline windmills? 

"What it really does and looks to improve is neck mobility, your thoracic spine mobility, as well as some lumbar and mobility," Dr. Kovacevic said. "Easily done in the morning, or like I said sprinkled throughout the day."

And finally, everyday walking. 

"Walk 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and you should reap the benefits from your muscles, joints, nervous system, immune system, etc," Dr. Kovacevic added. 

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