Gliding exercises can be the perfect program for fitness for seniors to help them use their body-mind connection for total health! Ponder the quote below, before reading this article. May we all be so unrestrained and not wait until our golden years:
'Time glides away and as we get older through the noiseless years; the days flee and are restrained by no reign.' ~ Ovid, (Ancient Roman classical Poet and Author of Metamorphoses, 43 BC-17)
As discussed in my article, "Using Gliding Discs to Transform Your Habits," the use of gliding exercises is a marvelous way to become unstuck, in all things, body-mind-soul. You may first want to read this article to set the stage so you may further understand my metaphorical approach to the body and it’s amazing ability to transform your entire life. Through your body you can tap into your true self by learning to listen to your body window.
are no exception and can learn new physical skills that will spill over
into all aspects of their lives for improving their body-mind-soul
health. Fitness for seniors is paramount, to improve their balance,
their range of motion and their muscle strength. Keeping their joints
lubricated and flexible with conditions of aging such as osteoarthritis
is especially important. Moves that require balance will aid in the
prevention of falls as well.
My mother-in-law is an active senior and she was very accommodating when I asked her if she would be willing to demonstrate the simple and easy to learn gliding exercises for my website, using gliding discs. I was surprised and happy when she picked up the movements easily. She even seemed to have a lot of fun! Fitness for seniors can indeed be fun!
The exercises I show in the video, below, are very basic and simple, and really require no instruction. Just put on some music that is a slow to moderate tempo, depending on your energy and skill levels and glide!
The moves really are only limited by your imagination! You can do your favorite dance moves, and add an interesting dimension with the gliding discs on your feet! Just slide and glide instead of stepping!
The biggest thing to remember if you are one of our seniors (and anyone else for that matter), when you start any new exercise program, including the gliding, is to go slow at first until your body acclimates to the new movement. It is always best as a senior to get your doctors approval first. Any program involving fitness for seniors should ensure that you can safely perform the gliding exercises and that you know how to make modifications if needed.
My mother-in-law is in her eighties, and she noticed right away where her range of motion was limited. When she performed the gliding exercise on the wall with her arms, she noticed that one arm was stiffer and couldn’t move as far as the other. In addition, the simple arm movements on the wall combined with having to raise her arms up, required an energy level in which she was not accustomed. Using the movements she demonstrates in the video on a regular basis would be a wonderful fitness for seniors program that would help her a lot over time.
When filming the gliding exercises for seniors' video, my mother could not perform any movements that required her to be on her knees due to her arthritis. Instead, I demonstrate these exercises for those seniors who do not have problems with their knees.
Use your body sensations as a guide when you do the exercises. If you have pain or too much stiffness, do not attempt the movement. Go intuitively where your body wants to go. Vary the gliding exercises and use the video as a place to start only. Trust your body and your heart! This is "intuitive movement." If you listen to your body, it won’t matter as much if you do it "right" but that you just do it!
Meditate on your fluidity and ease while you do your gliding. As you move, say: "My body, mind and soul flow with fluidity and ease. I glide through life! I am free!"
Notice in the video that at times we demonstrate the movements with plastic plates instead of the commercial gliding discs, so you can see that it can truly be done on a limited budget.
Also note that any of the movements, if done deeper, more strength and agility are required. So experiment easily at first, then try to go deeper as you become accustomed to the movements. Also, the final clip in the video adds body weight, by doing the same arm movements as shown up against the wall. Adding the body weight increases the strength required. However, as noted above, you must have healthy knees for this one. Try a rolled up blanket or yoga mat to pad your knees.
If your movement wants to go in one direction, try to go in the opposite direction as well for additional information about yourself and your range of motion. Is one way easier than the other? Challenge yourself to try something new and break out of your habits.
Enjoy the video!
Note: I do not do any voice over, just music, so you can begin to use your right, "feeling" and "sensing" brain instead of your left, "thinking" and "rational" brain!
May all your gliding exercises be fluid and free! May your body help you to transform the areas in your life that are stuck when you use your gliding discs! May your body-mind-soul always flow with fluidity and grace!